CN Chair

The research activities of this chair is mainly funded by the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) through the CN Chair on Intermodal Transportation (2013-2017) and the CN Chair on Optimization of Railway Operations (2017-2022). Additional support comes from the NSERC Discovery grant and Collaborative Research and Development grant programs as well as Mitacs.

See the "Media" page for YouTube clips of presentations on certain projects.

High-level overview of the research program

• Rail transport is currently the most environmentally friendly long-distance ground transportation mode.

• Our focus: optimization of railway operations to make them more efficient and cost effective.

• We solve interrelated decision-making problems where we link tactical and operational problems as well as planning at the network and terminal levels. For this purpose, we design novel methodologies at the intersection between statistical learning and operations research.

• The figure gives an overview of topics that we tackle as part of the research program as well as related working papers and publications.

Bruno Bruck, Jean-François Cordeau and Emma Frejinger, Integrated Inbound Train Split and Load Planning in an Intermodal Railway Terminal, Transportation Research Part B, 145: 270-289, 2021. 10.1016/j.trb.2021.01.006  

Michael Hewitt and Emma Frejinger, Data-driven Optimization Model Customization, European Journal on Operations Research, 287(2): 438-451, 2020. 10.1016/j.ejor.2020.05.010


Eric Larsen, Sébastien Lachapelle, Yoshua Bengio, Emma Frejinger, Simon Lacoste-Julien and Andrea Lodi, Predicting Tactical Solutions to Operational Planning Problems Under Imperfect Information, accepted for publication in INFORMS Journal on Computing on February 10, 2021.


Pedro Miranda, Jean-François Cordeau and Emma Frejinger, A Time-Space Formulation for the Locomotive Routing Problem at the Canadian National Railways, submitted to Computer and Operations Research, December 2, 2020. 

Camilo Ortiz-Astorquiza, Jean-François Cordeau and Emma Frejinger, The Locomotive Assignment Problem with Distributed Power at the Canadian National Railway Company, accepted for publication in Transportation Science on October 14, 2020. 

Moritz Ruf, Jean-François Cordeau and Emma FrejingerThe Load Planning and Sequencing Problem for Double-Stack Intermodal Trains, revised version submitted to European Journal on Operations Research on November 25, 2020. 


Scientific Committee

The scientific committee plays an advisory role for the Chair and holds at least one meeting per year.

Emma Frejinger

Associate Professor, Chairholder
Department of Computer Science and Operations Research (DIRO)

Université de Montréal

Jean-François Cordeau

Full Professor
Department of Logistics and Operations Management
HEC Montréal

Louis-Martin Rousseau

Full Professor
Department of Mathematical and Industrial Engineering
École Polytechnique Montréal


Management Committee

The committee plays an advisory role for the Chair and meets once per year.

Frédéric Bouchard

Full Professor
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Université de Montréal

Rachel Charbonneau

Director, contracts and partnerships
Bureau Recherche-Développement-Valorisation (BRDV)
Université de Montréal

Emma Frejinger

Associate Professor, Chairholder
Université de Montréal

Helen Glover

Expert R&D
Canadian National Railway Company

Pierre Poulin

Full Professor, Director of the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research (DIRO)
Université de Montréal

@2020 Emma Frejinger