Dr Akhtar received an Outstanding Research Award from Global IBFR - USA. He has also received the Venture Trust Postgraduate Scholarship in Agricultural Policy Research, PhD Research Scholarship, data collection funding and international conference grants.
He has attracted sponsorships from leading organisations and has had publications in top-ranked journals (British Journal of Management, International Journal of Production Economics, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, R&D Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, among others),
He has conducted research projects on
◾the 'internet of things', modern dynamic data and information processing capabilities and operational agility
◾building resilient data and information processing systems for humanitarian organizations: healthcare and food operations
◾big data analytics and prerequisite skills for contemporary business graduates
◾data-driven leadership and its impacts
◾global agri-food supply chains and sustainability
◾the links between advanced technological platforms (e.g., EDI, ERP), chain coordinators’ roles (CEO and managing directors) and the effectiveness of supply chain coordination or sustainability (i.e., operational, social, environmental and financial dimensions) in humanitarian organisations and private companies.
Dr Akhtar utilises various software for his research and teaching – AMOS, Mplus, SmartPLS, R/RStudio (network analysis, text mining and machine learning techniques), Gephi, SAS Enterprise Miner, SPSS, Minitab, SuperDecisions, Nvivo, Freeplane, Mind Mapping and Microsoft Office.
The examples of his tangible skills encompass - unstructured data mining, analytic network process, network analysis, machine learning/big data/data science techniques (e.g. neural works, cluster analysis and basket analysis), time series analysis, multi-level modelling and panel/longitudinal data handling, data cleansing, data quality checks, moderating and mediating analysis, big data analytics, structural equation modelling, partial least square, multiple regression, logistic regression, discriminant analysis, endogeneity solutions, dealing with urban legends, queuing modelling, forecasting, inventory modelling, simulation, optimisation, six-sigma applications, among others