OPTEC encompasses researchers from five engineering departments: Chemical Engineering (CIT), Electrical Engineering (ESAT), Mechanical Engineering (MECH), Computer Science (CS), and Civil Engineering (BOKU). The involved groups closely cooperate in all optimization related research. In addition, a few individual OPTEC professors come from other departments as "peripheral partners".
OPTEC’s main decision body is the Steering Group (SG) that meets once every month for two hours and takes decisions on recruitment, long time guests, future directions, and internal and external workshops.
The SG consists of the coordinator (Prof. Jan Van Impe), the Principal Investigator (Prof. Moritz Diehl),
the Scientific Manager (Dr. Filip Logist) and co-investigators of each of the five participating departments. For matters related to OPTEC’s scientific strategy, the Working Group leaders are invited and they regularly attend the SG Meetings.
All co-investigators as well as the peripheral partners of OPTEC are OPTEC Members along with those of their post-docs and PhD students that work on OPTEC related research. Thus, OPTEC membership is for each researcher defined individually, but most OPTEC professors and post-docs are from the five member departments (ESAT, MECH, CS, CIT and BOKU), and all OPTEC PhD students have at least one OPTEC professor from the member departments as co-promotor. Each OPTEC member is also member in at least one of the six Working Groups.
The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB):
The activities of OPTEC are carefully monitored by the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which meets once every 1-2 years together with all OPTEC members for a full day. The SAB provides feedback and advice on scientific as well as organizational aspects, and helps building the national and international network on Optimization in Engineering.
The six SAB members are Julio Banga (Span. Council for Sc. Research, Vigo), Stephen Boyd (Stanford Univ.), Yurii Nesterov (UC Louvain), Ole Sigmund (DTU Copenhagen), Philippe Toint (FUNDP Namur), and Herman Van der Auweraer (LMS, Leuven).
The Principal Investigator (PI), the Scientific Manager (SM), and Central OPTEC Activities:
Upon agreement at the level of the SG, central OPTEC activities (e.g., the quarterly Simon Stevin lectures on Optimization in Engineering) are implemented by the Principal Investigator (Prof. Moritz Diehl) and his team in the Electrical Engineering Department.
Whenever needed, central OPTEC activities will be supported by a dedicated task force, consisting of the PI and individual OPTEC members. The management of the organizational scientific and reporting activities of OPTEC is implemented by the Scientific Manager (Dr. Filip Logist) and the team of the Coordinator (Prof. Jan Van Impe) in the chemical engineering department.
To ensure a basis for the scientific work, OPTEC provides to its members the basic facilities that are
necessary to perform the research in the six Working Groups:
- education on numerical optimization,
- organization of lectures and courses on state-of-the-art optimization methods and software,
- maintaining core facilities like a subversion server, web page and literature database, and
- development of and training in basic open-source optimization software.
Each of OPTEC's six Working Groups (WGs) consists of about 10-30 OPTEC members from at least three different departments and includes both developers and users of the specific methods. Each WG is responsible for organizing scientific events (e.g., OPTEC Topical Workshops and short courses), at least two times a year, which are open to all OPTEC members.
The OPTEC consortium announces most of its events to the outside world, and embeds several of its events into existing series. Such events typically attract both OPTEC members and other (inter)national researchers.
- OPTEC organizes each year four Simon Stevin lectures on Optimization in Engineering. This series is internationally already well-known and will continue to attract senior top researchers to Leuven, each time for several days, leading to important contacts and research ideas.
- Nearly every week, one of the six Working Groups of OPTEC invites a speaker to give a talk in the K.U. Leuven seminars on Optimization in Engineering, open not only to the WG members but to the whole of OPTEC and external partners.
- Irregularly, mid-sized conferences on Optimization in Engineering are organized by OPTEC.