Senior Fellows Q&A: Professor Nyoman Pujawan

Professor Nyoman Pujawan is a professor of Supply Chain Engineering at Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, and also the president of the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA) and the Indonesian Supply Chain and Logistics Institute (ISLI).

He recently shared with us a bit about his background and influences and his interest in supply chain management, manufacturing and logistics.

Describe how/why you first became interested in your research field.

After I finished my undergraduate program, I was first working for a manufacturing company. During that time I recognised how important logistics / supply chain management was for a company to gain competitiveness.

Are there other researchers in your family? Do you remember when you first encountered the idea of scientific investigation?

Not really. I was raised in a family where no one was working as a researcher. The first [I heard of research] was actually when I was still in high school. At that time there was an annual national competition for young (student) researchers. I joined the competition and I did what now I categorise as a very early exercise of scientific investigation. I was at that time trying to compare the level of comprehension of materials in class that were delivered using audio or written form. I did experiments involving students from three different schools, including my own classmates.

What do you like about your university? Name a past colleague or teacher there who inspired you in your work, and explain how.

I like Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember because it is a university that has achieved much already but still has much room for growth and improvements.

Where are you from? What is it like there? If you could export one aspect of life from there to the world, what would it be?

I was born in a village in Bali. A place in a rural area with very beautiful scenery, a combination of lakes and mountains. The temperature is cool, not like most places in Indonesia which are very hot. Most people in this village know each other, even though it is now changing with more and more kids going to school in the cities and many of the young generation also taking jobs in the cities. Perhaps I would say that the understanding of nature is a good aspect of people in this place

If you could implement one new policy there, guaranteed to succeed, what would it be?

It is very difficult to implement something with guaranteed success, but for sure there are a lot of things that need improving, for example a policy to restore the cleanliness of the lake is critically important. However, it is challenging, not easy.

PAIR looks at the impact of new transport infrastructure. Can you recall the arrival of any major new infrastructure in your life or community? Do you recall its impact?

Yes, for example a new road coming to my village which had a major impact on transportation of both passengers and goods. Also here in Surabaya, the newly constructed MERR (Middle East Ring Road) has a big impact on the speed of people moving from the airport to various destinations in the vicinity of the new road.

Where do you go and what do you do for a relaxing weekend?

Mostly at home and occasionally going to outside area like Batu (Malang), or to Bali (but rarely).

Could you recommend a book that everyone should read, and why?

One book that I read recently was Eat, Pray, Love, but not sure if others like this. I enjoyed reading it. [Ed. The American protagonist in Eat, Pray, Love visits Nyoman’s home province of Bali to meet with a local medicine man to assist her with her post-break up soul searching.]