Accessibility statement

Professor Peter Ball
Chair of Operations Management



Peter Ball is Professor of Operations Management. Peter joined the School for Business and Society in January 2016. Previously he was at Cranfield University and University of Strathclyde.

My expertise is on how operations practices underpin performance, especially at a systems level of a company or a supply chain. I research operations, manufacturing and supply chain management. I seek to understand how processes in business behave and how they can be improved. I'm increasingly fascinated by regenerative, transformative change at scale. Work includes sustainability, circular economy, eco-efficient manufacturing and productivity. Methodologically I frequently engage in deep analysis through case research. Or I'm using modelling and simulation to understand the performance resulting from different practice implementations. And therefore I have a great interest in the application of digital twins. I am regularly a judge on industry best practice awards and I'm a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 



A recurrent theme of my research is the development of best practice models, performance evaluation and application in industry. The research has been driven by business and societal challenges and typically involves collaborating with a wide range of disciplines to resolve 'wicked problems'. Historically I have worked a lot with engineering companies, especially aerospace and automotive, and more recently this has extended to food and drink supply chains.

Research areas

Key words that describe his research and work with industry include: modelling and simulation, sustainable manufacturing practices, industrial eco-efficiency, energy modelling, performance improvement, supply chain practice diffusion.

Research projects

Sustainable Manufacturing of Low Carbon Vertical Farms From Bioresin for a Circular Bioeconomy funded IBiolC (2023-2024) led by Intelligent Growth Solutions and SRUC is developing bioresin technology from agrifood waste to build the next generation of low carbon vertical farms.

Centre for High Carbon Capture Cropping (CHCx3) is a 22 partner NIAB-led (Dr Lydia Smith), 2023-27 Innovate UK funded project to to help UK farmers and growers target Net Zero and build farming resilience and engage companies across the entire value chain engage in net positive behaviour.

Transforming the Foundation Industries Research and Innovation Hub (TransFIRe) funded by UKRI 2021-2024 to bring about eco-efficiency, eco-effectiveness and system transition across the primary industries of cement, ceramics, chemicals, glass, metals and paper. A multi-university, multi-company project led by Prof Mark Jolly, Cranfield University.

FixOurFood is a radical food system transformation project (2021-2025) funded by UKRI's Transforming the UK Food System programme that is researching regenerative practice development across farming, hybrid business models and early years nutrition. Led by Prof Bob Doherty, University of York.

Circular urban vertical farming: Data, models and optimisation of waste flows (2021-22) was a collaboration between IntelliDigest, NIAB, SRUC, STFC, Wasware and York (lead) funded by STFC Food Network+ to progress urban agri-food circularity (vertical farm nutrients and city building products) enabled by digital data retrieval and modelling.

A Multiscale Digital Twin-Driven Smart Manufacturing System for High Value-Added Products (2020-2025) is an EPSRC funded collaboration between Strathclyde (lead), Heriot-Watt, Huddersfield and York to progress the development and implementation of digital twins in manufacturing from the surface properties of materials through to the scale of supply chains. University of York researcher Dr Yujia Luo.

INformated Circular Economy ProducTs (INCEPT) was funded in 2020 by the White Rose Collaboration Fund to work across York (Peter Ball), Leeds (Alison McKay) and Sheffield (Ashutosh Tiwari) to understand how circular economy concepts could be applied to low value, high volume consumer goods.

Productivity in manufacturing: Funded by ESRC Productivity Insights Network Pioneer Fund in 2018 and working with Jill MacBryde (Strathclyde), Ben Clegg (Aston) and Palie Smart (Bristol) we examined the alignment (or otherwise) between government productivity definition and policy with managers at different levels of manufacturing companies.

Environmental footprint reduction in aspiring breweries through good practice awareness: Funded by BREF (Brewers' Research and Education Fund) in 2016, Prof Jill MacBryde and I promoted ways of reducing the environmental impact of operations across a network of brewers. 

Local food supply chain resilience: The Brexit Effect. Funded by the N8 Research Partnership in 2016 and led by University of Lancaster, we investigated practices and measures across agrifood supply networks resilience to constitutional change. With Professors Linda Hendry, Mark Stevenson and Jill MacBryde.

Research supervision

Doctoral research has included: sustainable manufacturing, industrial energy efficiency, maintenance & service systems, modelling of digital technology impact, digital business models, food systems power, food systems transformation, sustainability resilience & financial performance relationships. I am always open to supervising interesting and challenging research into sustainability advance.              


Selected publications

Luo, Y. & Ball, P. D., Jan 2024, (Accepted/In press) Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2023: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing (KES-SDM 2023). Springer Press

2. Expanding the scope of manufacturing digital twins to supply chains

Luo, Y. & Ball, P. D., 2024, (Accepted/In press) Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Manufacturing Research. IOS Press

Udo, E., Huaccho Huatuco, L. D. & Ball, P. D., 2 Feb 2023.
Badakhshan, E. & Ball, P. D., 22 Feb 2023In: Operations Research Perspectives. 1022 p., 100270.
Candia Jorquera, J. R., Huaccho Huatuco, L. D. & Ball, P. D., 20 Jun 2023, p. 1. 6 p.
Badakhshan, E. & Ball, P. D., 10 Aug 2023, (E-pub ahead of print) In: International Journal of Production Research. 32 p.
Buckton, S., Fazey, I., Sharpe, B., Om, E., Doherty, B., Ball, P. D., Denby, K., Bryant, M., Lait, R., Bridle, S., Cain, M., Carmen, E., Collins, L. M., Nixon, N., Yap, C., Connolly, A., Fletcher, B., Frankowska, A., Gardner, G. E., James, A., & 5 others, 21 Jul 2023, In: One Earth. 6, 7, p. 824-842 19 p.
Badakhshan, E. & Ball, P. D., 4 Jul 2022, (E-pub ahead of print) In: International Journal of Production Research. 23 p.

9. Business Models Embedding Ecosystem Services to tackle Climate Change: The case of Digital Climate SolutionsCandia Jorquera, J. R., Huaccho Huatuco, L. D. & Ball, P. D., 24 Jun 2022Proceedings of the Sustainable Business Model Challenges: Economic Recovery and Digital Transformation conference: New Business Models Conference.

10. Digital Climate Solutions: How emerging enterprises are responding to Climate Change and delivering value to customers and the planet Candia Jorquera, J. R., Huaccho Huatuco, L. D. & Ball, P. D., 1 Jul 2022Proceedings of the 30th European Operations Management Association conference.

Doherty, B., Bryant, M., Denby, K., Fazey, I. R. A., Bridle, S., Hawkes, C., Cain, M., Banwart, S., Collins, L., Pickett, K., Allen, M., Ball, P. D., Gardner, G. E., Carmen, E., Sinclair, M., Kluczkovski, A., Ehgartner, U., Morris, B., James, A., Yap, C., & 2 others, Mar 2022, In: Nutrition Bulletin. 47, 1, p. 106-114
Kharlamov, A., Chowdhury, S., Dey, P., Rodríguez-Espíndola, O. & Ball, P. D., Sept 2022, Supply Chain Sustainability in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. Dey, P., Chowdhury, S. & Malesios, C. (eds.). Oxon, UK: Routledge, p. 125-138 14 p.




School for Business and Society
University of York
Church Lane Building
York Science Park
York YO10 5ZF

Telephone: +44 (0) 1904 325302
Room: CL/A/110


Subject Group

People, Operations and Marketing