Plenary Speakers

Erik Demeulemeester 1.jpg

Prof. Dr. Erik Demeulemeester 

Erik Demeulemeester is Professor in the Research Center for Operations Management at the KU Leuven. He earned a degree in business engineering (field of Management Informatics) in 1987, Master of Business Administration in 1988 and a PhD in 1992, all from KU Leuven. The title of the PhD was ‘Optimal algorithms for various classes of multiple resource-constrained project scheduling problems’. At present, he is Full Professor since 2001. Currently, he teaches a course on project management and scheduling, a doctoral course on combinatorial optimization and local search techniques as well as a seminar on production and logistics.

His main research interests are in project scheduling and healthcare planning, and he has published many papers on these topics. He currently belongs to the editorial board of the European Journal of Operational Research, the Journal of Scheduling, Computers & Operations Research and the European Journal of Industrial Engineering.

He also was appointed as a member of the Program Committee for the EURO XXVIII Conference in Poznan (July 3-6, 2016). Additionally, he became a core jury member for the EURO Excellence in Practice Award (EEPA) that was awarded at the EURO-k conferences in 2016, 2018 and 2019. In the past, he has twice organized a PMS workshop in Leuven and once an ORAHS meeting. These are workshops of around 120 researchers from around the world that presented their newest research results in Leuven. Moreover, he is currently the chair of the Department of Decision Sciences and Information Management at the Faculty of Economics and Business of KU Leuven. 


Prof. Maria Besiou

Maria Besiou is Dean of Research and Professor of Humanitarian Logistics at Kühne Logistics University. She received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Operations Management from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) in Greece. She holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from AUTH. Before joining KLU she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Social Innovation Centre at INSEAD, France. 

Maria's specialization is in the field of sustainable supply chain management. Her main research interests are in humanitarian logistics, closed-loop supply chains and stakeholder media. She studies dynamic complex systems, characterized by multiple actors and feedbacks, in a strategic level rendering system dynamics methodology an appropriate tool. Her research focuses on the decision-making of commercial companies and humanitarian organisations while managing their supply chains. It has been motivated by real problems that these supply chains face such as regulations, limitation of resources, stochasticity, decentralization and monitoring by online communities. Hence, the insights that arise from her research can be transferred to policy-makers and decision-makers dealing with supply chain issues. 

As a researcher, she is currently involved in the Research Institute on Leadership and Operations in Humanitarian Aid (RILOHA), which seeks to enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian aid via psychological insights, and serves as the Academic Director of the Center of Humanitarian Logistics and Regional Development (CHORD), which aims to bring together the best of two worlds by combining top-class academic research and education with operational training and consulting excellence.