Computer ScienceUoN-logoCOL logo
School of Computer Science
 Intelligent Decision Support: Optimisation and Learning

University of Nottingham,
School of Computer Science
Jubilee Campus, Room C86
ender.ozcan ATT nottingham dot ac dot uk
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I am a Professor of Computer Science and Operational Research with the Computational Optimisation and Learning (COL) Lab (formerly known as ASAP research group), investigating the interaction between data science (DS) and optimization (O), and carrying out multi-disciplinary research with impact in mind into intelligent systems that can automatically aid the design and implementation of more efficient, effective, reusable, easier-to-implement/deploy/use general computational search methods that are applicable to a range of real-world problems.

My research interests and activities lie at the interface of Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Operational Research:
  • Intelligent decision support systems, data science, search and optimization (combinatorial optimisation, constraint optimisation, multi-modal optimisation and multi-objective optimisation) using heuristics, local search, hyper-heuristics, meta-heuristics (in particular memetic algorithms, particle swarm optimisation), hybrid approaches and their theoretical foundations.

  • Modelling of and applications to the real world and theoretical problems (course timetabling, exam timetabling, presentation (jury) timetabling, room arrangement, employee scheduling, stock cutting, strip packing, SAT, 0-1 multiple knapsack problem, TSP) that are at the intersection of computer science and operational research, including grouping (data clustering, graph colouring and bin packing) problems.
I have minor interest in computational geometry, pattern recognition, image processing, intelligent user-interfaces, natural language processing and game playing.


I have been involved in a variety of multi-disciplinary projects as a PI and co-I supported by various funding bodies and industrial partners worth more than £14.3M as listed below.

Grants by Source

  • Project Title: AI Synthesis of Structures for Additive Manufacturing
    Project Team: Ian Maskery, Ender Özcan
    Start-End Date: 2023-2025
    Supported by EPSRC grant EP/X016854/1 [£202,419]

  • Project Title: EPSRC CDT in Sustainable Chemistry: Atoms-2-Products an Integrated Approach to Sustainable Chemistry
    Project Team: Peter Licence, Hon Lam, Francesca Paradisi, Edward Lester, Ricky Wildman, Tim Foster, Simon Woodward, Ender Ozcan, Simon Mosey
    Start-End Date: 01/10/2019- 31/03/2028
    Project Partners: Added Scientific Ltd, Arcinova, AstraZeneca UK Limited, BEACON Bioeconomy Research Centre, Britest Limited Bruker, CatScI Ltd, Coal Authority, Coventive Composites, Croda (Group), Enlumo Ltd, European Thermodynamics Ltd, eventMAP Ltd, Friedrich-Alexander Uni of Erlangen FAU, GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), IUPAC, James I University (Jaume I), Key Organics Ltd, Lubrizol Ltd, McGill University, Pontifical Cath Uni of Rio Grande do Sul, Promethean Particles Ltd, Sygnature Discovery Limited, Synthomer Ltd Thomas Swan, UNIDO, Unilever (UK), Yale University Added Scientific Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), Key Organics Ltd, Perceptive Engineering Ltd, Strem Chemicals UK Ltd and more
    Supported by EPSRC grant EP/S022236/1 [£6.2M]

  • Project Title: Hyper-heuristics for Routing
    Project Team: Ender Özcan, Ahmed Kheiri (Lancaster University), Optrak
    Start-End Date: 2019-2021
    Supported by KTP Scheme under Project No. KTP11692 [£207,627] (£139,110 from Innovate UK + £68,517 from Optrak)

  • Project Title: Accelerated Discovery and Development of New Medicines. Prosperity Partnership for a Healthier Nation: GlaxoSmithKline, University of Strathclyde with University of Nottingham
    UoN Project Team: Peter Licence, Christopher Moody, Clive Roberts, Ender Ozcan, Hon Lam, Jonathan Hirst, Liam Ball, Michael George, Michael Stocks, Ricky Wildman, Ross Denton, Simon Woodward, Victor Sans Sangorrin
    Start-End Date: 01/01/2019-30/09/2024
    Project Partners: Added Scientific Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), Key Organics Ltd, Perceptive Engineering Ltd, Strem Chemicals UK Ltd and more
    Supported by EPSRC grant EP/S035990/1 [£5.5M]

