Torbjörn Netland: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

Award: The Golden Owl
Name Prof. Dr. Torbjörn Netland
FieldProduction and Operations Management
Prod.- und Operations-Management
ETH Zürich, WEV H 321
Weinbergstr. 56/58
8092 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 632 05 55
DepartmentManagement, Technology, and Economics
RelationshipFull Professor

351-0778-00LDiscovering Management
Entry level course in management for BSc, MSc and PHD students at all levels not belonging to D-MTEC.
This course can be complemented with Discovering Management (Excercises) 351-0778-01L.
3 credits3GL. De Cuyper, S. Brusoni, B. Clarysse, V. Hoffmann, T. Netland, G. von Krogh
AbstractDiscovering Management offers an introduction to the field of business management and entrepreneurship for engineers and natural scientists. The module provides an overview of the principles of management, teaches knowledge about management that is highly complementary to the students' technical knowledge, and provides a basis for advancing the knowledge of the various subjects offered at D-MTEC.
ObjectiveThe objective of this course is to introduce the students to the relevant topics of the management literature and give them a good introduction in entrepreneurship topics too. The course is a series of lectures on the topics of strategy, innovation, marketing, corporate social responsibility, and productions and operations management. These different lectures provide the theoretical and conceptual foundations of management. In addition, students are required to work in teams on a project. The purpose of this project is to analyse the innovative needs of a large multinational company and develop a business case for the company to grow.
ContentDiscovering Management aims to broaden the students' understanding of the principles of business management, emphasizing the interdependence of various topics in the development and management of a firm. The lectures introduce students not only to topics relevant for managing large corporations, but also touch upon the different aspects of starting up your own venture. The lectures will be presented by the respective area specialists at D-MTEC.
The course broadens the view and understanding of technology by linking it with its commercial applications and with society. The lectures are designed to introduce students to topics related to strategy, corporate innovation, corporate social responsibility, and business model innovation. Practical examples from industry will stimulate the students to critically assess these issues.
Prerequisites / NoticeDiscovering Management is designed to suit the needs and expectations of Bachelor students at all levels as well as Master and PhD students not belonging to D-MTEC. By providing an overview of Business Management, this course is an ideal enrichment of the standard curriculum at ETH Zurich.
No prior knowledge of business or economics is required to successfully complete this course.
363-0448-00LGlobal Operations Strategy3 credits2GT. Netland
AbstractThis course provides students who aim to work in globally operating companies a theoretical fundament and practical skills for strategic configuration and coordination of global production networks.
ObjectiveStudents will be able to analyze, plan, and design factory networks.
1. Students can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s global factory network.
2. Students can conduct a basic factory localization analysis and elaborate on the risks involved and the limitations of the chosen method.
3. Students are familiar with key issues in managing global operations.
4. Students can analyze a global productivity improvement program.
5. Additional skills: Students acquire experience in teamwork, report writing and presentation.
ContentThe course „Global Operations Strategy” equip students with tools and knowledge that will help them successfully manage the global activities of multinational companies in their future careers. The world of business is changing at a rapid pace, and so is the international environment in which it is conducted, leading to a set of complex challenges which this course engages with. Where should factories be located in order deliver high quality products quickly to customers at reasonable cost? Which products should a company make itself, and which should be outsourced? How can the productivity in a plant network be increased with the help of global improvement programs? Questions like these will be discussed in class from an academic perspective and shed light on by a number of leading industry practitioners. To reinforce students’ learning, two management case studies will be conducted on the basis of which students’ performance will be assessed.

The course design consists of two integrated parts. The first part considers the “configuration” of companies’ global activities – that is, the strategic dispersion of operations. In particular, we will focus on questions relating to factory location, off- and reshoring as well as the make- or buy decision. In the second part of the course we will focus on how to manage the dispersed operations of a company, in other words the “coordination” of global operations. Special attention will be paid to the management of global improvement programs and global production management in times of disruption.

In each of the two blocks, students are invited to solve one comprehensive case study in self-selected teams. The course design features academic lectures followed by industry perspectives, so that students can reflect on the presented academic concepts and synthesize them with the insights and experiences of industry leaders. In terms of teaching style, students can expect a blend of approaches, including lectures on key concepts, vivid class discussions, guest contributions by managers, as well as case study presentations by peers. Additionally, Q&A sessions will be provided to clarify potential questions concerning case study content, and individual feedback sessions for case study groups will be arranged.
Lecture notesSee Moodle
LiteratureSee Moodle
Prerequisites / NoticeRequirements: Preferably the course 363-0445-00L Production and Operations Management
363-0768-00LLecture Cycle ETH and UZH: Logistics Management3 credits2VT. Netland, H. Dietl
AbstractThe lecture cycle Logistics Management gives insight into trending topics and developments in industrial companies. Regional and international guest speakers from various firms will give presentations on industrial applications of innovative technologies and process innovations.
ObjectiveThis course provides a comprehensive overview of current (technological) developments and how they change operations. After successfully completing this course, students have:
(1) an understanding of operational and logistical processes in different industries.
(2) an overview of applications of new technologies in companies.
(3) knowledge about challenges as well as advantages of operational improvement measures.
ContentThis course gives a glimpse into the future of industrial practice. Logistics processes take place on different operational levels – in production, the organization as a whole, and multiple companies along the supply chain. Guest speakers will talk about the development of new technologies and their industrial application on different operational levels. Some presentations focus on company-specific improvement projects. The lectures will provide insights into industrial practice and discuss the motivation for operational improvement measures and the challenges organizations face in the process of changing operations.
Lecture notesThe presentations of the guest lectures will be provided.
363-1117-00LFactory Planning and Design3 credits3GR. Binkert, T. Netland
AbstractThis course deals with the complex process of planning and designing manufacturing factories and warehouses, from idea conception to operation. It provides students theoretical knowledge as well as practical insights into various aspects that need to be considered when managing factory planning and design projects.
ObjectiveThe general objective of this course is to enable students to effectively participate in real factory planning and design projects. Specifically, after completing this course:
1. Students can outline the basic factors to be considered when planning a new factory.
2. Students can explain and apply methods for factory planning and design.
3. Students can identify issues and difficulties in factory planning and design.
4. Students can select suitable material handling systems.
5. Students have a basic understanding of the tasks and how to face them when a new factory and its systems are being built and put into operation.
ContentThe planning and design of factories and warehouses is a truly interdisciplinary task and a central activity for any manufacturer and logistics service provider. A factory is much more than just a building or a working space. Factory planning and design is a strategic task that will have a long-lasting effect on a business’ ability to create value. Many aspects must be carefully considered. Among the most important ones are location, size, capacity, technology, factory floor layout, materials flow, resources flow, human factors, and construction aspects.

In this course, students will learn about the planning and design of factories through the introduction of theory and real-life examples. Basic principles of this discipline will be introduced and discussed in class. Students will learn concepts about project methodologies, layout planning, process management, materials flow, and building specifications. In addition, various real project examples will be presented.

In the beginning of this course, students will be given a realistic factory planning and design case which they solve through group work. The necessary knowledge and methods to solve the case will be covered throughout the course. Finally, the groups hand in their solution in written form and present their solution in class.

This course is taught by a practitioner with longstanding project experience in planning and designing factories all over the world and in different industries. Students are encouraged to reflect upon the course content and actively engage in class discussions.
Lecture notesLectures notes by René Binkert.
LiteratureWiendahl, H-P; Reichart, J. and Nyhuis, P. (2015) Handbook Factory Planning and Design, Springer Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. ETH has full e-access at
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course Production and Operations Management is highly recommended, but not a prerequisite.