Graduation Project: Comparing the performance of the state-of-the art algorithms for the nurse rostering problem – ORTEC – Zoetermeer


Job description

ORTEC leverages data and mathematics to create value for businesses and society at large. They develop a leading employee rostering solution for various industries. The optimization module creates schedules for employees such that hard constraints (e.g., labor rules) are not violated and soft constraints (e.g., preferences of employees and planners) are respected as much as possible.

The aim of this work is to evaluate the performance of the current optimizer and to look for possible improvements.

In a first step, the performance of our optimizer is compared to the state-of-the-art algorithms from literature using data sets from our clients. As a thesis student, you will study the most recent scientific literature on nurse scheduling algorithms. In most of the studies, benchmark instances are used. However, at ORTEC, we have found that our customers’ scheduling problems are a lot more complex than these benchmarks. For example, in healthcare, we must deal with many part-time employees and many scheduling preferences.

Afterwards, based on literature, your creativity and brainstorm sessions, you will design a new solution approach to the scheduling problem. You will implement this new approach in your preferred programming language (e.g. C# or Python) and this approach will be evaluated using our customer’s data. 

Who you are

  • You are in your last year of your Master’s in the field of computer science, software engineering, operations research, or other similar areas.
  • You are familiar with the concept of heuristics.
  • You have programming experience (e.g. working with C#, Python or Java) and/or are willing to learn quickly. Preferably, you have work/academic experience where you independently build working prototypes/proof of concepts.
  • You can communicate fluently in English or Dutch, verbally and in writing.
  • You are able to travel to the Zoetermeer office of ORTEC for a few days a week. Hybrid working is possible.
  • You are available for 32-40 hours a week.
  • You are available for a minimum of six months.
  • You live in the Netherlands and study at a Dutch University.
  • What we offer

  • Entrance to the most passionate powerhouse in applied mathematics. We share a drive to use our problem-solving skills to improve our planet, from the world at large to our own backyard.
  • Inclusion in a company founded by graduate students back in 1981, which today still fosters its students by:
  • Excellent supervision during your graduation project.
  • Good internship allowance, laptop, and other office facilities.
  • An open, kind, and fun culture.
  • The Student Pool, a group that organizes all kinds of activities for graduate students at ORTEC, including Thursday afternoon drinks at our own bar “ORTap” (government regulations permitting).
  • The next steps:

    Did we peak your interest? Then upload your  CV, motivation letter and grade lists  (BSc and MSc in one PDF if applicable). The recruitment process will consist of two online assessments: a personality and intelligence test, and an interview. 

    What to expect

    We will help you to thrive in your field of expertise. We offer development programs, tailored to your individual needs and function requirements, including opportunities to attend courses and seminars. We offer challenging, practical hands-on experience with opportunities to work abroad. We operate in a flat organizational structure that keeps communication lines short. The atmosphere is open, informal, cooperative and positive.

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