Canberk Ucel

Canberk Ucel
  • Doctoral Candidate

Contact Information

Research Interests: sustainability, agricultural productivity, organization of agricultural value chains, smallholders & industrial development, Big Data in farming, local sourcing

Links: Linkedin Profile


Canberk Ucel is a sixth year doctoral student specializing in Operations Management, with a particular interest in agricultural productivity and sustainability.

His primary research looks at how companies and farmers could use data analytics, alternative farm management approaches and value chain innovations to address environmental, economic and social challenges in agricultural systems. He leverages industry partnerships to access unique, proprietary data on farm operations, and conducts extensive field work, to generate useful insights and practical recommendations for the farmers, companies and policymakers. He is currently working on two main research projects. In his first project, he collaborates with a prominent international organization to study smallholder farming in South-East Asia. This project uses unique data to explore the drivers of low farm productivity and farmer poverty and how better-informed farming practices and alternative supply chain arrangements could help address these challenges. His second project studies large-scale, industrial farming in the U.S. Mid-West through an extensive partnership with an agricultural technology startup. In this project he uses unprecedented data on farm operations to develop risk- and data-driven farm management strategies that could improve farm profitability while significantly reducing environmental impact. Several of his initial findings in both projects have been keenly observed by farmers and companies and he is currently working to develop these findings into immediately actionable recommendations for farmers and companies. He is also interested in exploring longer term solutions to agriculture’s environmental, economic and social challenges, such as regulatory changes, focused infrastructure investments, and altering value chain organization to better involve the front-line workforce, farmers, in technology development and research work.

He received his undergraduate degree from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey in Industrial Engineering prior to joining the program. At Penn, he has been involved in the Wharton Doctoral Council and has represented Wharton research students at Penn’s graduate student government for the past two years. When he is not working on his research, he spends time learning music production and digital arts.

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