Optimal transportation of materials in industrial symbiosis

Semester project

Open position

Type: Semester Project (10 credits)

Period: Autumn 2017

Assistants: Ivan Kantor, Hür Bütün


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 optimisation which results in having scenarios in which production units exchange material over long distance. This project aims to include the transportation of materials in process integration. The development will be done on the tool of the IPESE group, Osmose.


The goal of this semester project is to include transportation superstructure to process integration in the context of industrial symbiosis. Transportation methods will be defined for different materials and units. The creation of the transportation superstructure will be modelled in mathematical formulas using mathematical programming. The cost of transportation will be added to the objective function of process integration. This way, selection of the optimal transportation method will be guaranteed


Building on what has already been done, your main task will be to:

  • Carrying out a thorough literature review on process integration and transportation optimisation
  • Based on the literature review, create the mathematical model of transportation optimisation
  • Integrate the method into Osmose
  • Test the method using industrial symbiosis case studies


Desired hard skills are:

  • Energy conversion systems knowledge (EPFL courses: Thermo I/II, Energy conversion, Advanced Energetics)
  • Programming skills: MATLAB, Lua or similar languages
  • Optimization (EPFL courses: Modelling and Optimization of Energy Systems or equivalent), knowledge of mathematical programming

Other soft skills which are highly appreciated:

  • Autonomy and self-organisation
  • Ability to communicate results
  • Good English writing skills

How to apply

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


As the IPESE research group is now located in Sion, students will need to commute. A travel expense compensation of 600 CHF will be given to students for semester projects. The days of presence in Sion will be agreed with the project supervisor.