PhD defence of Mathijn Retel Helmrich on Thursday 3 October 2013

On Thursday 3 October 2013 Mathijn Retel Helmrich will defend his PhD thesis entitled 'Green Lot-Sizing'. His supervisor is Albert Wagelmans, Professor of Econometrics at Erasmus University Rotterdam and his co-supervisors are Wilco van den Heuvel, Associate Professor at Erasmus University, and Raf Jans, Associate Professor at HEC Montreal. Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Professor Stephane Dauzere-Peres of the Ecole National des Mines de Saint Etienne, and Professor Rommert Dekker and Professor Steef van de Velde of Erasmus University.

Time and location

The PhD defence will take place in the Senate Hall of Erasmus University Rotterdam and will start at 15.30 hrs.

About the dissertation

The PhD dissertation Green Lot-Sizing by Mathijn Retel Helmrich approaches the problem of factoring in expensive environmental concerns in production planning mathematically.

When manufacturers make production and inventory decisions, minimising costs is often the most important, or even the only consideration. Taking the effects on the environment into account is usually not only expensive, but also makes the decisions much more complicated. The mathematical insights in this dissertation can help manufacturers to reduce their environmental impact, and do so in the most cost-effective way.

Retel Helmrich’s calculations show how manufacturers could make production greener by incorporating the remanufacturing of used products in production decisions, imposing a maximum on the emissions of pollutants (such as carbon dioxide) during production and avoiding frequent shipments by almost empty vehicles.

The new directions that Mathijn takes the classical lot-sizing model in will be interesting for manufacturers, but importantly also for providers of Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP), a part of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). His work allows ERP providers to offer manufacturers products that can accommodate their environmental policy cost-effectively.

About Mathijn Retel Helmrich

Mathijn J. Retel Helmrich (1984) received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Erasmus University Rotterdam, in Econometrics and Management Science, with a specialisation in quantitative logistics and operational research. In 2007, he started his Ph.D. research at the Econometric Institute at Erasmus University Rotterdam on the NWO-funded project ‘Models and solution approaches for complex production planning and scheduling problems’. He visited HEC Montréal from May to July 2009.

His main research interest is operational research, in particular problems related to reverse logistics and sustainable operations, such as optimisation methods for production planning with environmental considerations, and product reuse in innovative environments. He has presented his work at various conferences, such as EURO in Lisbon, and the International Workshops on Lot-Sizing in Gardanne, Istanbul and Rotterdam. A paper on which the second chapter of his dissertation is based, has been accepted for publication in IIE Transactions. A paper on which the third chapter is based, is currently under review at the European Journal of Operational Research. He has also conducted research on optimisation in public transport, which has been published in Transportation Research Part B: Methodological.

Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Montréal.

More information

Retel Helmrich’s PhD research project is conducted within the Erasmus Doctoral Programme in Business & Management, organised by Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), the joint research institute of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

For more information about this ceremony, please contact Ronald de Groot, Communication Officer of the Erasmus School of Economics phone +31 10 408 1762 or by e-mail:

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