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Personal profile

Research profile

David Lai is an Assistant Professor in the OPAC group (Operations, Planning, Accounting and Control) of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His research focuses on distribution logistics and network optimization. David Lai is specialized in formulating novel mathematical models for routing and scheduling problems, and exploiting model structures for inventing efficient exact and metaheuristic methods. This includes several world-recorded algorithms in speed and solution quality on various staff rostering and vehicle routing benchmark instances. His research is often motivated by real-world applications such as staff shift rostering, tram scheduling, distribution logistics, vehicle loading at ferries, inventory optimization for food supply chains, etc.

Academic background

David Lai has completed his Ph.D. in the Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Department at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2014. Before joining the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2020, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Supply Chain Analytics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Education and Teaching

David Lai is responsible for the Decision Making in Transport and Logistics course at Eindhoven University of Technology since 2020. At VU Amsterdam between 2014-2020, he was teaching in the Transport & Supply Chain master program in the following courses: decision making in supply chains, supply chain lab, distribution logistics & inter-organizational systems, and global supply chain management. When he was a Ph.D. graduate in Hong Kong between 2010-2014, he was teaching in the following courses: Logistics Management, Principles of Engineering Management, Applied Probability & Statistics, Engineering & Technology Management, and Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure


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