The winner of the 2019 EURO Doctoral Dissertation Award is:

Martina Fischetti

Mathematical programming models and algorithms for offshore wind park design

Wind power is a fast-evolving field that has attracted a lot of attention and investment in recent decades. Its development into a more mature and competitive market is making cost reduction and maximisation of power generation imperative already in the design phase of new wind farms. Lower costs and increased power generation can be achieved through the use of optimisation tools based on mathematical models. We have therefore introduced Operational Research (OR) methods to identify the optimal location of wind turbines in a given site in order to maximise performance and ultimately profits. In this doctoral dissertation, we developed a new wind farm layout optimiser in close cooperation between the Technical University of Denmark and Vattenfall BA Wind, a leader company in the energy business in North Europe. The position of each turbine in a wind farm and the routing and choice of cabling are extremely important and must be optimised to take into account such various factors as water depths, erosion zones, foundation costs, physical obstacles, cable loss and - most importantly - the wake effect, where one turbine casts a "wind shadow" on other turbines. All these factors can now be fully optimised and have a significant impact on the final layout and business case. The algorithms developed during the PhD are now fully deployed in the company and are used to design all Vattenfall’s offshore wind farms. Due to the promising results obtained in the thesis, a new department of Operation Research and advanced modeling was created in Vattenfall. One of the main contributions of the thesis was a mathematical formalization of the problem, and the development of new models in accordance with the practical needs from the company. The very inter-disciplinary design of offshore wind farm has been fully captured using mathematical models, incorporating the expertise of many different groups of practitioners, and tested on real-life data. The design of wind farms proved to be a very challenging optimization task, mainly due to the large size of practical instances, complex constraints and the stochasticity of the wind. The advanced mathematical models and algorithms designed for the problem has been published in 5 high-level OR journals, as well as 3 book chapters, and numerous conference proceedings. The project received a finalist position or first prize in 6 international awards, including the very prestigious Franz Edelman Award.


The EDDA jury 2019 consisted of Bernardo Almada-Lobo (chair), Hande Yaman, Yves Crama, Mikhail Y. Kovalyov and Ivana Ljubic.

The award was presented at the closing session of the EURO 2019 Conference in Dublin (Ireland).

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

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