Wednesday, April 17, 2019

[DMANET] Doctoral Position at the University of Bologna within the Marie-Curie ITN MINOA on mixed-integer non-linear optimisation

The MINOA consortium is seeking a highly motivated and qualified Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) that is looking for obtaining a PhD degree in Operations Research and System Engineering from the University of Bologna. Once recruited, you will study applications of European and international relevance in areas such as energy, logistics, engineering, natural sciences, and analytics.

You will be trained through an innovative training program based on an individual research project motivated by these applications. You will devise new effective algorithms and computer implementations and will validate your methods for the applications with respect to metrics that you will define. You will derive recommendations, both for optimised MINO applications and for the effectiveness of the novel methodologies.

Personally, you will belong to a new generation of highly-skilled researchers that will strengthen Europe's human capital base in R&I in the fast growing field of mathematical optimisation. Your ESR research project will be pursued in joint supervision between experienced practitioners from leading European industries and leading optimisation experts, covering a wide range of scientific fields.

The MINOA project has started on Jan 1st, 2018, is funded under Horizon 2020 and will be carried out for a total of four years. The network consists of 10 academic partner institutions and six industrial partners from six different countries in Europe. An ESR project, starting before summer 2019, is available at the University of Bologna. You will be enrolled in 3 years a Ph.D. program ending in October 2022; while the ESR position will last until December 2021, a scholarship of the University of Bologna will allow you to complete your doctoral studies in 2022.

The call for applications is open until 9th May, 2019, applications will be reviewed as soon as they are received.

Who can apply?
You are eligible to apply for a position within the MINOA network, if

1. you hold a M.Sc. degree by the starting date of the fellowship (late spring/summer 2019), in one of the following areas: Mathematics, Computer Science, Operations Research or in a closely related field;

2. you have not resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to your recruitment;

3. at the time of recruitment, you are in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career (after having obtained your M.Sc. degree) and have not been awarded a doctoral degree;

4. you are proficient in the English language.

What can you expect from a position in the MINOA ITN?
Once recruited, we will offer (conditioned to successful fund transfer from the EU):

1. the possibility to work with us in a prestigious Horizon 2020 project;

2. A full-time contract for 30+12 months;

3. The competitive gross employer costs for the ESR position (30 months) is around 41.425 Euros/year plus a mobility allowance of about 600 Euros/month and a family allowance of 500 Euros ca. per month, where applicable;

4. At least one internship (also known as 'secondment') to an industrial partner or an academic partner in the MINOA network, in order to gain new insights into research and into work in the industry;

5. Participation in local events as well as in network-wide summer schools with internationally well-known teachers. This furthermore offers the possibility to get to know other Phd students from all over the world.

How can you apply?
You will need to provide us with the following documents:
a) Letter of motivation (max. 1 page);
b) Copies of degree and academic transcripts (with grades and rankings);
d) Brief summary of Master's thesis (max. 1 page);
c) Short CV including a publication list (if any).
All the above-mentioned documents must be collected in a single pdf and sent by email with subject [MINOA application] to<> and<>

What happens after you have applied?

We will come back to you soon after the application deadline is over. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a skype interview. Applications received after the deadline might still be considered if the position have not been filled yet.

Project 5: Benders Decomposition for Convex Mixed-Integer Nonlinear Optimisation

Host institution: University of Bologna, Italy

Supervisors: Michele Monaci, Enrico Malaguti


Decomposition methods, such as Benders and Dantzing-Wolfe decompositions, are one of the common algorithmic techniques to solve large-scale linear and mixed-integer linear optimisation problems. In particular, Benders decomposition is typically the tool of choice for the solution of two stage stochastic optimisation problems, arising in a very large number of applications characterized by some uncertainty in the data (e.g., demand forecasts, prices, etc.). However, there is little literature and no generic (i.e., not problem tailored) approach to apply these decomposition techniques in the context of mixed-integer nonlinear optimisation.

Our objective is to study possible extensions of decomposition methods such as Benders and Dantzig-Wolfe to the solution of mixed-integer nonlinear optimisation problems. Within the project, the ESR will work on management applications where resources need to be taken into account in a stochastic fashion, as it happens, in the energy industry and in transportation management and scheduling.

Expected Results:

Library of applications for MINO featuring a decomposition structure (with emphasis on stochastic optimisation), extension of Benders/Dantzig-Wolfe decomposition to convex mixed-integer optimisation problems with quadratic constraints and/or objective, prototypical software implementations and their validation (see WP3), extensions to more general nonlinear problems.

Hosting Institution:

UNIBO is the second largest University in Italy and one of the most active in research and technology transfer. It stands among the most important institutions of higher education in EU with 87,000 enrolled students, 2,857 Academic staff, 1,198 post- docs and 1,606 PhDs.

This project will be hosted by the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering "Guglielmo Marconi" (DEI). The DEI department consists of around 120 scientists, whose research and education activities cover the following fields of Industrial and Information Engineering: Automation, Bioengineering, Electric Drives and Systems, Electrical and Electronic Measurements, Electrical Engineering, Electromagnetic Fields, Electronics, Operations Research and Telecommunications. DEI offers one Undergradlate and three gradlate international programmes taught in English, as well as five Undergradlate and six graduate programmes taught in Italian. The Department offers also four international Ph.D. programmes. The Operations Research group at DEI has an internationally-recognized visibility in the design and implementation of models and algorithms for mathematical programming optimization problems, as witnessed by the record of publications of the members of the group. The group has also been involved in many industrial projects arising from applications in transportation, logistics, energy production, telecommunications and engineering.

For more details, please contact {enrico.malaguti; michele.monaci}<mailto:michele.monaci}>

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