Karen Aardal

Title of Presentation: Using OR to improve Emergency Vehicle Planning and Performance


Delft University of Technology

October 2021


In life-threatening situations each second counts. It is therefore of utmost importance that emergency medical response vehicles are used efficiently. This involves determining ambulance location sites, and the number of vehicles that should be stationed at these sites, as well as using dispatch policies that keep sufficient coverage even when a subset of vehicles are dispatched to calls. In this talk we will review emergency medical response vehicle location models and dispatch algorithms with a focus on road ambulances and helicopters. The main body of the work presented here is an outcome of research projects involving university researchers in the Netherlands and Norway, and representatives from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation, and regional Health Trusts.


Karen Aardal’s research interests are integer and combinatorial optimization. She is also working on analysis of algorithms and applications in the area of health and logistics. Before becoming full professor at TU Delft she held positions at several Dutch universities and at CWI, and at the University of Essex, UK and GeorgiaTech, USA.

Karen was chair of the Mathematical Optimization Society (MOS) in the period July 2016–July 2019, and has previously been chair of the MOS Publications and Executive Committees. She has served three terms as a member of the board of INFORMS Computing Society. She was area editor Design and Analysis of Algorithms of INFORMS Journal on Computing in the period 2007–2018, and has served or is serving as associate editor of Mathematical Programming Series B, Networks, Operations Research Letters, and EURO Journal on Computational Optimization. She has co-edited the handbook on Discrete Optimization (Elsevier). She became INFORMS Fellow in 2019.