PhD Position in Operations Research at Erasmus School of Economics (Fulltime)

PhD Position in Operations Research at Erasmus School of Economics (Fulltime)

Published Deadline Location
17 May 1 Jul Rotterdam
Apply now for the PhD project 'New Directions for Vehicle Routing, a NWO Open Competition – M grant project at the Department of Econometrics

Job description

We welcome PhD candidates who aspire a career in research. To become one of our PhD candidates, you will need to be admitted to the Erasmus Research Institute in Management (ERIM), the Graduate School of Erasmus School of Economics and Rotterdam School of Management.

The NWO M-grants in the Science domain are intended for realising curiosity-driven, fundamental research of high quality and/or scientific urgency. The M-grant offers researchers the possibility to elaborate creative and risky ideas and to realise scientific innovations that can form the basis for the research themes of the future.

Start date of the position is ideally 1 September 2024, but no later than 1 November 2024.

Job description
The capacitated vehicle routing problem (CVRP) is a classical optimization problem in Operations Research, and lies at the heart of many extended variants that incorporate considerations encountered in practice. The research project focusses on the CVRP, because theoretical and computational results typically carry over to its variants.

The CVRP is NP-hard and therefore exact algorithms are typically too slow to be used in real-world applications. The ultimate goal of the scientific community working on vehicle routing, is to be able to solve the CVRP to optimality in a reasonable time so that optimal solutions can be used in practice. This would reduce costs, energy, emission, congestion, noise, etc., on a large scale. State-of-the-art algorithms work with set-partitioning formulations for the CVRP, which provide strong but slow to compute LP bounds. There is no theoretical argument why set partitioning formulations should yield superior algorithms than those using compact formulations, which provide weaker but faster to compute LP bounds. Although researchers have been developing ever stronger compact formulations, recently it has been proven that there does not exist a strongest compact formulation, and compact formulations will never achieve the same strength as the set partitioning formulation. This demonstrates the futility of searching for a strongest compact formulation, and this avenue of inquiry has proven to be a dead-end. These recent results have shown that strong compact formulations can be found which are very large in size and computationally unattractive. This brings into focus the need to look for compact formulations that are as strong as possible while still being computationally attractive.

In this research project, four different approaches are explored to find computationally attractive compact formulations.
The goal is to develop new exact algorithms for the CVRP, and to provide theoretical insights that provide handholds for future research by the scientific community in the pursuit of exact algorithms that can be applied in practice.

Specifications

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Requirements

Erasmus School of Economics’ admission requirements are:
  • A background in, but not limited to, operations research, computer science, mathematics, or industrial engineering. Please upload your bachelor’s and master’s degree.
    • MPhil or Research Master's degree is preferred
    • Candidates with an MSc or MA degree are are required to successfully complete 1 year of courses at the graduate school of ERIM
  • Excellent study results for both the bachelor’s and master’s degree. Please upload your transcript of records for the bachelor’s and master’s degree.
  • Interest in and strong motivation for scientific research explained in a statement of purpose.
  • GRE test is required for all entering PhD students. Valid GRE (revised) General Test results are required from all PhD applicants (all 3 sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing). Successful applicants typically perform among the top-10% of test-takers on the quantitative part of the GRE; applicants with a Q score below 160 will not be considered. The results should not be older than 5 years.
  • Excellent command of English. Applicants whose native language is not English are therefore required to demonstrate English proficiency by:
    • proof that the language of instruction of their entire university education (bachelor and master programme) was English, or
    • scoring at least 100 on the TOEFL iBT test or 7.5 on the IELTS test.
  • Two (academic) reference letters, preferably from a thesis supervisor or research project supervisor
  • Curriculum Vitae

In addition to the general requirements, this PhD project expects you to have:
  • Advanced knowledge of Mixed Integer Linear Programming.
  • Advanced knowledge of Combinatorial Optimization.
  • Advanced computer programming skills preferably in, but not limited to, C, C#, C++ or JAVA.
  • Experience with using Mixed Integer Linear Programming solvers such as CPLEX or Gurobi.

Conditions of employment

We offer you an internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with excellent working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU).

The start date of this position is (ideally) 01-09-2024 and you will be based at Campus Woudestein in Erasmus School of Economics (ESE). This position is for 1 fte - 1 fte. The salary is dependent on your experience and knowledge and ranges from a minimum of € 2.770 to a maximum of € 3.539 gross per month (Scale PhD) on a fulltime basis (38 hours), in accordance with the CAO-NU.

Everything else we offer you, you can find below!

Employer

Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research, as expressed in our mission ‘Creating positive societal impact’. EUR is home to 3.700 academics and professionals and almost 33.000 students from more than 140 countries. Everything we do, we do under the credo The Erasmian Way – Making Minds Matter. We’re global citizens, connecting, entrepreneurial, open-minded, and socially involved. These Erasmian Values function as our internal compass and create EUR’s distinctive and recognizable profile. From these values, with a broad perspective and with an eye for diversity, different backgrounds and opinions, our employees work closely together to solve societal challenges from the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. Thanks to the high quality and positive societal impact of our research and education, EUR can compete with the top European universities. www.eur.nl.

Faculty / Institute / Central service
Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) is a leading school in economics in the Netherlands. It has a strong international reputation and aims to do outstanding research. Moreover, it provides excellent education at the BA., MA. and Ph.D. levels. Much research at Erasmus School of Economics is policy relevant, has social impact, and offers a strong research culture, ample research resources, and comparatively low teaching loads.
www.eur.nl/en/ese

Additional information

Supervisor

Dr. Remy Spliet - spliet@ese.eur.nl

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Economics
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 4336

Employer

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA, Rotterdam

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Application procedure

Applications will be reviewed by the supervisors and recruitment committees. An interview could be part of the application process. Kindly note that we can only accept applications containing all the required documents and information. We look forward to receiving your application.

More information
For questions regarding the application procedure please contact Lindsey Pijpers (PhD Officer) at doctoraloffice@ese.eur.nl
For questions regarding the specific research projects please contact the project supervisor.

Persons of all gender identities or expressions, sexual orientations, religions, ethnicities, ages, neurodiversities, functional impairments, citizenships, or any other aspect are welcome to apply and join the EUR community.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Applications will be reviewed by the supervisors and recruitment committees. An interview could be part of the application process. Kindly note that we can only accept applications containing all the required documents and information. We look forward to receiving your application.

More information
For questions regarding the application procedure please contact Lindsey Pijpers (PhD Officer) at doctoraloffice@ese.eur.nl
For questions regarding the specific research projects please contact the project supervisor.

Persons of all gender identities or expressions, sexual orientations, religions, ethnicities, ages, neurodiversities, functional impairments, citizenships, or any other aspect are welcome to apply and join the EUR community.

Make sure to apply no later than 1 Jul 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).