Bringing the Real World into the Class Room: Educating Tomorrow’s Business Entrepreneurs
Globalisation and technology advancement have transformed business practices worldwide, and it continues to evolve rapidly. As fast as entrepreneurs can seize a new opportunity, they are presented with new challenges in business management. How do we prepare them for the dynamics and diversity that globalisation demands?
Besides teaching under-graduate economics, Dr Cheng teaches economics to post-graduate students from Management, Accounting, and Marketing disciplines.
“In the face of the increasingly dynamic international business environment, new modes of scholastic thinking are required of business entrepreneurs,” says Dr Cheng. “Fundamentally, managerial leadership is no longer just a set of technical skills, rather it should be combined with learning skills which include cross-cultural and multilingual knowledge”
“Teaching economics to business students is interesting, and it is a good opportunity for me to utilise my academic knowledge and industry experience from various business companies and Australian government agencies.”
Dr Cheng worked at the Centre for Strategic Business Studies, and as Projects Coordinator for some of Australia’s biggest companies, including Computer Sciences Corporation, AMP, MBF and NRMA. She has also been a Transport Economics and Policy Consultant for the Transport Department of New South Wales, Roads and Traffic Authority, and Senior Research Analyst at the Bureau of Transport and Communication Economics (BTCE) in Canberra.
“Some of the industries I worked in were out of my ‘comfort zone’ but I was keen to acquire first-hand experience of the cultures and operational structures of various companies,” says Dr Cheng.
“For many years I thought what I did was ‘unconventional’. Nevertheless, my effort paid off because my ‘blended’ experience enables me to bring the real world into my classroom with ease.”
Research with Multidisciplinary Perspectives
Dr Cheng is an applied microeconomics researcher and she is passionate about multidisciplinary research. Her research interests include transport economics and policy; network economics and management; transport and international trade; economic development; transport, tourism and environment; and travel demand/behaviour modelling.
“I gained invaluable experience working at the BTCE,” says Dr Cheng. “In particular, I was privileged to work on a number of research projects that guided federal government’s policies in the deregulation of Australia’s domestic airline industry and the broadcasting industry.”
Over the past years, the focus of her research was in freight transport and international trade. Recently, she has embarked on research projects related to passenger transport.
“In Tasmania, passenger transport has received much less attention as compared to its freight transport sector,” explains Dr Cheng. “Given the uniqueness of Tasmania’s social, cultural and economic settings, it is interesting and beneficial to do research in this area as there are still a lot of unanswered questions.”
“I enjoy travel behaviour modelling. Travel behaviour is dynamic and complex considering the differential interactive effects of not only economic, but also social and cultural elements,” says Dr Cheng.
“Researching travel behaviour using a multidisciplinary approach is ideal for enhancing the understanding of the potentials and challenges involved in policy decision making. Besides, working with researchers from other disciplines, and engaging and collaborating with transport business communities and government agencies are equally important.”
“My academic knowledge, combined with industry experience, makes my teaching and research a much more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.”
Research that makes a difference
Seu Keow Cheng is a Lecturer in the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics. Prior to joining the University of Tasmania, she has taught at universities in Asia and in New South Wales. In addition to her teaching experience, she has worked in both the private and public sectors in Asia and Australia.
Prior to joining the University of Tasmania, she has taught in University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, Study Group/Charles Sturt University, University of Technology Sydney, and University of Brunei Darussalam. She also has worked in the private sector as Economic Consultant in Malaysia, and as Projects Coordinator/Analyst at Computer Sciences Corporation, AMP Insurance, and MBF Insurance in Sydney. In the public sector, she has worked as Senior Research Officer at the Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics in Canberra, and as Consultant in Transport Economics and Policy at the Department of Transport of New South Wales, and the National Roads and Traffic Authority in Sydney.
|Degree||Title of Thesis||University||Country||Awarded|
|PhD||Modelling the Choice of Freight Intermediary Service Attributes: A Principal-Agent Approach||University of Sydney||Australia||2003|
|MA||An Economic Analysis of the Deregulation of Trucking Industry in Alberta, Canada||University of Manitoba||Canada||1984|
|BA||University of Manitoba||Canada||1983|
Languages (other than English)
- Bahasa Malaysia
Microeconomics, Transport Economics and Policy, International Economics, Regional/Development Economics, Quantitative Methods
- Microeconomics (Undergraduate and post-graduate levels)
- Transport Economics (Diploma and post-graduate levels)
- Quantitative Methods (Undergraduate and post-graduate levels)
- Transport/Logistics Economics and Policy
- International Trade, Labour Market and Economic Development
- Supply Networks Economics and Management
Seu Keow's research is in line with the University's research themes of Environment, Resources and Sustainability; and Data, Knowledge and Decisions. In general, she is interested in research which integrates international trade economics, transport/logistics economics and policy, labour economics, and/or development economics. Her current research focused on the dynamics of trade network configurations and linkages between Australia and Asia. Considering the significant economic emergence of Asia in the global economy, her research aims to advance understanding on the challenges and opportunities in enhancing Australia's productivity, competitive advantage and growth in its major industries in this changing world.
Between 2005 and 2015, she has developed and established several collaborative relationships with researchers from other universities and government agencies in Australia and overseas. These include:
2015: Dr J. Chi, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA and Bureau of Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Services, Canberra.
Research title: 'Do exchange rate volatility and income affect maritime exports from Australia to Asia?'
2010: Associate Professor M. Huq, University of Saskatoon, Canada.
Research title: 'The effect of trade in intermediate inputs volatility on employment in the Australian manufacturing industries'.
2009: Professor J.Tongzon, University of Inha, South Korea.
