Jésica de Armas is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). 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 (26 JCR articles – 13 Q1, 42 Scopus documents) 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 two collaboration agreements with two 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. In fact, she has participated in the development of some of these proposals, such as the National Network of Excellence in Transport, Logistics, and Intelligent Production (Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness) or the Erasmus + Consortium of universities working in the field of logistics and the transport. Within the framework of these projects, she has also participated in the organization of conferences, such as the Metaheuristics International Conference 2017 (MIC 2017). Also, she has been advisor of several final degree projects, master’s degree projects, and two PhD thesis, all related to logistics and transport.
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».
Finally, thanks to her research over the years, she has gained recognition for a six-year research period. In addition to her participation in research, she has regional and national accreditations of Associate Professor and Contracted Doctor Professor (AQU and ANECA).