  • Project Title: OPTIMACS - European industrial doctorate for efficient multidisciplinary design Optimization of Multifunctional Aerospace Composite Structures
    Project Team: Dimitrios Chronopoulos, Ender Ozcan, Arthur Jones, Tom Turner, Louise Brown
    Start-End Date: 01/05/2018- 30/04/2022
    Supported by European Commission (Brussels) (grant no. 764650) [EUR 1.3M]

  • Project Title: N2N - European industrial doctorate for advanced, lightweight and silent, multifunctional composite structures
    Project Team: Dimitrios Chronopoulos, Ender Ozcan, Savvas Triantafyllou, Gregor Tanner, Donald Brown, Andrew Parkes
    Start-End Date: 01/03/2018- 28/02/2022
    Supported by European Commission (Brussels) (grant no. 765472) [EUR 809K]

  • Project Title: Multiobjective Timetabling with Fairness
    Project Team: Ender Özcan, EventMap
    Start-End Date: 2017-2019
    Supported by KTP Scheme under Project No. KTP10618 [£149,103] (£100,103 from TSB and Invest NI + £49,000 from EventMap)

  • Project Name: Automated Intelligent Decision Support Using Hyper-Heuristics
    Project Team: Ender Özcan (UK), Nelishia Pillay (SA)
    Start-End Date: 2015-2017
    Supported by The Royal Society - Newton International Exchanges Scheme [£11,719]

  • Project Name: 3D Printing Production Planning (3DPPP): reactive manufacturing execution driving re-distributed manufacturing
    Project Team: Martin Baumers, Ender Ozcan, Jason Atkin
    Start-End Date: 01/04/2016- 31/12/2016
    Supported by the Bit-by-Bit Network (EPSRC/ESRC) [£42K]

  • Channel 4 Project:
    ASAP team is working with Channel 4 (a national TV company) in order to investigate the application of optimisation techniques to the scheduling of commercials during advertising breaks. The objective is to provide schedules that increase advertising effectiveness and lead to greater advertiser satisfaction. Member of the ASAP team.

  • Title: Collaborative Research Projects
    Project Team: Ender Özcan (PI) for 4 internal grants
    Dates: 2012-2014
    Supported by The LANCS Initiative Postdoctoral Training Scheme and The LANCS Initiative International Outreach Fund [£14,704]

  • Project Name: Co-evolutionary hyper-heuristics
    Project Team: Graham Kendall (Principal Investigator), Ender Özcan (Co-investigator), Jerry Swan
    Start Date: 2010
    End Date: 2011
    Supported by Subproject of EPSRC's "Next Generation Decision Support: Automating the Heuristic Design Process" (EP/D061571/1) [110,000GBP]

  • Project Name: Working Towards the Generality of Hyper-heuristics for Optimization Problems
    Project Team: Hugo Terashima-Marin, Manuel Valenzuela-Rendon, Santiago E. Conant-Pablos, Eunice Lopez-Camacho, Jose Carlos Ortiz-Bayliss (Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Monterrey Campus), Peter Ross (Napier University), Edmund K. Burke, Gabriela Ochoa, Ender Özcan (University of Nottingham, ASAP)
    Start Date: 2009
    End Date: 2012
    Supported by CONACyT [598,938 $]

  • Project Name: Self-adaptive Multimeme Approaches for Solving Hard Problems
    Project Team: Ender Özcan (Principal Investigator), Emin Erkan Korkmaz (Researcher)
    Start Date: October 2008
    End Date: October 2010
    Supported by TUBITAK [143,254 TL]

  • Project Name : A Study of Transcriptional Profiling of Gene Experession in Metastatic Tumors Using Integrated Bioinformatics Approach and Drug Target Identification
    Project Team: Isil Kurnaz (Principal Investigator), Ender Özcan (Researcher), Cem Ünsalan (Researcher), Nihat Baysal (Researcher), Levent Kurnaz (Researcher), Türkan Haliloglu (Researcher), Fikrettin Sahin (Researcher)
    Start Date: September 2005
    End Date: September 2009
    Supported by DPT [232,000 TL]
    Involvement: 2005-2007

  • Project Name: Operators for Solving Timetabling Problems
    Project Team: Ender Özcan (Principal Investigator), Emin Erkan Korkmaz (Researcher), Burak Bilgin (Researcher), Özgür Ülker (Researcher)
    Start Date: October 2005
    End Date: October 2006
    Supported by TUBITAK [42,160 TL]

