Jésica de Armas is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). Currently, she is enjoying a Ramon y Cajal Fellowship of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. Before working at UPF, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), after completing other postdoctoral years at the University of La Laguna (ULL). In this last university she developed her studies in Computer Engineering (special award for the best academic record) and later her PhD in Computing in 2012 (Cum Laude) thanks to an FPU scholarship. She obtained the award for the best PhD thesis from the University of La Laguna and also by the Spanish Association of Artificial Intelligence (AEPIA).
Her research interests include Operations Research, Combinatorial Optimization, Metaheuristics, Machine Learning, Simulation, Vehicle Routing, Scheduling, Logistics, Production, Transportation, and Health Care Optimization. Much of her contributions as a researcher propose and apply novel techniques to solve realistic optimization problems. To improve and increase her skills and knowledge in this area, she has made stays with researchers and leading research groups in different international cities, such as Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Nottingham (United Kingdom), Cosenza (Italy), Boulder (USA), Hamburg (Germany), and Montreal (Canada).
As a result of her research, she has published a large number of articles in high impact factor journals and she has participated in a large number of relevant conferences in the field. One of her most cited works entitled «Variable Neighborhood Search for a Dynamic Rich Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows» allowed her to establish technology transfer with a company through the development of optimization algorithms. The integration of these algorithms in the framework of the company is still used as a key tool in the development of the business. Due to the importance and impact of optimizing the company’s procedures in their economy, nowadays she maintains several collaboration agreements with other companies.
On the other hand, throughout her research career, she has worked on several national and regional research projects in the different groups to which she had belonged, being the Principal Investigator of some of them. Within the framework of these projects, she has also participated in the organization of conferences, such as the International Conference on Computational Logistics 2022 (ICCL2022) and the Metaheuristics International Conference 2017 (MIC 2017). Also, she has been advisor of several final degree projects, master’s degree projects, and three PhD thesis, all related to logistics and transport.
She won the Azcárraga Award from the ENAIRE Foundation (Ministerio de Fomento) thanks to one of her works in the air transport sector «A multi-start randomized heuristic for real-life crew rostering problems in airlines with work-balancing goals».