Ph.D. position on Vehicle Routing
Ecole des Mines de Nantes (France) and Universidad de los Andes have an funded Ph.D. studentship leading to a dual degree.
The Electric Vehicle Routing Problem
In a world where petroleum becomes a scarce resource and environmental issues become a day to day concern of both companies and the general population, electric vehicles emerge as one of the most exciting new technologies in the world’s effort to reshape the way transportation systems operate. Indeed, the Environment Round Table initiative of the French government gives to the development of electric and hybrid vehicles a central role, and makes it a top priority, in France’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve its energy efficiency.
The use of electric vehicles raises new and challenging engineering problems. For instance, battery lifespan is highly sensitive to factors such as: travel speed, route profile (e.g., steep vs. flat terrain), driving mode (e.g., aggressive vs. calm driving), utilization context (e.g., load, cold compartments, headlights, AC. Etc.). As a result, battery autonomy may be very limited. To overcome these limitations, batteries may be recharged at some intermediary point of a journey (e.g. at lunch time), if one is willing to make some detours to reach a charging station. This new context generates a set of novel constraints that should be taken into account when planning transportation routes that are to be performed by electric vehicles.
The objective of this Ph.D. thesis is to study this emerging vehicle routing problem. At a first stage, the thesis will focus on characterizing the problem (i.e., identifying the most relevant constraints and optimization criteria) and mapping the state of the art in related problems. Then, the thesis will focus on developing the pioneering optimization approaches to the problem and testing them on instances developed in collaboration with a French company that currently runs a fleet of electric vehicles.
This Ph.D. thesis will be developed in collaboration between two research centers: the SLP team from the IRCCyN research lab at École des Mines de Nantes (France), and the COPA team from Universidad de los Andes (Colombia). The successful candidate is expected to spend 18 months working on each country (starting in France). After defending his thesis, the candidate will be awarded the Doctoral degrees from both École des Mines de Nantes and Universidad de los Andes.
The thesis will be supervised in France by Christelle Guéret Ph.D. associate professor at École des Mines de Nantes. In Colombia, the thesis will be supervised by Andrés L. Medaglia Ph.D., associate professor at the department of Industrial Engineering of Universidad de los Andes.
The successful candidate should hold a Masters in Operations Research, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, or equivalent. Mid-advance knowledge in Operations Research, algorithms and data structures, as well as developed programming skills are warranted. Previous knowledge in software engineering is desired but not mandatory. The candidate should also master the English language. Knowledge of French and Spanish are only necessary for making life more pleasant in the two countries but not professionally required.
If you are interested to apply, please contact Christelle Gueret or Andres Medaglia to set an interview.
Deadline for application
May 31st, 2012