Prof. Dr. Erik Demeulemeester
Full professor in Operations Management
KU Leuven
Faculty of Business and Economics
Department of Decision Sciences and Information Management
Research Center for Operations Management
Naamsestraat 69, BE-3000 Leuven (Belgium)
Telephone: +32-16-32.69.72
Fax: +32.16-32.67.32

Erik Demeulemeester is Professor in the Research Center for Operations Management at the KU Leuven. He earned the degree of commercial engineer (field of Management Informatics) in 1987, the degree of Master of Business Administration in 1988 and a PhD in 1992, all from the 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 from 2001 on and currently teaches a course on project and production scheduling, a PhD course on combinatorial optimization and local search techniques as well as a seminar on production and logistics. His main research interests are situated in the field of project scheduling and health care (operating room) planning and he has published many papers on these topics.

On the state of the art in proactive/reactive project scheduling

The majority of publications in the extensive literature on resource-constrained project scheduling focus on a static deterministic setting for which a so-called baseline schedule is computed prior to project execution. In the real world, however, a project may be subject to considerable uncertainty. During the actual execution of a project, the baseline schedule may indeed suffer from disruptive events causing the actually realized activity start times to deviate from the predicted baseline start times. This plenary 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 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. We discuss the fundamentals of state of the art proactive/reactive project scheduling approaches and discuss key directions for future research.

Prof. Dr. René B.M. de Koster

Dr. René B.M. de Koster is professor of Logistics and Operations Management at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University since 1995. Before that, he worked as a consultant. His research interests are warehousing, container terminal, retail, and behavioural operations and his research is carried out in close cooperation with industry, organized through the Material Handling Forum and SmartPort ( He is author/editor of 8 books and over 150 papers in books and journals like POM, JOM, TS, IIE T, EJOR.

He is guest lecturer at several other universities in the Netherlands, Belgium, China, and South Africa. He is in the editorial boards of journals like Operations Research, Journal of Operations Management, Transportation Science (SI editor), international Journal of Operations and Production Management (SI editor), Flexible Services and Manufacturing (SI editor), International Journal of Production Research SI editor) and other academic journals. He is member of several international research advisory boards (ELA: European Logistics Association, BVL: Germany (, AIRL: France, and university supervisory boards: University of Pisa and Aalto-Helsinki. He is chairman of Stichting Logistica, and founder of the Material Handling Forum (

His research has won several awards, like the IIE Transactions best paper award (2009), Journal of Operations Management best paper finalist (2007), Academy of Management best paper finalist (2013), ERIM impact award (2013), and best paper awards/finalist at conferences.

Developments in Terminal Operations and Modelling

Terminals (container terminals, warehouses, and cross-docks) are vital nodes in supply chains. Terminals have changed a lot in the last decades. They have increased in size, in variety of processes handled, in information processing ability, in internal transport systems used, and in degree of automation. In this talk, I will focus on developments in (particularly) container terminal operations, how such operations can be modelled, and the insights that can be obtained from such models.

New developments include, for example, faster quay cranes with multiple trolleys, new types of transport vehicles capable of automated driving and lifting of containers, automated stacking cranes with multiple cranes sharing the rails, extended gates, and appointment and identification systems for trucks.

The models that have been developed over time focus on aspects like layout planning, berth allocation, ship stowage planning, scheduling of quay cranes, transport vehicles, and stack cranes, and stack assignment.

In spite of all modelling efforts, the progress of technology requires a sustained effort of researchers to evaluate and compare strategies, operating policies, and system choices.


Prof. Dr. Rafael Martí

Departamento de Estadística e I.O.
Facultad de Matemáticas
Universitat de València
Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot,
Valencia, Spain.

Rafael Martí is Professor of Statistics and Operations Research at the University of Valencia, Spain.  He received a doctoral degree in Mathematics from the University of Valencia in 1994.  He has done extensive research in metaheuristics for hard optimization problems.  Dr Martí has around 200 publications, and roughly half of them are in indexed journals (JCR), including EJOR, Informs JoC, IIE Transactions, JOGO, C&OR, Information Sciences, and Discrete and Applied Maths. He is the co-author of Scatter Search (Kluwer 2003) and The Linear Ordering Problem (Springer 2011) monographs, and has secured an American patent.

Prof. Martí is currently Area Editor in the Journal of Heuristics, and Associate Editor in the Math. Prog. Computation, TOP, and the International Journal of Metaheuristics. He coordinates HEUR, the Spanish network on metaheuristics with more than 400 members in Spanish and Latin-American universities. He has been invited Professor at the University of Colorado (USA), University of Molde (Norway), University of Graz (Austria), and University of Bretagne-Sud (France).

Adaptive Memory Programming

Faced with the challenge of solving hard optimization problems that abound in the real world, classical methods often encounter great difficulty.  Vitally important applications in business, engineering, economics and science cannot be tackled with any reasonable hope of success, within practical time horizons, by solution methods that have been the predominant focus of academic research throughout the past decades, such as Integer Linear Programming.  Meta-heuristic approaches emerged in this context as an alternative to classical optimization methods. In particular, those based on memory structures, such as tabu search, are changing our ability to solve problems of practical significance, and are extending the frontier of problems that can be handled effectively.  In line with the standard terminology in Mathematical Programming, these methods are coined under the term Adaptive Memory Programming, and have been extensively studied in the context of combinatorial optimization in general, and Project Management and Scheduling in particular.

All the metaheuristic methodologies have many degrees of freedom, and the user must take several decisions in order to design the final algorithm. Three categories are easily identified: constructive-search, local-search, and population-search. Memory based methods, such as tabu search, have become very popular in local-search implementations. In this talk we describe some of the most successful implementations based on constructive and population search.  In particular, we cover path relinking, strategic oscillation, and multi-objective designs.  We will show how over a wide range of problem settings, the strategic use of memory can make dramatic differences in the ability to solve problems.     


ADEIT Fundació Universitat Empresa

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