June 09, 2017 | Zoetermeer (NL)

Challenge accepted: ORTEC inspires data scientists worldwide!

In today’s rapidly changing world our clients are facing complex and ambiguous challenges. Sometimes they are so challenging that even scientific literature cannot tell us how to approach them. Therefor we challenged world’s best universities to join the Vehicle Routing in Logistics Solver Challenge, the VeRoLog.

Vehicle routing with scarce, reusable equipment

This year’s challenge started during the VeRoLog meeting in Nantes in June 2016. World leaders in the field are inspired to find the best possible solution for the real-life routing problem where milk testing equipment has to be distributed optimally amongst farmers.

The main difficulty of this problem is that one needs to distribute equipment that is very expensive and (thus) scarce. However, this equipment may be reused, i.e., it may be picked up at one customer and delivered to the next. How to benefit most by finding and scheduling the optimal route to use and re-use this equipment?

Universities from all over the world have accepted the challenge and participate in the VeRoLog Solver Challenge with a team of experts, ranging from professors to students. All are competing for the honorable first place as well as the prizes that ORTEC is offering. Their algorithms will most certainly result in scientific publications, contributing to the academic field of vehicle routing. ORTEC is more than happy to host and organize this inspiring and successful competition. Here are some quotes of contestants:   

“The challenge has been a great and challenging experience”
– Lucia Paris 

“Without a doubt this is one of the best challenges I have ever participated in and a very interesting one. Thanks for organizing such a wonderful competition.”
– Ahmed Kheiri 

Team of experts selects finalists 

A team of experts in the field lead by Joaquim Gromicho (Scientific Officer at ORTEC & Professor of Applied Optimization in Operations Research) carefully evaluated all submissions. We are very proud to announce the three finalists:

  • Team ADDM: Alina-Gabriela Dragomir from the University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria and David Mueller from Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria. 
  • Team akhe: Ahmed Kheiri from Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom. 
  • Team mjg: Martin Josef Geiger from the University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg, Germany. 

The final winner will be announced on July 11th 2017! For more information on the competition and its participants, take a look at or contact Dr. Caroline Jagtenberg via