Graduation Project: Route Optimization in Timeslotting – ORTEC – Zoetermeer


Job description

The e-Grocery business, in which consumers shop for groceries online which will be delivered to their door, is growing rapidly. Efficiency in the delivery operations is of key importance here, so route optimization plays a large role in this business.

Since customer orders come in all the time, and the order booking system needs information on what delivery windows fit well with the planning for that day, the routing plan is optimized continuously on an order set that is maturing over time. At the start of the (continuous) optimization process, only a small set of (repeat) customer orders is known. Over time all other (ad hoc) orders come in, until either the routes for a certain day are filled or all demand for that day is satisfied.

Based on the ordering process above, during continuous optimization the certainty of the data gradually increases. This poses the question whether optimization should function the same in all phases of the process. While in the end the routing efficiency is key, early on when only limited data is known the value of an efficient plan is unclear.

Research questions:

  • Which ways are there to continuously optimize a gradually maturing dataset?
  • Is there an added value in using forecasted demand versus only using the known orders?
  • Are the objectives of the optimization the same in all phases of the process?
  • What is the value (or cost) of an efficient plan early in the process?
  • Who you are

  • You are in your last year of your Masters in the field of computer science, operations research, mathematics, or other similar areas.
  • You have experience with traditional operations research methods such as metaheuristics/local search methods. Ideally, you have work/academic experience when you independently built working prototypes/proof of concepts.
  • You have good coding skills (preferably OOP) in at least one coding language.
  • 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. Young ORTEC, an association that organizes all kinds of activities for juniors, mediors, and graduate students at ORTEC, including Thursday afternoon drinks at our own bar “ORTap”. 
  • 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, first interview, and a second interview with a case. 

    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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