Smart Waste Collection

Call for Expression of Interest 1 PhD Position in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Models and algorithms for the intelligent management of waste collection through fleets of electric vehicles University of Udine, Italy

The PhD Program in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Udine (UniUD) is inviting expressions of interest for a PhD studentship fully funded by the PON Ricerca e Innovazione from the Italian Ministry of Research.

The PhD studenship offers an exciting opportunity of exploring novel optimization methods at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Operations Research for real world problems arising in the context of smart cities and green logistics.

Project Title: Models and algorithms for the intelligent management of waste collection through fleets of electric vehicles

Project summary:

Due to the increase in waste production and its impact both from an economic and ecological point of view, the efficiency in the collection of municipal and special waste is one of the crucial aspects in the transition toward the so-called smart green cities. The recent availability of electric vehicles and information coming from IoT devices can reduce the ecological impact of collection operations, but it also poses new challenges in modelling and solving the optimization problems arising from their efficient operations with the aim of generate intelligent collection plans. The project will investigate novel models, algorithms, and optimization solutions to design waste collection plans with electrical vehicle fleets. The research will be carried out in collaboration with AcegasApsAmga S.p.A., a primary regional multi-utility company based in Trieste.

Supervisory Team:

Principal advisor: Professor Luca Di Gaspero (, who works in Intelligent Optimization methods at the interface between Artificial Intelligence and Operations Research.

The PhD student will become part of the team of the new laboratory of Intelligent Optimization at UniUD that comprises other leading scientists in the optimization field such as professor Andrea Schaerf ( and Sara Ceschia (


We are looking for talented and highly motivated early carreer researchers with a relevant Master’s qualification in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Data Science, Statistics, or any areas related. The candidate should have an interest in working on real-world problems and have analytical skills. Strong programming skills are highly desirable. Some knowledge of non-deterministic optimization algorithms, in particular local-search techniques, is also highly desirable, though not essential.

Project management:

The student will be based at the University of Udine but he/she will spend some time periodically at AcegasApsAmga (AAA) in Trieste working with the AAA team for the analysis of the waste collection organization and procedures and for building the needed datasets. The student will also spend 6 months in a primary international research center in computational logistics (multiple options in EU, USA and Australia are available).

The studentship will be of 36 months duration, starting before December 2021. The studentship is fully funded and includes tuition fees as well as a approximately € 13,600/year bursary (after taxes).

Application / Enquiry:

The formal call for the studenship will be released by mid October 2021, however those who are interested in the position could informally contact Professor Luca Di Gaspero ( for discussing details about the project or the admission process.

The admission process will tentatively take place by mid November 2021.

International students:

Application will be open to EU and international applicants. Notice that students from the EU / EEA and Switzerland don’t need a student visa to study in Italy but just a valid proof of identity (passport or national identity card), whereas students from other countries will need a student visa to study in Italy that can be issued from Italian Embassies or Consulates.

Further information:

The University of Udine is a leading teaching and research university in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence fields in Italy. The Intelligent Optimization Systems Lab is a partner of the TAILOR network of research excellence centers and of the CLAIRE initiative.

Udine is a mid-sized town (about 100.000 inhabitants) in North-Eastern Italy which is located in the middle of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, between the Adriatic Sea (35Km) and the Alps (20Km), on the border with Austria (90Km) and Slovenia (20Km), and not far from Venice (120Km).  The nearness to the border gives to the city a mix of Germanic and Slavic influences. The city enjoys a high quality of life, in terms of low cost of living, very low pollution, high safety and high level healthcare.

Luca Di Gaspero, PhD Associate Professor of Information Technology DPIA, University of Udine, Italy Phone: +39 0432 55 8242, Web:

Luca Di Gaspero
Luca Di Gaspero
Associate Professor of Information Technology

Interested in devising intelligent optimization methods for real-world problems.