Areas Business Analytics, Logistics, Production, Transportation, and Supply Chain Management

How to Find a Master Thesis


Our topics

We supervise quantitative Master theses in the areas business analytics, logistics, production, transportation and supply chain management. Quantitative means that your thesis will involve the development of a mathematical model, algorithm, and/or the analysis of real-world data. Literature overviews are usually only rarely offered.

Some examples for recently supervised topics are:

  • Inventory routing problem with stochastic demand (Prof. Dörner)
  • A solution technique for the truck and drone parcel delivery problem (Prof. Dörner)

  • Customer experience in multimodal travel itineraries: an exploratory data analysis (Prof. Ehmke)
  • Truck and drone delivery in the field of e-fulfillment (Prof. Ehmke)

  • Risk classification of suppliers in the field of automotive (Prof. Hartl)
  • Solving a real life capacitated cold house location problem (Prof. Hartl)

  • Inventory management for shared mobility services (Ass.-Prof. Tilk)
  • Last-mile routing with delivery options (Ass.-Prof. Tilk)


What we expect

For our topics, a Major/Minor in Smart Production and/or Supply Chain Management is required. For some topics, a major/minor in eBusiness and Wirtschaftsinformatik is also sufficient. However, without fundamental interest and skills in quantitative techniques (mathematical modelling, programming, analysis of large amounts of data, etc.), chances to find an appropriate topic are very low.


How to find a topic

There are two variants:

  • You choose a topic are from our list. This may or may not be in cooperation with one of our industry partners. You should also mention why you are motivated for this problem in particular. These topic suggestions are usually connected with our research.
  • You suggest a topic. If you pick this option, please submit an exposé on the proposed topic. This should contain a description of the problem you would like to tackle and why this is important as well as how you would approach this topic (e.g. by designing an algorithm, analyzing large amounts of data, etc.). You should also mention why you are motivated for this problem in particular.

Whether you choose option 1 or 2, it is important that you introduce yourself to us and why you are qualified and motivated for the particular topic. This can be demonstrated through the lectures and seminars you have chosen in you Master's program. It is a significant advantage if you have also written your seminar thesis in a topic that is related to your Master thesis.

» Please apply for a topic here.


Further information

Consider the General Master Thesis Guidelines provided by the Faculty of Business, Economics and Statistics as well as our general recommendations on scientific writing.

Please understand that we reserve the right to reject applications, which can happen if topic suggestions are out of our scientific scope or if we feel that you do not provide the appropriate qualification for a topic

Conversatorium for Master Candidates

Writing your master thesis requires regular participation and presentation within our Conversatorium for Master Candidates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find a collection of recurring questions about the process of writing a master thesis with Prof. Dörner, Ehmke, and Hartl. Most (especially organizational) answers can be found online – others are very specific to the teams and topics.



  • Where can I find a master thesis topic?

    Current topics and examples of topics are available on the website. In general, a list of grades, a topic request, and a description of ideas and topics you are interested in are required in the form to apply for a master thesis.

    We reject topic requests if a) they do not qualify (e.g. no implementation course in your studies, no connection to Major/Minor Smart Production or Supply Chain Management) and/or b) do not fit our research area.

  • How do I write an exposé?

    Once a first contact hast been established and ideas have been exchanged, your supervisor might want to see an exposé. The exposé usually consists of 2-4 pages and has the purpose of describing the research project as concretely as possible. It should also serve as a guideline during the course of work.

    An exposé typically has the following structure:


    • Motivation and introduction to the topic
    • Literature review and identification of the research gap
    • Research question
    • Planned approach and methodology to answer the research gap
    • Possible expected outcomes
    • Schedule: at least monthly milestones
  • When can I register the master thesis? What is the registration process?

    If the exposé has been accepted by your supervisor, you should send the documents for the master thesis to the respective administrative staff. Visit the faculty website for the thesis application form and more information.

    In case you use external data in your thesis, it may be necessary to apply for a restriction notice (up to 5 years). This must be approved by your supervisor and the Studienpräses. Furthermore, the company concerned must confirm the restriction notice in a short letter.

  • Do I have to register for the Master Thesis Conversatorium?

    Once your master thesis has been registered with the SSC, please register for the Masterarbeitskonversatorium Dörner/Hartl or Ehmke. Do not allocate any points. In case registration takes place during the semester, we will take care of the registration. Your supervisor will decide at what time it is appropriate to present your research. This is usually after half or two-thirds of the total effort.

  • What should be considered for the presentation in the Conversatorium?

