Skip to main content
Professor Aris A. Syntetos

Professor Aris A. Syntetos

Distinguished Research Professor, DSV Chair

Cardiff Business School

+44 (0)29 2087 6572
C21, Aberconway Building, Colum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am Professor of Operational Research and Operations Management, and hold the DSV Chair of Manufacturing and Logistics. I am Director of the joint University-Industry PARC Institute of Manufacturing, Logistics and Inventory. I am also the Director of Cardiff University's RemakerSpace. I co-chair the Strategy and Advisory Board of the Logistics and Operations Management (LOM) Section of Cardiff Business School.

My research looks at supply chain forecasting and inventory optimisation, and has been instrumental in creating an integrated view of these two (formerly siloed) disciplines. My name is associated with inventory forecasting for intermittent demand items (which are items at the higherst risk of obsolescence). I am principally known for the Syntetos-Boylan Approximation, a standard forecasting method, and the Syntetos-Boylan-Croston approach to forecast classification. My 2021 book with John Boylan on Intermittent Demand Forecasting is available on the Wiley website. The contribution of the book is summarised in this short video.

Over recent years, I have undertaken research into inventory forecasting issues in circular (closed loop) supply chains and additive manufacturing (3DP) enabled supply chains. The union of these two areas underpins the RemakerSpace centre, a Welsh Government funded, not-for-profit, community and business engagement initiative, that supports product life cycle extension and ending planned obsolescence. The RemakerSpace resides in Cardiff University's Social Science Research Park (SPARK).

My research reflects collaboration with more than 40 universities and companies around the world, and it has been supported, primarily, by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, UK) and Innovate UK, with funds exceeding £5 Million (almost all of which I have secured as Principal Investigator). I have been published in leading academic outlets such as Decision Sciences, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Operations Management and Production & Operations Management.

I have advised many organisations on inventory forecasting related matters and several methods/ algorithms I have co-developed are being utilised by major software corporations and have had an enormous economic impact (estimated in 2014 to be of at least £1 billion worth of reduced inventories) and environmental benefit. Over the last few years, I have been working closely with: Accolade Wines, British Telecommunications (BT), Brother International, DSV, the Excelitas group (Qioptiq), Ocado, and the Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) group (through which I am working with Europe's largest retailers). A summary of my recent impact can be found here.

I am Co-Editor in Chief of the IMA Journal of Management Mathematics (Oxford University Press) and the Supply Chain Editor of FORESIGHT, the practitioner oriented publication of the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF). I served as Director of the IIF in 2014 - 2022, and I currently serve at the Executive Committee of the International Society for Inventories Research (ISIR), chairing the Inventory Forecasting Section of the Society.

At Cardiff University, I have received awards for excellence in postgraduate teaching, the 2016 Cardiff University Outstanding Doctoral Supervisor Award (2016 Enriching Student Life Awards, ESLA) and the 2016 and 2019 Cardiff University Innovation and Impact Award in Business for my work with Panalpina World Transport Ltd. and Qioptiq Ltd., respectively.



  • 2005 Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Salford, UK
  • 2001-2003 Military Service – Greek National
  • 2001 PhD in Operational Research, Brunel University, UK (academic scholarship and industrial sponsorship)
  • 1996 MSc in Quality Management, Stirling University, UK
  • 1995 Proficiency in Italian Language and Literature, Universita di Perugia, Italy
  • 1994 Postgraduate Diploma in Quality and Statistical Control, EU, Socrates Initiative (Athens, Brussels, Nice) (academic scholarship)
  • 1994 Proficiency in English Language and Literature, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 1993 BSc (4 years) in Business Administration, University of Piraeus (formerly the Graduate School of Industrial Studies), Athens, Greece (scholarship granted through National Public University entry examinations).

Editorial work

  • Co-Editor In Chief (2009 - ) – IMA Journal of Management Mathematics – IMAMAN (Oxford University Press, OUP)
  • Associate Editor (2006-2020) – Journal of the Operational Research SocietyJORS (Taylor Francis)
  • Associate Editor (2013 - ) – FORESIGHT – International Institute of Forecasters (practitioner oriented publication)
  • Associate Editor (2007-2009) – IMA Journal of Management Mathematics – IMAMAN (OUP)
  • Guest co-editor: IMAMAN. Special issue on ‘Forecasting for Inventory Management’, issue 2, 2008
  • Guest co-editor: JORS. Special issue on ‘Supply Chain Forecasting and Planning’, issue 3, 2011
  • Co-Editor (with D. Petrovic) of the Keynotes and Short Papers Handbook, The 53rd Conference of the UK Operational Research Society (OR 53), 2011, ISBN 0- 903440-49-0.
  • Guest co-editor: OMEGA. Special issue on ‘Forecasting in Management Science’, issue 6, 2012
  • Guest co-editor: OR INSIGHT. Special issue on Keynote papers from the OR 53, issue 3, 2012
  • Guest co-editor: IMAMAN. Special issue on Keynote papers from the OR 53, issue 4, 2013.
  • Guest co-editor: International Journal of Production Economics. Special Issue on papers from the 19th International Symposium on Inventories Research (ISIR, 2016), volume 209, 2019.
  • Guest co-editor: International Journal of Production Economics. Special Issue on papers from the 20th International Symposium on Inventories Research (ISIR, 2018), 2020.

