The Alumni Lecture Series is an initiative that was developed in January 2014. It consists of a series of open lectures given my MEL Alumni.

These lectures provide the students with the opportunity to interact with MEL Alumni, who are now active professionals, learn about how MEL advanced their career and of course the opportunity to enhance their network. 

Below you can find some of the Alumni that have visited MEL to take part in the Alumni Lecture Series.

Rahie BaliMr. Bali has been in a wide variety of shipping and logistics roles in various countries around the world, ranging from Singapore to Dubai, New Zealand and Parts of Europe. He holds an Undergraduate degree in Nautical Studies and a Masters in Maritime Economics and Logistics.

Initiation into shipping began with Intermodal services shipping reefers within the United Kingdom, which progressed into a sailing career in various capacities with different Oil Tanker and Ship Management Companies, including Univan, NYK, Genoa Maritime and silo conglomerate Japanese Tanker owners. He has been involved with the Youth Nautical development programme at the University of Plymouth at various stages during this period and continues to take interest in Automation innovation.

Currently, progressing with Maersk Line as a link between Shore side vessel operations and technical management as a Senior Marine Operator. Outside of daily shipping operations, Rahie takes a keen interest the future of alternative energy and vessel innovation within the Maersk Group and through the endeavors of the Nautical Institute.

Thomas ChaidasMr. Thomas Chaidas is currently Head of Continuous Improvement Europe at STAPLES, at the European Head Office located in the Netherlands. Thomas is a 2004 MEL graduate from Erasmus University, a graduate in Politics & Economics from University of Athens and a certified LEAN 6Sigma Black Belt.

After MEL graduation, Thomas started his career in the Netherlands working for DSV Solutions at different roles within Supply Chain Management, starting as project planner and ending up as Country Logistics Manager for Greece where he set up all logistics operations for the country. That eventually led to him working for different multinational companies such as Schneider Electric as Commercial Logistics Manager, and SARA LEE/Jacobs as Country Logistics Manager. Having a strong end-to-end supply chain and project management background, Thomas joined FedEx/TNT Express as Global OPS Project Manager Process Engineering, and later as Global Continuous Improvement Project Manager working for Global Process Excellence leading multiple global cross-functional projects focusing in business process improvement and change management. His last role at FedEx/TNT was Manager Process Improvement for EUROPE region.

Eduardo GrecoMr. Greco is a project manager with Drewry Maritime Advisors and the regional specialist for Latin America. He is experienced in dry bulk and container port operations, having worked for the mining company Vale for 10 years. Eduardo is knowledgeable in feasibility, design and planning of logistics and supply chain, with an understanding of port-hinterland logistics networks.

Eduardo’s experience in port capital projects includes participation in some major logistics infrastructure projects in Brazil, Canada, USA, Australia, Guinea, Liberia and Mozambique, where he was based for 3 years. Eduardo holds a bachelor of Business Administration, a Computer Engineering degree and a specialisation in Port Engineering.

He has also a Master of Science degree in Maritime Economics and Logistics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Eduardo’s mother language is Portuguese and he also speaks fluent English, Spanish and Italian.

Rutger van der HoevenRutger van der Hoeven joined the MEL program in 2011 as a part-time student combining a professional career with MEL.
He started his career at Dutch P&I Services after which he joined the Port of Amsterdam as Sales Director Energy products.

Today he is Managing Director, commodity trade at Aon, one of the largest insurance brokers in the world.
Aon commodity trade services all types of commodity traders (from cocoa to oil) from around the globe.

We advise on risk and offer solutions to mitigate this same risk.
Dominant products we offer are marine cargo, charterers liability and trade credit insurance.

Carla GrifoCarla is currently working for DP World as part of the Global Operations team in Dubai doing Planning Optimization for over 45 terminals across the Globe.

Consultant and project manager for TBA Netherlands from 2008-2014. With a leading role in container terminal design, capacity analysis, improvement, TOS selection and training. I worked on over twenty projects in Europe, Australia, Asia, Middle East, Africa and America.

As part of the Operations department for Hutchinson’s Panama Ports Company (PPC Balboa), she worked as Operations Analyst (2006) and was responsible for constant assessment of KPIs, yard capacity utilization (monitoring and management), vessel productivity reports, labour control, and as a planner for rail operations for the Atlantic-Pacific container transfer and Vessel Planning for container and Ro-Ro vessels.

Carla holds a Master of Science degree in Maritime Economics and Logistics with thesis “The Economic Value of Terminal Operating Systems” (2008) with focus on the assessment of financial / performance-related contribution of TOS functionalities in the context of a container operation. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business and an Associate Degree in Administrative Science (2006).

Christos NtaraklitsisChristos is a Business and Projects Manager at Chemship B.V. He is experienced in multiple aspects of shipping, such as Sales & Purchase, Chartering and Finance activities. Within the frame of his position he is responsible for identifying, evaluating and negotiating business opportunities.

