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Personal profile


Sustainability-related optimisation problems are too complex to be solved without AI.

Research profile

Laurens Bliek is an Assistant Professor in the Information Systems group at the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His main research interest is in the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and optimisation, especially in optimising expensive cost functions using machine learning. Expensive cost functions often appear in optimisation problems that depend on computationally intensive simulators, digital twins, or other algorithms.
Laurens is interested in applying this research to all kinds of applications ranging from logistics to communications to healthcare, but mostly in sustainable applications such as public transport, electric vehicles or CO2 reduction. His research is published in journals such as IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems and Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence.


Laurens Bliek is co-promotor of:
- Ya Song
- Abdo Abouelrous

Academic background

Laurens Bliek obtained his MSc in Applied Mathematics in 2014, and his PhD in Systems & Control in 2019, both from Delft University of Technology. His PhD topic was on developing a learning-based automatic tuning algorithm for antenna control. Before joining TU/e in 2021, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Algorithmics group of Delft University of Technology.

Laurens Bliek has collaborated with several industrial partners such as LioniX and Dutch Railways (NS), and with organisations such as the European Supply Chain Forum (ESCF) and Logistics Community Brabant (LCB). He is a program committee member of AAAI and IJCAI, two major AI conferences, and serves as a reviewer for several AI journals and conferences. He is also part of the management team that leads the 12-PhD ‘AI Planner of the future’ program (funded by ESCF, LCB, and EAISI). Furthermore, he is part of two working groups on the intersection of AI and Sustainability, one at EAISI and one at the Dutch AI Coalition (NLAIC), and he regularly organises competitions on using AI for routing problems, such as the AI4TSP competition and the EURO Meets NeurIPS 2022 Vehicle Routing Competition.

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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