Friday, April 19, 2013

[DMANET] PhD position in 'Robust Vessel Crew Scheduling', Dept. of Management Science, Strathclyde Business School

*Apologies for cross-listing*

Glasgow, UK

*Note this position is available to applicants of any nationality*

A PhD studentship is available in the area of Operational Research/Optimization, in the Department of Management Science, Strathclyde Business School, starting October 2013. The successful candidate will work on a research project entitled 'Robust Vessel Crew Scheduling: Opportunities and Challenges' under the supervision of Dr. Kerem Akartunali and Dr. Robert Van der Meer. Applications will be considered until 15 June 2013, or until a suitable candidate is found thereafter.
With 12 full-time and 3 part-time academic staff, 5 postdoctoral research associates and more than 30 PhD students, the Department of Management Science ( has a lively research environment with several groups and themes. Being part of a prestigious triple-accredited business school, the department has an applied focus with a substantial number of industrial collaborations.

Crew scheduling is an important area for the transportation industry because of the high costs involved and the practical complexity of solving problems. Moreover, schedules are prone to change due to various disruptions, such as equipment breakdowns and adverse weather conditions. Although extensive work exists in some applications of crew scheduling (in particular for airlines), the academic literature on maritime crew scheduling is limited.
An element which complicates the vessel crew scheduling problem further is the degree of uncertainty: due to the length of duty periods, the uncertainties accumulate heavily. The value of a robust schedule, which is prone to such uncertainties, is significant to maritime companies and provides the main motivation for this project.
Extending the results from an earlier PhD project and making use of robust optimization techniques, the project has a number of objectives:
1) To propose different modelling approaches to tackle uncertainties in vessel crew scheduling and to compare their weaknesses and strengths,
2) To establish different robust reformulations and to investigate their theoretical properties using techniques such as polyhedral analysis,
3) To build practical tools such as software packages and test these computationally, possibly with real-world problem instances.

Candidates are required to have an excellent Honours (Undergraduate) degree in a numerical subject, including but not limited to Operational Research, Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering or Economics. Candidates with a Masters degree (or equivalent) will be strongly preferred.
Mathematical and analytical skills are essential for the project. Computing skills (in particular programming skills in C/C++ or similar) are highly desirable. Familiarity with optimization techniques (in particular integer programming and robust optimization) and/or optimization software is desirable but not essential.
Good communication skills in English, both oral and written, are essential. Candidates with English as a second language will be required to submit evidence of their English proficiency.
This studentship covers international student fees and is therefore open to candidates of any nationality.

This PhD studentship is for 3 years with a starting date of October 2013. The progress of the successful candidate is subject to standard annual and interim reviews. The studentship fully covers the tuition fees for the 3-year duration and provides an annual tax-free stipend of £13,726 to the successful candidate.

All applications are to be made online at to the Department of Management Science. All documents (including scans of original documents) can be uploaded during the online application process. Candidates are expected to submit a cover letter, a research proposal detailing their 3-year plan, CV, any university degree certificates and transcripts, English test results (if applicable), two recommendation letters (or contact details of two referees, if letters are not available to them), and any other supporting documents. In order to be considered for this studentship, candidates should specifically note the title of this project in their online application when prompted about funding and their source of finance.
For informal enquiries, contact Dr. Kerem Akartunali (
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