Operations Research

Initially, integer programming has been a major area of research. In particular, the development of cutting planes for mixed integer programming has had a significant influence in the development of the remarkably powerful mixed integer programming systems now available. In addition the area of production planning has benefited both theoretically and practically from research in this area.

The importance of structure in convex optimization, with the growing awareness of its applicability in both engineering, discrete optimization and other branches of mathematics, is another area in which work at CORE has played a major role. Recent work has shown that structure affects even fundamental methods such as Newton’s method, and basic nonlinear optimization can benefit significantly both theoretically and computationally from this new viewpoint.

The study of large energy investments, as well as of electricity transfers and markets, has been a major activity for over twenty five years, while the design and regulation of markets in Europe has become of particular importance in the last 5-10 years. The importance of these ties has been concretized in the creation of the Tractebel Chair at CORE and the creation of a major research group at ENGIE (previously Electrabel) employing numerous researchers who have obtained their UCL doctorates at CORE.

Current Research Areas

Energy Systems

The energy research group at CORE is focused on modeling and computational aspects of energy systems analysis. The energy research activities at CORE are driven by Profs. Papavasiliou, Agrell, Van Vyve, Glineur, Chevalier and Smeers. Energy research at CORE is supported by a number of industry, regulatory and academic entities, including the European Commission, the Belgian Regulatory Commission for Electricity and Gas, ENGIE, Electrabel, the Belgian Science Foundation (FNRS), and Innoviris.

Energy research activities within CORE are supported by an endowed chair on Energy Economics and Energy Risk Management, which is managed by Prof. Papavasiliou and sponsored by ENGIE, a French multinational energy firm. The research of the group is focused on electricity market design, optimal operations of power systems, energy risk management, renewable energy integration, demand response integration, and large-scale computing applications in energy systems analysis. A number of graduates from the energy research program hold executive positions in industry, regulatory entities and consulting firms.

The group boasts the spinoff of n-Side, a consulting firm the portfolio of which includes energy consulting activities, and has implemented EUPHEMIA, the market clearing algorithm for the Central Western European power exchange.