Integration of transport superstructure in an optimization platform

General information

Type: Semester project
Period: Autumn 2019
Project directors: Prof. François Maréchal (IPESE-EPFL)
Assistants: Ivan Kantor, Hür Bütün (IPESE-EPFL)
Related project: EPOS_H2020


Process integration using mixed integer linear programming techniques has proven to be an effective method in increasing energy and material efficiency in industrial plants. The method has also been applied to industrial symbiosis studies in which industrial plants in different locations exchange energy and material. However, the cost of transportation of material is either neglected or calculated subsequent to optimization, which results in having scenarios in which production units exchange material over long distances. Therefore, it is crucial to integrate transport superstructure in industrial efficiency optimization, especially when industrial symbiosis is considered. This way recovery of material within the production plant or within the closest distance possible is encouraged while solutions with high transportation cost are eliminated.

Project description

The project will be mostly focusing on integrating transport superstructure to the optimization platform developed at IPESE. Thus it is expected to be programming intensive. However, it will also require studying, understanding and potentially enhancement of a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) formulation which will be provided in the beginning of the project. The main objectives are listed below:

  • Understanding the concepts of optimization and how the superstructure will work
  • Learning the basics of AMPL language and how optimization problems are structured in this language
  • Reviewing the existing transport superstructure
  • Enhancing the transport superstructure formulation (if necessary)
  • Learning the basics of Lua language and the optimization platform used at IPESE (Osmose)
  • Integration of the transport superstructure in Osmose for easy modelling of industrial symbiosis with transport options
  • Building a case study for testing

Required skills

  • Good knowledge of a programming language (Matlab, Python, C etc.) and being enthusiastic to learn new ones
  • Basic knowledge of optimization
  • Ability to work autonomously

How to apply

If interested, please take contact with Hür Bütün and Ivan Kantor attaching your CV, Cover Letter and transcript of records (Bachelor’s and Master’s).

Practical information

The IPESE laboratory is located in the Sion EPFL campus. Travels from Lausanne to Sion are compensated by EPFL.