PMI-Belgium award for best thesis in Project Management

PMI-Belgium recognizes the importance of research (again!).

The student Pieter Leyman has received the PMI-Belgium prize for the best thesis on Project Management during the graduation ceremony for the Commercial Engineers (Handelsingenieurs) on 22/09/2012. The thesis was supervised by Prof. dr. Mario Vanhoucke from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( from the Ghent University.

In his thesis "A genetic algorithm for the multi-mode resource-constrained project scheduling problem with discounted cash flows", Pieter has developed a new algorithm for scheduling projects within limited availability of resources. Each project activity can use the resources in various ways (modes) under a predefined work content (man-hours). The objective is to maximize the net present value of the constructed schedule. 

It is not the first time that PMI-Belgium awards the research from Ghent University. Next to the yearly best thesis prize, a research collaboration fund has been given to Mario Vanhoucke which has led to the book Measuring Time.

Pieter will continue to work on this topic at the OR&S research group and will therefore contribute to the future development of OR-AS' software tool ProTrack.

Abstract of his thesis: In this paper, the multi-mode resource-constrained project scheduling problem with discounted cash flows is discussed. A random cash flow is associated with each activity. We propose a genetic algorithm to solve the problem with a schedule and improvement method which specifically take the activities’ cash flows into account. In general, our genetic algorithm is focused on reducing the probability of getting stuck in local optima. We test the input parameters of our methodology and compare our results with existing algorithms.