Tuesday, June 30, 2015

[DMANET] Postdoctoral Research Position: Maintenance Optimization for Rail Infrastructure Systems

The University of Newcastle, Australia, invites expressions of
interest for a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the area of theory
and algorithms for the optimization of maintenance of rail
infrastructure systems for coal and iron exports, starting in
September 2015, or as soon as possible subject to applicant

Fellowships are available for 1 or 2 years, with possible 1-year
extensions. The salary will be in the range of AU$79,541-$85,382 per
annum, depending on the skills and experience of the applicant. There
is also provision for a relocation allowance, and for additional funds
to support travel to conferences both overseas and within Australia
during the period of the fellowship.

The successful applicant will hold a PhD in operations research,
engineering, mathematics, computer science, or a related discipline.
Strong optimization and computer programming skills are essential. A
knowledge of mixed integer programming and/or metaheuristics would be
an asset. Additionally candidates are encouraged to highlight broad
experience with modelling or assessment of complex networks,
infrastructure asset management or resource management .

Expressions of interest are preferred before August 1, 2015, however
later interest will be considered until the position is filled. To
express your interest in a fellowship please send your CV, together
with an academic transcript showing details of all courses you have
taken, the grades you were awarded, an interpretation of those grades,
and the names and contact details of at least two people who can
provide confidential references, to the contact person at the address
shown below. If your transcript is not in English, please provide an
English translation. Please feel free to include a link to your PhD
thesis, and/or include other publications in your email. Include
details of your computer programming skills and experience, your
optimization training and background, and any experience you have with
modelling and solving industrial problems. Please also indicate your
possible start dates.

The project will be funded under an Australia Research Council (ARC)
Linkage Grant with industry support from Aurizon
(http://www.aurizon.com.au/), Australia's largest rail freight
operator. Coal and iron ore export supply chains critically depend on
the transport capacity provided by Australia's rail infrastructure.
Increasingly so, because coal and iron ore export supply chains are
literally getting longer: mineral bodies closer to ports have been
exploited first, and as these become exhausted, supply chains are
stretching further to reach harder-to-get-at resources. Combined with
increasing export volumes, this makes intelligent, efficient, and
effective management of this critical piece of infrastructure vitally
important. Maintenance plays a crucial role in the management of rail
infrastructure as it ensures that infrastructure components, e.g.,
track, signals, and rail crossings, are in a condition that allows
safe, reliable, and efficient transport. This project will
investigate the key planning activities in preventive maintenance of
rail infrastructure systems, and seek to develop effective
optimization algorithms for their solution.

The postdoctoral fellow will join a research team of faculty, research
fellows and PhD students working on this project. The project also
involves international research collaborations with Professors
Natashia Boland and Martin Savelsbergh (Georgia Tech) and Yanfeng
Ouyang (University of Illinois).

The University of Newcastle is a major research university in
Australia, increasingly recognized internationally as a rapidly
emerging educational institution. The main campus is located in the
city of Newcastle: on the coast about two hours drive north from
Sydney. The School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences provides a
stimulating and supportive environment for research and teaching, with
ample opportunities for collaborative research partnerships both
within the university and with industry. Although well known for its
beautiful beaches and pleasant climate, Newcastle is home to
Australia's (and the world's) largest coal exporting port. Newcastle
is also at the gateway of one of Australia's largest wine-growing
regions, the Hunter valley. Thus opportunities for research in
shipping, transportation, and mineral resources abound.

The School includes a strong group in Operations Research, with a
number of faculty, research fellows, and current PhD students working
in areas such as mixed integer programming, mixed integer nonlinear
programming, supply chain logistics, and transportation optimization.
The group has strong collaborations with colleagues in computer
science working with evolutionary algorithms. It also has close
research links with first-class international institutions and
excellent support from industry and government research funding.

For further information on the School and the University, go to
http://www.newcastle.edu.au/school/mathematical-physical-sciences/ or
http://www.newcastle.edu.au/. For further information about Newcastle,
Australia, visit http://www.visitnewcastle.com.au/. Further
information can be obtained from the contact person below.

Main contact:
Dr Thomas Kalinowski
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
The University of Newcastle
T: +61 2 4921 6558
E: Thomas.Kalinowski@newcastle.edu.au

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