School funding:
  • Visiting Scholars 1,917GBP (2013), 4,055GBP (2011), 2,720GBP (2010)
  • Equipment Fund 1,854GBP (2011)

Research Supervision

Research Fellows/Associates/Visitors
If your research interests are aligned with mine and you are an overseas PhD student or a postdoctoral researcher or a lecturer, considering a (research) visit to us at Nottingham (e.g., for a collaborative project or sabbatical leave from your institution), please drop me an email to discuss your particular situation.
  • Prof Ali Fuat Alkaya, Marmara University, funded by TUBITAK (2022-2023)
  • Dr Emrullah Sonuc, Karabuk University, funded by TUBITAK (2021-2022)
  • Cumali Turkmenoglu, funded by TUBITAK (2019-2020)
  • Dr Muhammet Deveci, funded by TUBITAK (2018-2019)
  • Dr Bahadir Zeren, funded by TUBITAK (2018-2019)
  • Dr Derya Deliktas, funded by TUBITAK, Turkey (6 months, 2018-2019)
  • Simon Kingston, KTP Associate (EventMAP: 2017-2019)
  • Dr Valdivino Alexandre de Santiago Junior, postdoctoral researcher, funded by FAPESP, Brasil (2018-2019)
  • Vinicius Renan de Carvalho, PhD student, funded by CAPES, Brasil (2018-2019)
  • Selman Karagöz, PhD student, Yildiz Technical University, Turkey (2017-2019)
  • Seda Özdemir, postoctoral researcher, Turkey (3 months, 2018)
  • Marcelo Garcia Escalante, PhD student, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico (4 months) (2017)
  • Dr Daniel Karapetyan
  • Dr Jose Carlos Ortiz Bayliss
  • Dr Jerry Swan
  • Dr Yuri Bykov
  • Muhammet Deveci, visiting PhD student, Yildiz Technical University, Turkey (2014-2015)
  • Dulce Jacqueline Magana Lozano, visiting PhD student, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico (2013-2014)
  • Cevriye Altintas, visiting PhD student, Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey (2013-2014)
  • Aysun Guran, PhD funded by TUBITAK, Dogus University, Turkey (2013)
  • Jonas Baeklund, PhD fellow funded by Aarhus University, Denmark (2012)
  • Gokhan Secme, PhD, University of Nevsehir, Turkey (2011-2012)
  • Dr Hasan Mujtaba, visiting postdoc, Pakistan (2012)
  • Jose Carlos Ortiz Bayliss, visiting PhD student, funded by CONACyT, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico (2010)
  • Dr Serdar Biroglu, visiting fellow, Mugla University, Turkey (2010)
PhD Students

My entry at the online database of the Mathematics Genealogy Project. The oldest supervisor of the supervisors that can be traced back starting from my PhD supervisor turned out to be Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi (1135-1213) who was an Iranian mathematician and astronomer.
The Mathematics Genealogy Project

MSc Students
  • Murat Birben, Hyper-heuristics for Grouping Problems, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Yeditepe University (2008-2011)
  • Turker Ercal, Soft Morphological Filter Optimization Using a Genetic Algorithm for Noise Elimination, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Yeditepe University (2006-2010)
  • Mustafa Misir, Group Decision Making During Move Acceptance in Hyperheuristics, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Yeditepe University. (2007-2008)
  • Ersan Ersoy, Local Search Management Approaches in Memetic Algorithms for Solving Exam Timeta bling Problems, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Istanbul Technical University. (co-supervision with Sima Uyar, 2004-2007)
  • Burak Bilgin, Performance Analysis of Hyperheuristics and Their Use With Hill Climbers, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Yeditepe University. (2003-2006)
  • Murat Yilmaz, Particle Swarm Systems for Multimodal Optimization, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Yeditepe University. (2004-2006)
  • Özgür Ülker, Linear Linkage Encoding in Genetic Algorithms, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Yeditepe University . (2003-2006)
  • Deniz Aldogan, Memetic Algorithms for Timetabling Problems in Private Schools, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Middle East Technical University. (co-supervision with Ferda Nur Alpaslan, 2004-2005)
  • Murat Erenturk, Performance Analysis of Meta-heuristic Approaches for Travelling Salesperson Problem, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Yeditepe University. (2000-2004)
  • Alpay Alkan, Solving Course Scheduling Problem using Genetic Algorithms, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Computer Engineering, Yeditepe University. (1999-2002)