Professional memberships

  • Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA, Fellow)
  • International Institute of Forecasters (IIF, Board of Directors, Elected Director, 2014-2022)
  • International Society for Inventory Research (ISIR, Executive Committee, Elected Chair: Inventory Forecasting Section, 2016-)
  • Committee of Professors In Operational Research (COPIOR, Elected Secretary, 2017-2021)
  • Operational Research Society (ORS, previously served (elected) in the General Council, 2011-2014)
  • Production & Operations Management Society (POMS)
  • Institute for Operations Research & Management Sciences (INFORMS)























Teaching - Cardiff University

My time is devoted 100% to research (and knowledge transfer).

Previously, in Cardiff Business School, I taught Logistics Modelling, Operations Analytics and Operations Management at the MSc programmes of the Logistics and Operations Management (LOM) Section. I have contributed considerably to curriculum development (e.g. Operations Analytics module) and have received awards for excellence in postgraduate teaching.

Teaching - Internationally

In addition to the UK, I have taught internationally in China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy and Latvia. All courses were in the areas of Operations Management, Operational Research (Management Science) and Applied Statistics.

Research interests

I work in the area of Operational Research and Operations Management, and I am interested in developing theoretically rigorous yet practically viable and effective inventory and/or forecasting algorithms and business models.

I have worked, and continue to do so, on intermittent demand inventory forecasting. This work is particularly relevant to spare parts (and after sales) supply chains. I am also working on inventory forecasting in the context of closed loop supply chains (circular economy) and additive manufacturing (3DP in particular) enabled supply chains. My work has always been underlined not only by financial but also environmental, and more recently social, concerns. I have always been pre-occupied with reducing inventory obsolescence, and more recently, with opportunities to stop planned obsolescence altogether.

My current research interests are around the following areas:

  • Statistical and judgmental supply chain forecasting
  • Inventory mathematical modelling and management
  • Analytical and conceptual unification of Inventory-Forecasting
  • Inventory Forecasting in: i) spare parts, ii) after sales, iii) retail, iv) close loop, v) 3DP-enabled supply chains
  • Inventory (and/or) Forecasting for environmental sustainability: obsolescence reduction or elimination
  • Inventory (and/or) Forecasting for social good

Funded research and knoweldge transfer projects

[Projects exclusively/directly funded from Industry and small grants (below £20K) are not included here]

  • EPSRC: EP/D062942/1, 2006-08 (£192,950), ‘On the Development of Theory-Informed Operationalised Definitions of Demand Patterns’, First Grant Scheme. Principal/sole investigator.
  • Technology Strategy Board (TSB): Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Valves Instruments Plus (VIP Ltd.) - KTP 6202, 2006-08 (£166,839), Subject Area: ‘Inventory Management and IT in a Wholesaling Environment’. Co-Investigator (PI: John Davies).
  • EPSRC: EP/F012632/1, 2007-08 (£62,144), ‘Forecasting and Inventory Management: Bridging the Gap’. Principal Investigator (CI: John Boylan).
  • EPSRC: EP/G006075/1, 2009-10 (£72,190), ‘Commercialisation of an inventory management solution for intermittent demand items’. Principal/sole investigator.
  • EPSRC: EP/G070369/1, 2009 (£20,000), ‘Cognitive Mapping, System Dynamics and the Bullwhip Effect’. Principal Investigator (CIs: Brian Dangerfield, John  Boylan).
  • Innovate UK: Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Killgerm Ltd. - KTP ELCT01, 2010-2012 (£170,413), Inter-disciplinary project on the ‘Development of Research Capacity in the Pest Management Industry’. Co-Investigator (PI: Gai Murphy).
  • EPSRC: EP/G003858/1, 2009-2013 (£266,595), ‘Using the Grouping and Shrinkage Approaches to Forecasting Sub-Aggregate Level Seasonal Demand’. Principal Investigator (CIs: Huijing Chen, John Boylan).
  • EPSRC & Innovate UK: Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Panalpina World Transport Ltd. - KTP 9208, 2013-2015 (£133,998), Subject area: ‘Statistical Forecasting and Inventory Control in a 3PL Context’. Principal/Sole Investigator.
  • EPSRC & Innovate UK: Double Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Panalpina World Transport Ltd. - KTP 10165, 2016-2018 (£285,967), Subject area: ‘Traditional VS. 3D Printing Enabled Inventory Control’. Principal Investigator (CIs: Rossi Setchi, Frank Lacan, Xun Wang).
  • EPSRC & Welsh Government: Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Qioptiq Ltd. - KTP 10171, 2016-2018 (£160,281), Subject area: ‘Returns Forecasting in a Remanufacturing / Closed Loop Context’. Principal Investigator (CI: Mohamed Naim).
  • EPSRC: EP/P008925/1, 2017-2019 (£711,899), ‘Resilient Remanufacturing Networks: Forecasting, Informatics and Holons’. Principal Investigator (CIs: Mohamed Naim, Ying Liu).
  • EPSRC & Innovate UK: Knowledge Transfer Partnership with OCADO - KTP 10165, 2019-2021 (£202,660), Subject area: ‘Transportation /Routing Optimisation’. Academic Advisor (PI: Emrah Demir).
  • Welsh Government: Cardiff University Centre for Repair, Remake, Remanufacture and Reuse, 2020a (£488,040). Principal Investigator (CI: Dan Eyers).
  • Welsh Government: Cardiff University Centre for Repair, Remake, Remanufacture and Reuse, 2020b (£95,000), Principal Investigator (CI: Dan Eyers).
  • Welsh Government: Smart Expertise project 82505, 2021 (£324,683), ‘Enabling Repurposing - Product Transformation and Connected Collaboration’. Principal Investigator (CIs: Dan Eyers, Thanos Goltsos, Andy Davies).