Research Group on Optimisation

Optimisation is concerned with methods for finding the ‘best’ option when one is faced with a huge range of possible options. More formally, it deals with maximising (or minimising) a function of some decision variables, subject to various constraints.

Optimisation problems arise in a variety of contexts, having numerous applications not only in Operational Research, Operations Management and Quantitative Finance, but also in Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, Computer Science, Engineering, Computational Biology and even Sports! Optimisation is a truly multi-disciplinary field.

Current Research Activities

  • Professor Kevin Glazebrook, Dr Christopher Kirkbride and Dr Peter Jacko work on optimal policies for stochastic resource-allocation problems.  The classical approach to solving such problems, stochastic dynamic programming, becomes computationally infeasible once the system reaches a certain level of complexity. Current research focuses on alternative methods, based for example on Lagrangian relaxation, to develop near-optimal policies.
  • Professor Konstantinos G Zografos, Professor Richard Eglese and Dr Burak Boyaci are mainly interested in developing models and algorithms for practical problems which arise in the context of logistics, such as vehicle routing, facility location or airline scheduling problems. They are particularly interested in applications in which environmental considerations are an important factor.
  • Professor Adam Letchford and Dr Trivikram Dokka work on exact solution methods and bounding procedures for hard optimisation problems. They work mainly on discrete (aka combinatorial) problems, but also occasionally on continuous (aka global) problems. The solution methods are typically based on linear, quadratic or semidefinite programming.
  • Professor Mike Wright and Dr Michael Epitropakis research into the development, analysis and implementation of meta-heuristic techniques for solving complex real-life optimisation problems. Professor Wright is particularly interested in applications of meta-heuristics to discrete problems arising in sport, such as timetabling cricket fixtures. Dr Epitropakis is interested in applications to both continuous and discrete problems, especially ones that lie at the interface between OR and Computer Science.
  • Professor Matthias Ehrgott and Dr Alexander Engau work mainly on multi-objective optimisation problems.  Professor Ehrgott is interested particularly in algorithms for producing efficient sets for combinatorial problems, and applications in medicine and transportation. Dr Engau works on applications in OR, economics, finance, engineering and data analytics.
  • Dr Marc Goerigk's research focuses on algorithms and concepts for robust optimization, particularly for discrete problems. His main application interests lie in rail transportation problems and disaster management.
  • Dr Guglielmo Lulli’s research interests focus on both deterministic and stochastic optimization, particularly as applied to ground and air transportation, energy and bio-computational problems
  • Professor Stein W Wallace's principal interest is in decision making under uncertainty.  He has worked with a broad range of applications, including portfolio management, energy, telecommunications and project scheduling.  He has worked on algorithmic and modelling issues in stochastic programming.

For more details, see the respective staff web pages.

Potential research projects

Whilst the group is always willing to discuss the ideas of potential PhD students or external collaborators, there are also several ongoing research projects that you may want to get involved in. These are listed below. On the following pages further details of each project are given.

Current and past PhD student members are listed here.

If you would like to apply for a PhD, please see our PhD admissions page.