Wednesday, March 28, 2018

[DMANET] Vacancy at University of Antwerp: optimization methods for on-demand planning of public buses

The University of Antwerp Operations Research Group (ANT/OR) is hiring at
least two full-time researchers on the topic of "optimization methods for
on-demand planning of public buses". Both pre-doctoral and post-doctoral
researchers can apply.

These vacancies are part of a research project called "the future of pubic
transport: towards a fully on-demand public bus system". Even though many
obstacles still need to be overcome, the ubiquity of mobile devices would
for the first time in human history allow for a large-scale shift to
on-demand public transport. However: the operational and tactical
foundations that are required to implement an on-demand transportation
system are still lacking. Even though a large majority of people now has
the technological means to determine exactly where they are and transmit
exactly where they want to go, the tools to plan all of these
transportation requests have not been developed. Such a system would demand
carrying out optimization on a scale never seen before, and will require
not only modelling all the intricacies of an on-demand scheduling of
passengers, but to develop new optimization algorithms and software
components that can coordinate such a massive fleet of vehicles and vast
number of passengers. The development of these algorithms and software
components is the main aim of this project.

The ideal candidate has a master's degree in computer science, mathematics,
statistics, civil/business engineering or other related field of study.
He/she has a strong background in operations research and statistics,
computer simulation, as well as excellent programming and software
development skills, and an excellent command of the English language.
Previous experience with (meta)heuristic algorithms, discrete event
simulation, and statistical modelling/analysis is highly valued.
Post-doctoral applicants should have obtained a relevant PhD recently.

For pre-doctoral candidates, the successful candidate will receive a
tax-free scholarship (of approximately 1900 euros per month) for a 4-year
period, subject to yearly evaluation. He/she will enroll in the doctoral
program of the Faculty of Applied Economics (Department of Engineering
Management) and is expected to obtain a PhD degree by the end of the fourth
year. There is a sizeable budget available for attending international
conferences, advanced workshops and other courses. Although the focus of
the position is mainly on research, the candidate might be asked to take
part in some teaching activities. Post-doctoral candidates may be hired for
shorter periods of time and will receive a somewhat higher wage.

The ANT/OR <> research group is a young and
dynamic team that focuses on the development of optimization methods to
solve decision-making problems in a wide variety of fields, ranging from
logistics and supply chain, transportation and production planning, to
humanitarian logistics and digital music. The group works in close
collaboration with several industrial partners, non-profit organizations
and other international research institutions. The University of Antwerp
<> is home to around 20,000 students, of which
18% come from overseas. It is currently ranked number 10 in the "top 50
under 50", i.e., universities in the world less than 50 years old. Antwerp
<> is the second largest city in
Belgium. It has one of the busiest ports in Europe and is the largest
diamond trade centre in the world. This vibrant city is famous for its
history, fashion industry, delicious food (beer, chocolate, fries, waffles
,…) and excellent quality of life.

Interested? Then please send the following documents (in a single zip file
with your full name as the filename) by email to (1) a motivation letter, (2) a one-page
document describing your views on the topic of "models and methods for
on-demand planning of public buses", and (3) a detailed CV. The deadline
for application is May 31, 2018. You might be invited for an interview
(either through videoconferencing, or in person) during the month of June
2018. The expected starting date is 1 October, 2018, but this is negotiable.

For more information about this position, you are welcome to contact
Kenneth Sörensen (

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