4. Research

Research Interests

Areas of research work:

  • Operations and production scheduling
  • Analysis and simulation of logistics and production systems
  • Collaboration in supply chain management & distribution logistics
  • Sustainability in logistics & supply chain management

Methodology and tools: Discrete-event simulation, mathematical programming, heuristics and meta-heuristics, hybrid simulation-optimization methods.

Click here to see a video (in Spanish) about evaluating Supply Chain Design under Sustainability Metrics – presentation at the Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain, in 2015.

Doctoral Students

Completed theses

  1. Mohamed MOUCHAWAH. “Outsourcing program management in the construction industry: scoped but unachieved outcomes- the client’s role”. Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), University of Liverpool, UK. Start date: November 2014. Submitted June 2017.
  2. Co-supervisor of Doctoral thesis of Carlos L. QUINTERO ARAÚJO. “Computer Based Methods for Horizontal Cooperation in Green Transportation and Logistics”. Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. (Supervisors: Dr. Angel Juan, Open University of Catalonia, Spain, and Prof. Dr. Javier Faulín, Public University of Navarre, Spain). Submitted June 2017.
  3. Clara Mabel SOLANO. “Multi-agent framework for adaptive distribution processes for customer-oriented supply chains”. PhD in Engineering (Logisics stream), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia. (co-supervisor Dr. Angela Carrillo, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia). Submitted June 2017.
  4. Ruth Johanna CARMARGO PÉREZ. “Multi-criteria location of multi-modal stations in integrated public passenger transportation systems”. PhD in Engineering (Logistics stream), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia. (co-supervisor Dr. Martha Carrillo, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia). Submitted. Awaiting reviewers repports.

In progress

  1. Eliana María GONZÁLEZ. “Optimization of internal logistics activities in flow shop production lines”. PhD in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia. Expected completion: 2018
  2. Vivian Katherine SUAREZ. “Logistics costs and their impact on international trade: Is transportation cost a barrier or a driver?”. PhD in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia. Expected completion: 2018
  3. Co-supervisor of Doctoral thesis of Carlos VEGA MEJÍA. “Optimization for the Sustainable Development of Supply Chains – A Study of Vehicle Loading and Routing Operations”. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. (Principal supervisor: Pr. Dr. Sardar M.N. Islam, Victoria University, Australia). Expected completion: 2018.

