How can we minimize regional food shortages in the face of unexpected large-scale disruptions?

Zoom Research Seminar / GF Forum

Woman in front of empty store shelves

Past event — 15 December 2022

Spoken language

Profile image

Sissi Adeli Bazan Santos

External PhD student

Technische Universität München

View profile


The ability of national food systems to provide stable food for all people at all times is being strongly challenged. Covid-19 and Russia’s war with Ukraine demonstrate the risks of food shortages originating outside of the food sector, while environmental instability caused by climate change directly impacts food production. Therefore, developing resilient food systems is essential.

This presentation introduces a simulation framework to study the impact of unexpected disruptions on nationwide food supply networks. The approach supports decision making for the management of food flows from production to final consumption at a regional scale using an optimal control algorithm. Based on a case study featuring a production shock in the German wheat supply, following key questions are answered:

- Which are the regions most vulnerable to food shortages?
- What resources in the supply chain (transport, processing capacity, stocks) are required?
- What are the policy implications for securing a continuous food supply?


    Sissi Bazan Santos is a PhD Candidate at the Technical University of Munich and research scientist at Siemens AG.  She received her Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Munich. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD at the same university in the project "Modeling and Optimization of Resilient Food Supply Chain Networks", which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in cooperation with Siemens AG.



    Profile image

    Bärbel Wegener

    Assistant to Resident Faculty