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Aquila Yeong

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Management


Dr Aquila Yeong is a Senior Lecturer in Operations Management in the Department of Management, and a member in the IDEO research group. His research interest centres around Productivity Improvement through Process Innovation via the alignment of Management Philosophy (such as Theory of Constraints), Technology and People using Action Research.

He contributes towards teaching in all levels: Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Corporate/Executive, and Online MBA. He is also module leader for Operations Management related modules, Project and Programme Strategies, and Data Analytics for Managerial Decision Making. 

He also takes up role as internal examiner and independent accessor for PhD/DBA candidates, and is currently co-supervisor for 5 doctoral candidates.

Apart from teaching and research, he collaborates actively with businesses through Knowledge Transfer PartnershipProductivity Through Innovation (PTI), and direct funding through the Authorised University Consultant platform. His recent work includes the development and deployment of S-DBR (Simplified Drum Buffer Rope) based Decision Support System for SME manufacturing companies. Impact includes more than doubled productivity, empowerment of shop floor personnel, and culture change.

He also engages with SMEs through Small Business Charter: developed and delivers Operations module in Small Business Leadership Programme (2019-2021) and Help to Growth Programme (2021 - Present).

Career overview

Aquila began his career in telecommunication industry as a research and development engineer for a telco company in Malaysia. In his tenure with the company, he has assumed managerial roles in engineering, marketing & sales and customer service departments. He was part of the management team who pioneered the deployment and operation of the first nationwide CDMA based digital trunked radio network.

Based on this platform, he advocated the business transition from product to solution focus. He and his team has developed various bespoke digital communication solutions to improve customer's operations performance and productivity.

  • Senior Lecturer in Operations Management (2017 - Present)
  • DBA (2015 - 2019)
  • Business System Architecture Designer/Programmer (2015 - 2017) - Amberol Ltd (UK)
  • MBA (2014 - 2015)
  • Managerial Positions in Telecommunication Industry (2004 - 2014) - Electcoms (Malaysia)
    • Engineering (2004 - 2014), Sales/Marketing (2012 - 2013)
    • RF and digital communication: ZTE (CDMA2000, GoTa) , Hytera (DMRT), Huawei (GSMT), Motorola (MotoTrbo), Harris (Microwave), Siae (Microwave)
    • Provide consultation service and develop integrated digital communication solutions for various industries (transportation and logistics, construction, entertainment, security, emergency response, utilities, agriculture and etc.)  
  • Lecturer in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (2002 - 2004) - IUKL (ICT) (Malaysia)

Research areas

External Funding

"You have given us a tool, not a toy" (Amberol's shopfloor personnel)

Draquila's academic research interest centres around improving company’s productivity through process innovation via the alignment of management philosophies, technology, and people. This includes the design, development, and deployment of customised business solutions according to contextual business environments through action research.

To better support small businesses, he also explores the use of Office365 (MsExcel/Sharepoint) to support the planning and execution in MTO/ETO (with S-DBR) and Project (with CCPM) environments. This is underpinned by the main flow management concepts in Theory of Constraints (TOC): Constraint Management, Buffer Management, Load Management, and the culture of Continuous Improvement.

2023 - Present: Knowledge Transfer Partnership: Natgraph ltd (Co-supervisor with Assoc. Prof. Roy Stratton)

To enable business growth, increased profitability and greater resource efficiency in a mature, medium-sized manufacturing firm. The project will incorporate process innovations and the embedding of a culture of continuous improvement supported by newly developed key performance indices.

2022 - Present: Knowledge Transfer Partnership:  Stormsaver ltd (Led by Prof. Amin Al-Habaibeh (School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment), supported by Prof. Eiman Kanjo (School of Science and Technology) and Dr. Aquila Yeong (Nottingham Business School)) 

To develop an innovative, smart and modular rainwater harvesting system incorporating artificial intelligence to reduce system ownership costs, decrease carbon emissions within the sector and enhance water utilisation for water companies facing increasing water supply constraints.

2021 - Present: Knowledge Transfer Partnership: Halo X-Ray Technologies Ltd (Co-Supervisor with Assoc Prof. Zara Whysall

To introduce a cultural and organisational focus on quality both within the business and across the supply chain to improve reliability of products and meet the complex requirements of the regulated aviation security market globally.

2020 - 2021: European Regional Development Fund (through PTI): Rise & Recline Ltd (Principal Investigator)

In 2020-21, as part of an ERDF funded digital transformation project, he has successfully introduced a production planning and control decision support system for a bespoke mobility furniture manufacturer. The human-centred approach taken throughout the implementation suited well with the production process which is highly dependent on craftmanship. This system enabled its production process to be aligned with its digital marketing, sales, and CRM platform. It has been instrumental in assisting the company to successfully manoeuvre through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Developed using C# and Microsoft Sql Server.

Coverage by Made in Britain

Coverage by NottsTV (Time: 06:12 - 08:18 minutes)

"...The people there [in NTU] are just amazing...taken on board every single requirement we wanted...[and] he just delivered it...We've just hit a gold nugget of business support..." (John Lougher, Managing Director, R&R)

2018 - 2019: Knowledge Transfer Partnership: Swiftool Precision Engineering Ltd (Co-Supervisor with Assoc. Prof. Dr Roy Stratton

In 2019, he continued to contribute in KTP projects as KTP academic supervisor. This project has successfully acted as a catalyst to the development of internal capability for continuous improvement in a high precision tooling company.

2015 - 2018: Knowledge Transfer Partnership: Amberol Ltd (KTP Associate, supervised by Assoc. Prof. Dr Roy Stratton (Nottingham Business School) and Dr. Kevin Lee (School of Science and Technology))

As a KTP associate, he has successfully completed a KTP project (2018) introducing innovation into the business process of a small business. It involved the development of a Theory of Constraint (TOC) underpinned client/server decision support system with embedded heuristic algorithms based on a contextual management decision making process, human-machine interface, and integration to an existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This project successfully more than halved the operations expenses, empowered personnel, and introduced new working culture. The project has been graded ‘Very Good’ and shortlisted for the development of KTP Case Studies by Innovate UK.

Developed using C# and Microsoft Sql Server.

Presentation at TOCPA Conference 2016

Internal Funding

NBS Seedcorn Fund 2020: Machine Learning in Production Planning and Control (Principal Investigator)

NBS Seedcorn Fund 2021: Pilot study into the Presence and Roles of Secondary Data within the Care Home Sector (Co-Investigator)

NBS Seedcorn Fund 2022: The resilience of UK Ports amidst Covid-19 pandemic (Co-Principal Investigator)

External activity

Sponsors and collaborators

Amberol Ltd - "Making a Visible Difference"


Innovate UK

Rise & Recline Ltd - "We adjust to your needs"

Small Business Charter

Thomas Bow