    The presentation should briefly introduce the topic to the audience and state its relevance. The current state of your research and first results should be presented and you should give an outlook on what you still have to work on. The presentation should be about 20 min followed by a 10 min discussion.

  • How should the table of contents of the master thesis be structured?

    Your thesis should contain an introduction, a main part and a conclusion. In our research field, the following rough structure is common:

    • Introduction
    • Motivation for the topic
      • Definition of the research question
    • Literature review
    • Theoretical background/formalization of the problem
      • e.g. VRP model
    • Methodology to solve the problem/answer the research question
    • Computational Setup
    • Instances
    • Experimental design
    • Discussion and analysis of results
    • Conclusion and future research opportunities
    • References



  • Submission of the thesis

    General information on how to submit the master thesis can be found in the guidelines of the Faculty of Business and Economics. In consultation with your supervisor, the paper will be uploaded in PDF format to the university server ( Your thesis will be automatically checked with the help of special software (Turn it in). Should there be any matches/text similarities, the relevant passages are marked for further assessment. The study program directors (SPL) are responsible for evaluating the results of the electronic plagiarism check together with the respective supervisor. Ultimately, they will decide whether the text similarities count as plagiarism or not. You will be notified once the plagiarism check is completed and – in case of no plagiarism – that the thesis has been forwarded to your supervisor. In case of any enclosures that cannot be converted to PDF, as well as in case of problems with the conversion of documents, please contact As part of the upload process, metadata will be collected and the abstract will be requested separately.

    After you have successfully uploaded your work, you will receive a confirmation email. Please do not include any sensitive data (e.g. phone number in CV) in the documents. The email must be printed out, signed and enclosed when submitting the print version at the SSC (three hard copies (1 for library, 1 for supervisor, 1 for SSC)), all within 10 days or no graduation documents can be issued. The upload confirmation automatically contains the affidavits.

    After submission, the SSC sends the thesis to your supervisor for evaluation. Within a maximum of eight weeks your supervisor finishes the evaluation and reports the grade to the SSC.

  • What do I have to expect in the final examination?

    As soon as the grade has been registered, you will receive an e-mail from the SSC with the evaluation report. Provided that all courses have been completed according to your curriculum, you can now organize the final examination.
    Send the final examination registration form to the respective administrative staff:

    • For Prof. Dörner to Christine Mauric
    • For Prof. Ehmke to Carina Boier
    • For Prof. Hartl to Carina Artner-Konecny

    Specify the time when you would like to take the final examination (e.g., end of November).

    Students from (International) Business Administration also need to select the second examination subject they would like to take and the second examiner of their choice. Please note: This contact must take place 4 weeks before the planned examination date. (This does not apply for students from Business Analytics.) The responsible administrative staff member will coordinate a suitable date and organize the examination senate.

    Once the date and the examination senate have been set, you will be informed. Please submit the following forms (at least 2 weeks before the planned date) by email to the SSC (

    • Registration for final examination
    • Application for graduation

    The SSC checks the completeness of the record of examination and has the exam committee approved by the SPL. Subsequently, the SSC sends an invitation including the exam protocol to all parties involved. This invitation is considered as the date confirmation and contains all contact details as well as further information.

    For students from (International) Business Administration, the final examination consists of 2 parts and has a scope of 2 ECTS. Both parts of the examination are assessed independently of each other, each with its own grade. If one of the two parts of the examination is passed negatively, the entire final examination must be repeated on a new date. The examination consists of:

    • the defensio (1 ECTS) about the master thesis and the scientific environment (specialization in which the thesis is located) and
    • the final oral examination (1 ECTS) on a further specialization subject according to the curriculum to the extent of a minor (20 ECTS). Here, a specialization must be chosen that does not correspond to that of the master's thesis. Please inform yourself about the contents of the examination and possible second examiners at the respective institute.


    For students from Business Analytics, the final examination consists of the defensio part only and has a scope of 2 ECTS.
    Your master thesis' supervisor is always the first examiner. An examiner for the final oral examination (for students from (International) Business Administration) must be requested according to the chosen specialization. This must not be the major/minor of your master thesis. Please note that the examiners should ideally be habilitated and must in any case be suitable for the subject.

    •  For students from (international) Business Administration, the entire final examination lasts approximately one hour, of which 30 minutes are scheduled for each part. Your defensio presentation should take about 20 minutes, leaving time for questions afterwards.
    • For students from Business Analytics, the final examination lasts approximately 45 minutes. Your defensio presentation should take about 25 minutes.

    Usually, you will receive your grade following the exam.