Postdoc in Assisted Vessel Recovery

DTU Management Engineering
Monday 08 May 17

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DTU Management invites applicants for a 2-year Postdoc position in Assisted Vessel Recovery. The project is supported by The Danish Maritime Fond, and will be carried out in collaboration with Maersk Line.

The position will be part of the division of Management Science. The division of Management Science (MS) is the largest MS division in Denmark and includes Operations Research (OR), Implementation and Performance Management (IPM), and Operations Management (OM). The OR group, in which the position is available, focuses on OR approaches and covers all phases of the OR cycle: From problem analysis over model building to the development of new solutions methods and interpretation of the results. We are a dynamic division with strong research collaboration with leading universities, and we are part of a comprehensive network consisting of important industrial companies both worldwide and regionally.

Approximately 70–80% of vessel round trips experience delays in at least one port. The common causes are bad weather, strikes in ports, congestions in passageways and ports, and mechanical failures. The project will develop a series of decision support tools that, within a geographically defined space and a given timeframe, will be able to resolve the disruption by getting the vessels back on schedule and the cargo rerouted while minimizing the cost and customer impact.

Currently when a disruption occurs, the operator at the shipping companies manually decides what action to take. For a single delayed vessel, a simple approach could be to speed up, but this may be an expensive solution due to increased fuel consumption, and the vessel can still arrive late for connections. It is therefore important to take a holistic approach, where the delayed vessel, connecting vessels, and cargo is taken into account. A simple prototype was developed by Brouer et al. (2013) showing that substantial savings can be achieved, but the prototype did not re-route the individual containers to their end destination.   

The assisted vessel recovery project is expected to provide a series of algorithms that within a geographically defined space and a given timeframe will be able to resolve the disruption by getting the vessels back on schedule and the cargo rerouted while minimizing the cost and customer impact. The concept is that all vessels within the geographical area can have their schedules altered as long as they are back on schedule by the end of the given timeframe. In addition, all cargoes need to have a confirmed plan for delivery to the final destination that to the largest extend possible adhere to the promise made to the customer initially.   

Responsibilities and tasks
The Postdoc project will consist of six work-packages as described below: 

  • WP1: Collecting test cases
  • WP2: Simple disruption management
  • WP3: Disruption management with re-routing of containers
  • WP4: Integration with Maersk Line system
  • WP5: Decision support system
  • WP6: Experiments

The work packages will involve modeling of the problems (e.g. as MIP models), implementation of algorithms in OPL/CPLEX/GAMS, testing on real-life data, and writing of research papers.

The applicant should have a PhD in Operations Research or Management Science. Extensive programming experience and good English skills are expected. It would be an advantage (but not a requirement) if the applicant also has some experience in network design and/or transportation problems.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor David Pisinger (DTU) and Karina Kjeldsen (Maersk Line).

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 2 years.   

Further information
For further information about the Postdoc project, please contact Professor David Pisinger at

Please submit your online application no later than 8 June 2017. Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include: 

  • A cover letter explaining the applicant’s motivation to apply for the research project. The cover letter should contain a short description of possible research ideas.
  • Curriculum vitae providing relevant academic, employment and personal details
  • Original course and grade list of master degrees and PhD courses
  • A copy of the PhD thesis uploaded as pdf-file, and published/submitted papers

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their PhD degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications are welcomed from all suitably qualified applicants regardless of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.