He commenced his career in the Chartering department of Stolt Tankers. Thereafter he joined Chemship B.V. as a Projects Analyst and consequently has progressed through various positions within the company.

Christos graduated from Piraeus University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and holds a Master of Science degree in Maritime Economics and Logistics from Erasmus University

Kajal Festen-PurohitEver since her graduation from MEL, Kajal has specialized in the industry that provides marine services to ports and terminals especially to the oil and gas sector. She has over 6 years of experience working for companies like Kotug International, Smit Lamnalco and SMIT Harbour Towage.

Kajal is currently working for Kotug International as project Manager Business Development in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Prior to this she worked with Smit Lamnalco Ltd. as a Commercial Manager in The Netherlands. In this position she was mainly responsible for Europe and Caribbean islands. In addition to this she has also done projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Before entering the marine services she worked in India for over 9 years and the last position she held was of an Export Manager where she managed the entire exports division including business development and logistics. She also represented the Indian company in The Netherlands to establish the European market for polystyrene foam products.

Kajal holds a Master of Science degree in Maritime Economics and Logistics (2009) and also a Masters in Marketing Management (MBA – specializing in marketing) from Mumbai University, India. Born and brought up in India she speaks Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, English and Dutch.

Thalia Ruiz RugerioThalía is a Consultant in the Advisory Practice with experience in Supply Chain, Transportation and Logistics Management. She has deep experience in the design and implementation of 3PL & 4PL end to end Supply Chain Projects in several different industries. Key results have been reflected in cost and time reductions directly impacting profitable revenues. With broad experience in Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and USA, she has an enriched panorama of Latin America´s supply chain preparing each of the companies for global competitiveness.

Thalia experience has spanned both logistics service providers´ and customers´ side, respectively. She has developed 3PL consultative selling processes and tailor-made logistics implementation projects within the Aerospace, Automotive, Chemical, Consumer Products, Industrial and Retail industries.

By developing a 4PL model in Brazil for one the most important worldwide consumer products companies, she became part of South America´s innovation pioneers in Supply Chain.Recently she has been executing the Supply Chain Reinvention Strategy for one of the top food industry manufacturers, while implementing the plan for a major distribution center and a manufacturing plant in Mexico. She has developed valuable experience in project management, procurement, logistics’ operation management, continuous improvement and change management practices.

Representative engagement experience

• Manufacturing plant & Distribution center go-live project management: Executed the go-live project plan for a major brown-field manufacturer site and a green-field distribution center for a leading consumer goods customer. Designed and implemented Distribution KPI´s to accomplish with network fulfilment rates.

• 4PL Model Implementation: Developed a 4PL operation model for a large global fast moving & consumer goods customer. The project consisted on the redefinition of customer´s logistics’ operation management. Through continuous improvement and optimization practices, the model delivered a 90% and 95% on time suppliers´ and logistic service provider’s performance respectively; 98% container utilization and 2% logistic cost savings.

• 3PL Integrated Solutions Implementation: Developed customized IT based logistics improvement projects (shipment & order management, web visibility and performance monitoring). Assisted in the development of a customer service order management system model for one of the largest global Chilean retailers. Additionally engaged on an EDI project (customers and customs brokerage agent integration) for the worldwide leader in fashion industry in its first department store in Peru.

• 3PL Consultative Selling Solutions: Developed major RFP´s and RFQ´s processes across Latin America, by delivering integrated logistics best practices, shipper or buyers consolidations, container and packing optimization configurations, best fitting shipments, Incoterm models based on cargo type and freight management solutions

• Customer Service Improvement: Designed and implemented customer service and logistics KPI´s in a Business Objects environment with reports on volumes, financials, transit time performance and CO2 emissions. Via automated monthly reports, customers monitored and forecasted logistics expenses per charge code (i.e. fuel surcharge, handling charges, and cost per pallet/kilogram/SKU), monitored as well suppliers and logistics service provider’s performance.

John Su

Mr. Su is President and CEO of Erasmus Shipinvest Group companies, managing an established fleet of modern Panamax / Kamsarmax / Ultramax bulkers, which are always fixed on long-term employment with the world’s leading Commodities Majors / Traders.

Mr. Su has nearly 20-year extensive experience in ship-owning, operating and investment fields of dry-bulk and container shipping industries throughout Asia and Europe. Mr. Su graduated from Dalian Maritime University of China with a Bachelor degree in Maritime Law and International Shipping Management, and has a Master degree in Maritime Economics and Logistics from Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He speaks fluent Chinese, English and French.

Robin Zwiers

Mr. Zwiers is an LNG Trader at Shell International Trading Middle East in Dubai. He graduated with an MSc in Maritime Economics & Logistics (MEL) in 2011.

After MEL graduation, Mr. Zwiers launched his career in the Netherlands, working for Shell in different positions, starting as as an LNG Strategy & Portfolio Analyst, which eventually led to his current position at Shell as an LNG Trader in the UAE (Dubai).