Multi-vehicle routing problem in dynamic environments

3 minute read

Picture of mining truck

The project will develop an integrated multi-vehicle routing and trajectory planning method for environments that change based on the operations of the vehicles. This is particularly relevant for mining applications, where new routes open up as parts of the mine are dug out, or some routes become blocked due to the pile of excess material produced by drilling vehicles. Other applications including inspection of complex structures and routing for crop harvesting have a similar problem structure.

Project goals

The project aims to:

  1. to investigate hybrid optimization methods in operational research to address the unconventional routing problem in a general way; and
  1. extend the state-of-the-art by establishing a novel formalization of a dynamic routing problem where both extension and contraction of the routes are possible.

More importantly, it will be an important step in increasing the level of automation obtainable for robots operating in harsh environments, in which human workers are exposed to hazardous conditions.

Supervision team

*Click on the researcher's name above to learn more about their publication and grant successes.

Who we are looking for

We are seeking a PhD candidate with the following skills:

  • First-class or good upper second in Computer Science or closely related field.
  • A strong background in mathematics and high proficiency in programming, e.g., Python, C++ or Java. An MSc project in AI planning and search, multi-agent decision making, combinatorial optimization or constraint-based programming related areas would be beneficial but not essential.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Demonstrated time and project management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to write research reports or other publications to a publishable standard (even if not published to date)
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated organisational skills, time management and ability to work to priorities.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving abilities.

Further details

  • The PhD candidate will benefit from the combined expertise of the project supervisors, and the embedding into two research environments.
  • This PhD project will be based at the University of Melbourne with a minimum 12-month stay at the University of Birmingham.
  • The candidate will be enrolled in the PhD program at the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne and in the PhD program at the Intelligent Robotics Lab at the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham.


To apply for this joint PhD opportunity, and to view the entry requirements, visit How to apply.

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