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Demand scheduling and emission control in e-fulfilment

About This PhD Project

Project Description

• Basic Funding details – Full time Home/EU fees and a stipend of £15,009 p.a.
• Application deadline – Tuesday 7th May 2019
• Start date – October 2019
• Duration – 3 years full-time
• Location – Colchester campus, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex, UK.
• The lead department: Mathematical sciences; collaborating department: CSEE

A brief overview of the studentship:

Last-mile delivery - the transportation of goods from hub to home - in e-retailing is one of the most costly and highest polluting segments of the supply chain. This project aims to bringing together revenue management (demand scheduling) and vehicle routing models to minimize emission by means of giving incentives to encourage customers to choose least emission time windows. It will also provide resolutions on the efficient usage of electric fleets in grocery delivery. The world leading online grocery provider, Ocado, is willing to support this studentship by providing data and possible training opportunities.

Selection criteria:

1. [Essential] MSc in Operational Research, Mathematics, Computer Science or a related discipline.
2. Good theoretical and applied knowledge in optimization, including linear programming, combinatorial optimization, dynamic programming and stochastic process.
3. Good knowledge of mathematical methods for data science, including foundational topics such as calculus, linear algebra and statistics.
4. Good knowledge of programming platforms and languages (e.g. Matlab/Python/C++/Java).
5. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
6. Experience of working on a project to successful completion.
7. Excellent time management and organisational skills and the ability to work to tight deadlines.
8. Able to work independently and as part of a team.
9. Ability to interface with people with commercial interests and from varied technical backgrounds.
10. Excellent command of written and spoken English.

Detailed funding information – The award consists of a full Home/EU fee waiver or equivalent fee discount for overseas students (see for further fee details), a doctoral stipend equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,009 in 2019-20), plus £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.


• Primary supervisor: Dr Xinan Yang; Xinan has worked in revenue management of online grocery fulfilment for five years. She has published two world-leading articles in this field (cited by 35 and 10 since they were published in 2016 and 2017, respectively) which are industrialising with Ocado Technology under a KTP (Dec 2018 – Dec 2020).
• Co-supervisors: Professor Hani Hagras; Hani’s expertise in algorithm development will help because we need fast online resolution.

Candidates will be asked to provide your CV, cover letter, personal statement, transcripts of any undergraduate or master’s programmes and one reference.

For more information and details on how to apply please follow this link

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