Supervision of Master students

  1. Margarita Quiroga. “Heuristic procedure for job scheduling at a picking station”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia (principal director: Elyn Solano). In progress.
  2. Edna Perez. “Simulation model of a coffee shop at a large cinema”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia. In progress.
  3. Juan José Rojas. “Solution to the storage location assignment problem: case study of a logistics service provider in the textile sector”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia (principal director: Elyn L. Solano). In progress.
  4. Efraín Ávila. “Optimization of simple collection routes for oil&gas in field “Quifa”, Meta, Colombia”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. (co-director: Andrés Muñoz). Defended: April 2017
  5. Henker Giovanny Olarte. “Route design for data collection for the measuring system of a petroleum company”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. (co-director: Andrés Muñoz Villamizar). Defended: November 2016
  6. Claudia Lilian Barriga. “Class scheduling and classroom assignment in a higher education institution”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: September 2016.
  7. Santiago Sánchez. “Production scheduling with social responsibility indicators”. Master in Operations Management (research thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: September 2016. – highest honors.
  8. Carlos A. Moreno C. “Workforce scheduling with dynamic productivity”. Master in Operations Management (research thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: January 2016 (co-director: Mario C. Vélez, Universidad EAFIT, Medellín). – highest honors.
  9. Juan David Carrillo. “Economic lot-sizing for a mass production line”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: August 2015 (primary supervisor: Carlos A. Vega).
  10. María Alejandra Camacho. “A collaborative supply chain model for the agroindustrial sector”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: April 2015. – highest honors.
  11. Andrea Valderrama Talero. “Simulation model for internal bus routes for an airport line.” Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended; December 2013.
  12. Nilson Sebastián Herazo Padilla. “Resolution of stochastic location-routing problems”. Master in Operations Management (research thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: December 2013. – highest honors.
  13. Andrés Felipe Muñoz Villamizar. “Solving the location and assignment problems of urban distribution centers”. Master in Operations Management (research thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: November 2013. – highest honors
  14. Yueh-Chen Wang. “The impact of knowledge management, purchasing capability, and purchasing strategies on purchasing performance – An empirical study of electronic industry and supply chain in Taiwan”. Master in Business Administration. Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, UK. Defended: Septembre 2013.
  15. Mario Andrés Vargas Casas. “Transportation model to optimize the distribution of pharmaceutical products”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: Augusto 2013 – highest honors
  16. Vanessa Castaño Bañol. “Evaluation of drivers’ relative efficiencies od a BRT system”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: July 2013. – highest honors
  17. Camilo Torres Ovalle. “Classroom assignment and scheduling at Universidad de La Sabana”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: February 2013. – highest honors
  18. Jorge Enrique Jaimes Jaimes. “Development of a transactional model for client service at a bank”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: January 2013.
  19. Mercedes Consuelo Durán Cantor. “Memetic algorithm for the resource constrained project scheduling problem with cost minimization”. Master in Process Management and Design, Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia. Defended: December 2012. (co-directors: Elyn L. Solano Charris and Edgar H. Alfonso Lizarazo)
  20. Fabricio Andrés Niebles Atencio. “Applying Ant Colony Optimization metaheuristic for multi-objective the hybrid flow shop scheduling problem”. Master in Operations Management (research thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: September 2012. (principal director: Elyn L. Solano Charris)
  21. Hernán Perez Arroyave. “Aligning the supply chain with the corporate strategy”. Master in Operations Management (professional thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: April 2012.
  22. Helga Johana Hernández Hernández. “Genetic algorithm for closed-loop supply chains”. Master in Operations Management (research thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: March 2012.
  23. Diego Armando Ortiz Vargas. “Production scheduling in collaborative supply chains”. Master in Operations Management (research thesis). Universidad de La Sabana, Chía Colombia. Defended: February 2012.
  24. Alejandro Salamando Ramírez. “Routing model for suspension and connection teams of an energy company in Bogota”. Master in Process Management and Design, Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia. Defended: September 2011. (co-director: Elyn L. Solano Charris)
  25. Luis Francisco López Castro. “Hybrid genetic algorithm to solve the vehicle routing problem with fuzzy time windows”. Master in Process Management and Design, Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia. Defended: November 2010.
  26. Carlos Alberto Salazar García. “Heuristic algorithm for the resource constrained multiple projects scheduling problem with activity preemption (PRCMPSP)”. Master in Process Management and Design, Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia. Defended: August 2009. (co-director: Edgar H. Alfonso Lizarazo)
  27. Supervision of the research work of Carolina Pirachican as Young Researcher supported by Colciencias (Colombian Department of Science and Technology). “Reverse logistics practices in Colombian enterprises”. 2009 to 2010
  28. Supervision since 2006 of more than 20 undergraduate research-oriented projects.

Research Opportunities

Students who are required to undertake part of their studies overseas to complete the postgraduate degree (MSc or PhD), please contact me for information about possible research collaboration, the research infrastructure available for visiting students, and how to proceed in that situation.

Various types of research projects are available. Some are management-oriented while others are highly ‘hands-on’ research. In this last case, students should have good Computer Science skills and good Mathematics background. Click here to read more about current opportunities (in Spanish only).

If you are interested, send me your detailed curriculum vitae and a motivation letter.

Data sets

Click here to access some data sets employed for computational experiments in some of my papers.

