MIT-Zaragoza Speaker Series: Sebastian Pokutta

  • January 28, 2009 - 16:00
  • ZLC, Lecture Room A1

Prof. Sebastian Pokutta
KDB Krall Demmel Baumgarten




“Computational Methods in Production Planning and Logistics”

The impact of modern computational methods from operations research, analytics, and computer algebra when solving supply chain management, logistics, and planning problems has been enormous. Many supply chains could hardly be operated without the support of sophisticated, computerized optimization and planning engines nowadays.

I would like to present two special production and planning problems which have been successfully solved with computational methods. The first one is a stowage optimization problem for inland vessels which has been tackled with integer programming. The challenge for the transportation of inland vessels on auxiliary routes comprises low bridge heights and reduced water depths. In order to ensure save passage of bridges of critical heights load masters are forced to load the vessels with a reduced number of containers in order to reduce the ship’s maximal height over waterline which effectively reduces the ship capacity. We present a solution to calculate optimal stowage plan that restores the ship’s full capacity. The second problem is a production problem from the oil industry that has been addressed with methods from computer algebra. The available data that describes the oil production process is noisy and of low quality. Nonetheless, understanding the subsurface fluid dynamics that guide the production process is essential for optimizing production and keeping the field in a healthy state. The presented solution concept starts solely from noisy measured data and returns a (polynomial) model that approximates the production process. The derived models can be used for monitoring and control purposes in a second step.


Sebastian Pokutta is currently holding the position of a senior associate with KDB Krall Demmel Baumgarten. The concentration of his research is combinatorial optimization, and in particular his research focuses on cutting plane methods and the application of operations research and optimization to real world problems. Examples of Sebastian Pokutta’s work include investigation of stowage optimization problems for inland vessels which aims at increasing stowage capacity and oil production problems which target the optimization of oil production.

Sebastian Pokutta received both his master’s degree and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. Subsequent to his graduate studies he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT Operations Research Center where the topic of his research was combinatorial optimization and especially cutting place procedures. Upon completion of his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT Sebastian Pokutta was appointed as an optimization specialist at ILOG where he worked on production planning and supply chain optimization within the steel industry, automotive industry, and energy industry. He also worked on applications of operations research in risk management and finance.


  • Start Date:January 28, 2009
  • Start Time:16:00
  • End Date:January 28, 2009
  • End Time:17:30
  • Location:ZLC, Lecture Room A1