Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Optimisation

Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Optimisation

Interim Director of CLHO | Dr Ramin Raeesi

The Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Optimisation (CLHO) is a leading research centre which aims to address a wide range of transport, logistics, and supply chain problems with sustainability considerations. The centre has a world-class research portfolio in management science and operational research and works closely with key academic and industrial partners on various interdisciplinary research projects backing the UK’s ambitions for leading a net-zero emissions future.

World class research on logistics and sustainability analytics

The work of our world-leading experts at the CLHO focuses on the application of mathematical modelling and optimisation, simulation and data analytics on a wide range of transport and logistics problems with a particular focus on the sustainability of operations. We regularly collaborate with industrial partners to improve their operations through advanced computational models and help them to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to overcome their complex operational problems. 

The CLHO is also a UK leading research centre in supporting the UK’s move towards net-zero emissions by leading ground-breaking research projects on the decarbonisation of the road and maritime transport sectors. Our interdisciplinary research, in collaboration with our academic and business partners, is missioned to accelerate the adoption of clean fuel options such as hydrogen and electricity by the transport sector through the development of innovative and sustainable solutions.  

Our researchers also collaborate closely with the 3i Network, particularly on the theme “Marine and Maritime Challenges”. The Interregional Internationalisation Initiative University Network (3i Network) is a collaboration founded by Universiteit Gent, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the University of Kent and the Université de Lille. The main goal of the network is to bring together universities, regional governments and the private sector/civil society to work on challenges common to Flanders, Kent and the Hauts-de-France. 

World-leading experts

Researchers from the Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Optimisation regularly collaborate with industry partners to improve their operations through the use of advanced computational models.

The aims of the Centre for Logistics and Heuristics Optimisation are:

  • To concentrate on new applied research developments in the area of logistics using heuristic search and practical optimisation at Kent Business School. This tackles real-life problems arising both in the public and the private sectors. Applications of the research include scheduling and routing, production, facility location or network security enhancement. Other areas such as data mining and aspects of health management and medicine, finance and the environment are also being pursued.
  • To be at the forefront of theoretical research in the general areas of heuristic search: design of new facets within heuristics, construct efficient data structures and appropriate neighbourhoods, deal with robust optimisation, use of information, combine exact and heuristics, analysis of heuristics, among others.
  • To act as a focal point to attract visiting scholars, research fellowships, PhD and MSc by research in the areas of heuristics and practical optimisation for combinatorial and global optimisation with special emphasis in logistics research.
  • To assist companies in tackling complex strategic, tactical and operational problems that require modelling and expertise in quantitative techniques such as optimisation in general and heuristics in particular, especially in the area of logistics.

Heuristic search is a research area in optimisation incorporating computational skills, mathematical and statistical logic and above all a good insight of the problems at hand. New developments include hybridisation and deep learning, some refer to these as AI. Such approaches are now commonly adopted not only in business management but also in engineering, health, finance and environmental management. The goal is to design intelligent optimisation /scheduling tools  to find optimal or near-optimal solutions within a reasonable amount of computing time.