Research title: 'Logistics outsourcing, contract complexity and performance of Australian exporters'.
2008: Associate Professor B.H. Kam, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia.
Research title: 'A conceptual framework for analysing risk in supply networks'.
2005 - 2009: Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Services, Canberra.
Research title: 'A National Evaluation Framework for Regional Australia'.
1998 Australia Day Achievement Award: Awarded by the Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services, Canberra.
Research project: Roads 2020. (Co-author)
1997 Australia Day Achievement Award: Awarded by the Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services, Canberra.
Research project: Transport and Greenhouse - Costs and Options for Reducing Emissions. (Co-author)
Currently she is working with Dr Chi from the University of Hawaii at Manoa on a journal paper titled 'Do exchange rate volatility and income affect maritime exports from Australia to Asia?'. The Bureau of Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Services in Canberra also has contributed to this research by providing a series of quarterly data on Australia's maritime exports by major country of destination. She is also undertaking another research on 'Topology and evolution of the Australia-Asia trade networks' which explores the trade dynamics between Australia and Asia.
Fields of Research
- Industry Economics and Industrial Organisation (140209)
- Urban and Regional Economics (140218)
- Applied Economics (140299)
- Public Health and Health Services (111799)
- Environmental Science and Management (050299)
- Industrial Organisations (910203)
- Economic Framework (919999)
- Environment (969999)
- Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards (960799)
- Behaviour and Health (920401)
- Management (910402)
- International Trade (910399)
Since 2005, she has published her research outputs in economics and business related journals. So far, her most important publication is 'A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating Risk in Supply Networks'. This paper integrates economic and socio-network theories, and it has been cited regularly by researchers in supply chain, management, and production economics.
Journal Article(4 outputs)
|2016||Chi J, Cheng SK, 'Do exchange rate volatility and income affect Australia's maritime export flows to Asia?', Transport Policy, 47 pp. 13-21. ISSN 0967-070X (2016) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 2
|2012||Cheng SK, Tongzon J, 'Logistics outsourcing, contract complexity and performance of Australian exporters', Oxford Journal: An International Journal of Business & Economics, 7, (1) pp. 42-49. ISSN 1551-4498 (2012) [Refereed Article]|
|2008||Cheng SK, 'Exploring users' direct choice elasticity and willingness to pay for Third-Party Logistics Service Attributes', International Review of Business Research Papers, 4, (2) pp. 51-64. ISSN 1832-9543 (2008) [Refereed Article]|
|2008||Cheng SK, Kam HK, 'A conceptual framework for analysing risk in supply networks', Enterprise Information Management, 21, (4) pp. 345-360. ISSN 1741-0398 (2008) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 29
Conference Publication(5 outputs)
|2013||Lyne V, Jones W, Cheng SK, 'Socio-economic geographic structures within and between cities: An evidence-based assessment of relationships at regional, national and local scales', Proceedings of Sustainability and the City - a Science Frontier Symposium, 12-14 June, Melbourne, pp. 380-395. (2013) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]|
|2011||Cheng SK, Huq M, 'The effect of trade in intermediate inputs volatility on employment in the Australian manufacturing industries', International Conference on Applied Business and Economics Proceedings, 29 September - 1 October 2011, University of Piraeus, Greece, pp. 92. (2011) [Conference Extract]|
|2010||Lyne V, Last P, Cheng SK, Skewes T, Brewer D, et al., 'A typological study on stability of structures in systems: Case studies from socio-economic and ecology', 2010 International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Modelling for Environment's Sake. International Environmental Modelling and Software Society (iEMSs), 5-8 July 2010, Ottowa ISBN 978-88-9035-741-1 (2010) [Conference Extract]|
|2007||Cheng SK, 'Exploring users' direct choice elasticity and willingness to pay for third-party logistics service attributes', Proceedings of Seventh International Business Research Conference, 2-6 December 2007, Sydney ISBN 978-0-9804557-0-0 (2007) [Refereed Conference Paper]|
|2006||Cheng SK, 'A conceptual approach for analysing risk in supply networks', Fourth Annual International Symposium on Supply Chain Management Conference Proceedings CD, 4-6 October 2006, Toronto (2006) [Refereed Conference Paper]|
Other Public Output(3 outputs)
|2007||Cheng SK, 'National evaluation framework for regional Australia: Regional change, migration and industry structure', Department of Transport and Regional Services, Canberra (2007) [Report of Restricted Access]|
|2006||Lyne V, Cheng SK, 'National evaluation framework for regional Australia: Regional funding programs performance and spatial analysis', Department of Transport and Regional Services, Canberra (2006) [Report of Restricted Access]|
|2005||Lyne V, Cheng SK, 'National evaluation framework for regional Australia', Department of Transport and Regional Services, Canberra (2005) [Report of Restricted Access]|
Grants & Funding
2017: Career Development Scholarship (Group), University of Tasmania. ($12,680)
2014: Career Development Scholarship (Individual), University of Tasmania. ($2,250)
Research project: Do exchange rate volatility and income affect maritime exports from Australia to Asia?
2008: Grant-Institutional Research Scheme, University of Tasmania. ($9,000)
Research project: The Influence of Logistics Outsourcing on Performance of Australian Exporters.
2005-2009: Consultancy-Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Services, Canberra, Australia. ($210,000)
Research project: National evaluation framework for regional Australia.
Number of grants
- University of Tasmania ($10,000)
- Grant-DKD Booster
- Administered By
- University of Tasmania
- Research Team
- Pharo EJ; Cleland V; Cheng SK; Primo Perez C; Peterson CJ
- University of Tasmania ($9,000)
- Grant-Institutional Research Scheme
- Administered By
- University of Tasmania
- Research Team
- Cheng SK