Planning and Optimisation

Planning & Optimisation

There are puzzles that we engage in for fun, such as Candy Crush. But there are also serious puzzles that we encounter in modern industry, including scheduling, intelligent control of technical systems such as power grids and biological data analysis. Invariably, puzzles have rules that define legitimate solutions and objectives that the solver tries to achieve.

Research in planning and optimisation aims to build systems that can generate solutions to these real-world puzzles—following the rules and achieving the best outcomes within given constraints. Planning is the branch of Artificial Intelligence that addresses automation of the reasoning required for formulating, implementing and revising plans of action. Optimisation is the science of making better use of limited resources, such as material, energy or time, and reducing waste.  

Explore our available student research projects below and if you’d like to discuss opportunities for collaboration or funding, please email us.

Student research projects

Research projects

Academic staff

Dr Zainul Abdin »

Lecturer and Grand Challenge Fellow

Dr. Pascal Bercher »


Dr Sid Chau »

Senior Lecturer

Dr Dan Gordon

Dr Dan Gordon »

Research Fellow

Dr Alban Grastien »

HMI Research Fellow

Dr Charles Gretton »

Senior Lecturer (Level C)

Dr Patrik Haslum »

Associate Professor

Marcus Hoerger »

Research Fellow

Dr. Jose Iria »

Research Fellow in Power System and Computer Science

Hanna's photo

Hanna Kurniawati »

ANU and CS Futures Fellow, Associate Professor

Bin Lu

Dr Bin Lu »

Research Fellow ACAP | Grand Challenge

Dr Chathurika Mediwaththe »

Research Fellow

Dr Elizabeth Ratnam »

FERL Fellow, Senior Lecturer

Paul Scott

Dr Paul Scott »

Research Fellow

Professor Iman Shames »


Professor Sylvie Thiebaux »

Professor, AAAI Fellow

Dr Felipe Trevizan »



Antonius Allard

Mr Tony Allard »


Ksenia Bestuzheva

Ms Ksenia Bestuzheva »

PhD student

Cody Christopher

Mr Cody Christopher »

PhD Candidate

Franc Ivankovic

Mr Franc Ivankovic »

PhD student

Wai Keung Mak

Mr Terrence Mak »

PhD student

Mr William Shen »

Honours Student

Mr Nan Wang »

PhD Candidate


Dr Jose M. Alvarez »

Honorary Lecturer

Dr Phil Kilby »

Honorary Associate Professor

Dr Menkes van den Briel »

Honorary Lecturer


Dr Ankur Sharma »


17 Jun 2016
Researchers from the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science have recently won both the Outstanding Paper and Outstanding Student Paper ...
Solar Panels
15 Apr 2016
The Australian National University (ANU) has won $4.7 million in new funding for renewable energy research, and more than any other university, in the latest round of...
Hassan Hijazi
15 Dec 2015
Dr Hassan Hijazi from the Research School of Computer Science has...

Mr Franc Ivankovic, Dr Patrik Haslum, Professor Sylvie Thiebaux

Outstanding Student Paper Award, ICAPS 2014

F. Ivankovic, P. Haslum, S. Thiébaux, V. Shivashankar, and D.S. Nau. Optimal Planning with Global Numerical State Constraints. 24th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS-14), AAAI Press, Portsmouth, NH (USA), June 2014. [pdf] © AAAI Press.

Dr Felipe Trevizan, Professor Sylvie Thiebaux, Dr Patrik Haslum

Outstanding Paper Award, ICAPS 2017

Dr Felipe Trevizan, Professor Sylvie Thiebaux

Outstanding Paper Award, ICAPS 2016

F. Trevizan, S. Thiébaux, P. Santana and Brian Williams. Heuristic Search in Dual Space for Constrained Stochastic Shortest Path Problems. 26th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS-16), AAAI Press, London (UK), June 2016. [pdf] © AAAI Press.  See news item


Dr Hassan Hijazi, Professor Sylvie Thiebaux

Distinguished Paper, PSCC 2014

H. Hijazi and S. Thiébaux. Optimal AC Distribution Systems Reconfiguration. 18th Power Systems Computation Conference (PSCC-14), IEEE, Wroclaw (Poland), August 2014. [pdf] © IEEE.

Dr Paul Scott, Professor Sylvie Thiebaux

Best Paper Award, ACM e-Energy 2015

P. Scott and S. Thiébaux. Distributed Multi-Period Optimal Power Flow for Demand Response in Microgrids. 6th International Conference on Future Energy Systems (ACM e-Energy-15) ACM, Bangalore (India), July 2015. [pdf] © ACM.


Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing