Plenary Speakers

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Prof. Dr. Erik Demeulemeester  - EURO Plenary speaker

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. 

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Title: Solving the proactive and reactive resource-constrained project scheduling problem 

Abstract: This talk will consider the proactive and reactive resource-constrained project scheduling problem in which the durations of project activities are characterised by uncertainty. Under such conditions, the baseline schedule that typically is constructed before project execution might not hold for a long time unless a lot of safety is built into the schedule. During the actual execution of a project, this baseline schedule may indeed suffer from disruptive events, causing the actually realised activity start times to deviate from the predicted baseline start times.

This presentation focuses on robust project scheduling, in particular the development of effective and efficient proactive and reactive scheduling procedures. Proactive scheduling aims at generating robust baseline schedules that carry sufficient protection against any possible schedule disruptions that may occur during project execution. Reactive scheduling procedures aim at repairing the baseline schedule when the built-in protection fails during the execution of the project. The fundamentals of state of the art proactive/reactive project scheduling approaches will be discussed alongside key directions for future research. 


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. 

Title: Research and practice impact in humanitarian operations: a critical review, challenges, and opportunities 

Abstract: Since the first publications on humanitarian operations, researchers have been concerned about the impact of our research. In this paper, we examine the impact of our field on academic research and on real-world practice, with an eye toward increasing impact. To that end, we review the literature on measuring impact on research and practice and draw out guidance to shape a series of analyses, including a review of papers in humanitarian operations and of topics in practitioner conferences and webinars, and a survey of the author community that identifies papers with impact on practice and research. We identify and compare the characteristics of papers that impact practice and those that impact research, and analyse the "recipes" for papers that impact both. We find limited but important examples of practice impact and identify two key barriers preventing broader impact: limited connections between research and practice and the apparent difficulty of achieving both research and practice impact in one paper. Finally, we suggest ways to reach greater practice and academic impact. 


Mauricio G. C. Resende, Ph.D. 

Mauricio G. C. Resende is an Affiliate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Washington.  He grew up in Rio de Janeiro (BR), West Lafayette (IN-US), and Amherst (MA-US). He did his undergraduate training in electrical engineering (systems engineering concentration) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.  He obtained an MS in operations research from Georgia Tech and a PhD in operations research from the University of California, Berkeley.   

He is most known for his work with metaheuristics, in particular GRASP (greedy randomised adaptive search procedures) and BRKGA (biased random-key genetic algorithms), as well as for his work with interior point methods for linear programming and network flows.  Dr. Resende has published over 200 papers on optimisation and holds 15 U.S. patents.  He edited the Handbook of Heuristics (Springer, 2018), the Handbook of Optimization in Telecommunications (Springer, 2006), the Handbook of Massive Data Sets (Kluwer, 2002), and the Handbook of Applied Optimization (Oxford, 2002), and is coauthor of the book Optimization by GRASP (Springer, 2016).  

He has a Google Scholar h-index of 83 and is on the List of Top 2% Scientists of the World (2020-21).  He sits on the editorial boards of several optimisation journals, including Networks, Discrete Optimization, J. of Global Optimization, and International Transactions in Operational Research. Dr. Resende is an INFORMS Fellow.  

With a successful career spanning over four decades, Dr. Resende has brought his expertise to various industrial research laboratories worldwide. These include electrical power systems at Furnas Centrais Elétricas in Brazil, semiconductor device manufacturing at Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in Silicon Valley, California, telecommunications at AT&T Bell Labs Research and AT&T Labs Research in New Jersey, and retail logistics at Amazon in Seattle. Dr. Resende's diverse professional experiences have established him as a leading figure in his field. 

Talk title: Forty years of industry-university collaboration  

In this talk, I will weave the narrative of my four-decade-long odyssey bridging the spheres of academia and industry. Initiated during my doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, my first collaboration intersected with researchers from Fairchild Semiconductors, exploring semiconductor fabrication through simulation, and partnered with Narendra Karmarkar from AT&T Bell Labs, diving into the world of algorithm engineering of interior point methods for linear programming. The inception of GRASP and BRKGA will be discussed, their roots firmly planted in these interactions. I will share insights from my tenure as a research scientist at renowned institutions such as Bell Labs Research during the '80s and '90s, AT&T Labs Research from 1996 to 2014, and at Amazon Research between 2014 and 2022. I will contrast my work experiences at these institutions. Even though most of my professional life was spent within the confines of industrial research centers, I maintained robust interactions with academia worldwide, spanning continents from the Americas to Europe, Asia, and even the Russian Federation. In the process I supervised and mentored numerous MSc and PhD students. As we reach the final chapters of my narrative, we find my departure from Amazon in December 2022 and the beginning of a new journey as a visiting professor - a role that has guided me to this current moment, standing before you.