I am Professor and Chair of Operational Research in the School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh. In addition, I am a fellow of EUROPT, the European Working Group on Continuous Optimization, and the Schöller Senior Fellow for 2020.
My research is concerned with using mathematical optimization to provide guaranteed optimal or near-optimal solutions for important classes of large-scale discrete nonlinear optimization problems arising in engineering applications.
In particular, mathematical optimization can help to improve the overall performance of the electric power system, which is of critical importance to our society. I am working to support the development of smart grids. A smart grid combines a traditional electrical power production, transmission, and distribution system with a two-way flow of information and energy between suppliers and consumers. This combination is expected to deliver energy savings, cost reductions, and increased reliability and security. However, it also brings new operational challenges. These include:
- how to use the existing network more efficiently?
- how to incorporate renewable energy such as wind and solar?
- how to store energy until it is needed?
- how to include customers as active participants in the grid operation?
Convex optimization is a way to obtain high-quality solutions to hard engineering optimization problems. My research in this area is primarily concerned with improving models and algorithms for the application of conic optimization to facility layout problems. Other applications include the balancing of hydraulic turbine runners, and fixed-outline floorplanning in electronic circuit design.
I am a member of the GERAD research center, a world-renowned inter-institutional centre. GERAD brings together researchers from four Montreal-based universities and supports the research of more than 300 graduate students, more than half of them doctoral students.