An operational research article wins a prestigious Spanish award
August 9, 2022
A team of 2 HEC Montréal faculty members and 2 former postdoctoral fellows at the School has won international recognition.
Gilbert Laporte, Marie-Ève Rancourt, Jessica Rodríguez-Pereira and Selene Silvestri received the SEIO-BBVA Prize for the best applied contribution in operational research, for their article on optimizing drinking water access in remote regions of Nepal.
This is one of the 5 prizes, worth 6,000 euros, presented jointly by SEIO, a Spanish scientific society, and the BBVA banking group foundation, to recognize the most innovative contributions in the fields of statistics and operational research.
Their article, Optimizing access to drinking water in remote areas. Application to Nepal was published in April 2022 in Computers & Operations Research.
The authors describe the design of a water distribution network, with an example of how it could be applied in Nepal. The goal of the system is to remedy drinking water supply problems caused by the earthquakes in 2015 in the Asian country. They identify two subproblems: locating water taps to ensure good coverage of the population, and connecting these water taps to water sources by means of a pipe distribution network. Both subproblems are subject to a variety of constraints, and are solved using several complex optimization methods.
The winning team
Gilbert Laporte is a Professor Emeritus at HEC Montréal, where he taught in the Department of Decision Sciences for 44 years. He is still active as a researcher and will mark his 50th career year in 2022.
Marie-Ève Rancourt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Logistics and Operations Management at HEC Montréal. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Humanitarian Supply Chain Analytics and is a member of the Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation (CIRRELT).
Jessica Rodríguez-Pereira was a postdoctoral fellow at HEC Montréal in 2018-2019. She is now completing a 2nd postdoctoral fellowship at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona
Selene Silvestri was also a postdoctoral fellow at HEC Montréal, between 2016 and 2019. She is now working in the private sector for FICO, an international analytics software company.