First ReTraCE PhD Award

First ReTraCE PhD Award

It is with immense pleasure that we share the news about the first PhD award within the ReTraCE ESRs cohort.

On Monday, Felipe Alexandre de Lima successfully defended his thesis on “Risk Management and Sustainability Performance in Circular Supply Chains”.

We wish to congratulate Felipe (and his supervisor, Prof. Stefan Seuring) on this great achievement, also wishing him all the best for his future.

We wish to celebrate this event with Felipe’s own words:

I’ve just defended my Ph.D. thesis, “Risk Management and Sustainability Performance in Circular Supply Chains.” In other words, I’ve just crossed a range of mountains. This mountain hiking (Ph.D. journey) transformed me completely. I’d like to share some of the key highlights of this journey.

As a Brazilian abroad for the first time, I’ve experienced a cultural immersion that radically changed my way of observing, reflecting, and interacting. Learning the German (academic) way sometimes made me feel very homesick. I’ve just kept going…

I’ve also learned the importance of managing my expectations and frustration regarding academic publications. The path to the peak of a mountain (the publication of an academic paper) is often long and winding. For example, I got lost and returned to the starting point by recoding the papers of my systematic literature review. Perseverance has been key. After 10 months, the systematic literature review got accepted.

From this mountain hiking, I’ll carry important lessons about the chosen path (theory) and equipment (method). For example, I embarked on another journey with different tools. Instead of conducting a survey, I was curious about social media analytics, particularly Twitter. In the end, the exploration of Twitter was very fruitful.

I thank Prof. Dr. Stefan Seuring for being a committed hiking guide (supervisor). Then, I express my gratitude to Dr. Abraham Zhang, Prof. Dr. Charbel Jose CHIAPPETTA JABBOUR, Prof. Dr. Marcus Brandenburg, and Prof. Dr. Ralf Wagner for reviewing my thesis and challenging my defense. They raised important reflections to drive my research forward and beyond.

I also thank the great hikers (team members) I met at the University of Kassel. Their support and encouragement have inspired me to thrive further: Jayani SudusingheBiman Darshana Hettiarachchi, MILTSadaf Aman, PhDLara SchillingOliver BischoffDr. Erik SiemsRonak WarastheAxel Zehendner, Rima Schmauch.

I thank my colleagues from the ReTraCE – Realizing the Transition Toward the Circular Economy project. I thank Dr. Daiane Mulling Neutzling for supporting me with the application for the doctoral position. And I thank my friends and family for always being present in my Ph.D. journey. My parents, Alexandre & Maria, and sister Vitória inspire my motivation to persist and look forward.

I can’t wait to start a new mountain hiking…

P.S.: Credits to Stefan Seuring and Lara Schilling for inspiring the text on mountain hiking (Ph.D. journey).

This research has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018) scheme, grant agreement number 814247 (ReTraCE project).