PhD defence of Remy Spliet on Friday 18 October 2013

On Friday 18 October 2013 Remy Spliet will defend his PhD thesis entitled 'Vehicle Routing with Uncertain Demand'. His supervisor is Professor Rommert Dekker (Erasmus School of Economics) and his co-supervisor is Dr. Adriana Gabor (Erasmus School of Economics). Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Professor Guy Desaulniers (Polythechnique Montréal), and Dr. Dennis Huisman and Professor Albert Wagelmans (both of Erasmus University Rotterdam).

Time and location

The PhD defence will take place in the Senate Hall of Erasmus University Rotterdam and will start at 13.30 hrs.

About the dissertation

Fixed schedules for the delivery of goods make planning easier for distribution centres, but can lead to delays in deliveries and erratic delivery times. In his dissertation entitled, Vehicle Routing with Uncertain Demand, Spliet explores various methods of incorporating uncertainty and demand fluctuation variables in vehicle routing models.

Having experienced the inconvenience of irregular delays at his own part-time job, Remy decided to apply his PhD research to the solution of the uncertainty issues related to delivery scheduling. His research tackles several scheduling problems including the cost of rerouting vehicles, the difficulty of planning time windows for uncertain demand quantities and the difficulty of assigning drivers to customers before demand is known.

By applying state-of-the-art vehicle routing mathematical programming, Spliet demonstrates how organisations can substantially decrease transportation costs. He argues that not only direct transport costs should be taken into account, though. Indirect transportation effects, such as the cost to customers of late deliveries should be factored in.

About Remy Spliet

Remy Spliet (Netherlands, 1986) received his bachelor's degree in Econometrie & Besliskunde (Econometrics and Management Science) in 2007 from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. In 2008, he received his master's degree in Econometrics & Management Science, the Operations Research and Quantitative Logistics programme, equally from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam with distinction. Following this, he started his PhD research at the Econometric Institute at the Rotterdam University in Rotterdam.

As a student, Remy worked as a non-traveling salesman at a local liquor store in his hometown IJsselstein. There, he underwent the hardships caused by deliveries arriving too late or too early. Quite often, he had to wait for a truck that arrived late, followed by working overtime to handle the late delivery. Also customers had to be disappointed when luxurious bottles of wine or whiskey were not delivered in time. Missed sales frustrated Remy, but not as much as being called in the morning, while still sleeping, to come to work because the truck had arrived early. He took it upon himself to do something about it. He devoted his studies for both his bachelor's as well as his master's thesis to planning methods to make trucks be on time. Eventually, he became a PhD student to take the design of delivery schedules to a higher level.

As a PhD student, Remy became passionate about combinatorial optimization, and in particular mathematical programming. His interests are in analysing different formulations, finding valid inequalities and accompanying separation algorithms, experimenting with different types of relaxations and designing algorithms to solve these, and of course implementing branch-and-bound procedures.

More information

Spliet’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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