Editorial board member

Editorial Board member of:

Grants awarded / Participation in research projects

  • January 2015 – December 2018: “Ibero-American network on Intelligent Logistics for sustainable transport management in urban areas (Smart Logistics@IB)”. An Ibero-American Research Network supported by the Ibero-American Program for Science and Technology (CYTED). Researcher (leader of the Colombian node). Amount granted: about 33.000 euros for each year.
  • October 2013 – May 2016: “ANNONA: Aide à la décision pour le développement de schémas logistiques urbains durables (Decision making for designing sustainable urban logistics solutions)”. Programme « Villes et bâtiments durables – édition 2013 ». Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), Francia. Amount granted: Euros 552 459,25. Partners: Ecole des mines de Saint-Etienne, Francia (coordinator), Laboratoire d’Economie des transports (UMR CNRS 5593) Francia, Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l’Etat (ENTPE), Francia, Operations & Supply Chain Management Research Group at Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia.
  • March 2013 – October 2013: “DISRUPT: Quantitative modelling of sustainable supply chains under major disruptions”. International incoming researcher. Partner: Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, United Kingdom. Approved for the call for projects People Marie Curie Actions FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IIF of the Seven Framework Program (7FP) of the European Union. Proposal ID: 299255. Amount granted: Euros 278807,40.
  • Jan. 2011 – Dec. 2015: “HAROSA@IB: Red Iberoamericana de Algoritmos, Software Libre y Computación Distribuida para la resolución de problemas de Routing, Scheduling y Disponibilidad de Sistemas”. CYTED2010. Researcher. Subvention granted (first year): 32.992 euros
  • Sept. 2009 – Aug. 2012: “Hybrid Algorithms for solving Realisic rOuting, Scheduling and Availability problems (HAROSA)” – A knowledge community for doing distributed and collaborative e-researching. Researcher. Supported by the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3). Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. Total: aprox. 500.000 euros per year; subvention: 90.000 euros. More information.
  • Feb. 2009 – Feb. 2010: “Conceptual framework of reverse logistics practices in Colombian enterprises”. Principal researcher. Supported by Colombian National Science Fundation (COLCIENCIAS) under Young Researcher Grant number 120-2008. Young researcher: Carolina Pirachican. US$8.000 for 12 months.
  • Sept. 2008 – Aug. 2010: “Analogies between algorithms for solving Resource Constrained Project Scheduling, Machine Scheduling, and Combinatorial Optimization problems”. Principal researcher. Supported by Research Funds from Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia under contract CEA-24-2008. US$70.000 for 24 months.
  • Sept. 2007 – March 2008: “Modeling of vehicle positioning problems”. Principal researcher. Supported by Research Funds from Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia under contract CEA-18-2007. US$15.000 for 6 months.
  • Feb. 2003 – Nov. 2005: “Rousset 2003-2008: Automated transport in semiconductor manufacturing”. Researcher. Supported by the French Association of Technological Research (ANRT), Communaute du Pays d’Aix, Conseil General des Bouches-du-Rhone and Conseil Regional Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur (PACA), France. Industrial partner: STMicroelectronics, Rousset, France.
  • 2001 – 2002: “On the impact of future information in on-line scheduling”. Researcher. Laboratoire GILCO, INPG, France.

International and National Collaborations

  • Massachusetts Insitute of Technology, Center for Transportation and Logistics, Cambridge, USA. Contact: Dr. Edgar Blanco.
  • Public University of Navarre, Department of Operations Research and Statistics, Pamplona, Spain. Contact: Prof. Dr. Javier Faulin.
  • Open University of Catalonia, Spain. Contact: Dr. Angel A. Juan.
  • Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, San Nicolás de los Garza, México. Contact: Dr. Azucena García.
  • Ecole des mines de Saint-Etienne, campus Georges Charpak, Gardanne, France. Microelectronics Division of Provence. Contacts: Prof. Dr. Stephane Dauzere-Peres (Head of Department) and Dr. Claude Yugma (Research Scientist).
  • Institut National des Sciences Appliquees (INSA) de Lyon, France. Department of Industrial Engineering. Contact: Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Campagne (former Head of Department).
  • University of Guadalajara, Mexico. Department of Industrial Engineering. Contact: Prof. Dr. Alejandra Gomez.
  • Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia. Department of Industrial Engineering. Contact: Prof. Dr. Carlos Paternina (former Head of Department).
  • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia. Department of Industrial Engineering (formerly Department of Productive Processes). Contact: Prof. Jorge A. Alvarado.
  • Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia. Research group on Logistics Systems, Faculty of Engineering. Contacts: Prof. Edgar Alfonso.
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