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Logistics Optimization Problems in Railyard Planning

Dr. Joseph Geunes
Professor & Associate Department Head
Texas A&M University
Friday, September 27, 2019
2:30-3:30pm   JDT 410


Major freight railroad operators in the United States own and maintain tens of thousands of miles of track and use thousands of locomotives to ship millions of tons of cargo each year.  Planning and executing these operations requires solving problems with an enormous number of possible solutions on a daily basis.  For many such problems, conceptualizing an appropriate mathematical model of the problem can be challenging.  This talk will discuss logistics problems that arise in railyards, which essentially serve as sorting facilities for incoming and departing trains.   We focus on problems associated with disassembling arriving trains, assembling departing trains, and the railcar movements required to efficiently accomplish these tasks.  In particular, we present models and solution approaches for repositioning subsets of railcars in order to minimize the total required travel distance or maximize the number of railcars that depart on-time.


Joseph Geunes is a Professor and Associate Department Head for External Education Programs in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and Operations Research from Penn State University, as well as an MBA from Penn State and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University. His research focuses on operations research applications in production planning, inventory control, and supply chain management. Professor Geunes has co-authored more than 65 peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals, and has authored one book on operations planning as well as a research monograph. In addition, he has co-edited four additional books in the areas of supply chain management and operations research. He serves as Deputy Editor of Omega: The International Journal of Management Science, Department Editor for IISE Transactions, Associate Editor of Springer Nature OR Forum, and as an editorial board member of the International Journal of Production Research.  In 2015 Professor Geunes was named a fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).