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Excellent students awarded: improving the planning and layout of urban sites for housing.

Two Master students have been awarded the NORS Master thesis prize for their work on better and faster design of building area layouts.

About the NORS Master thesis prize award

The Norwegian Operations Research Society (NORS) organized the 2nd NORS Master thesis prize award seminar and ceremony at SINTEF, Oslo in early February.

Since the start in 2014, SINTEF is active in the board and as member in NORS. NORS is an organization that gathers a community of researchers based in Norway, whose discipline -Operations Research (OR)- deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions.

From left: Anne-Marie Mellbye, Nikolai Mathisen Bratsberg, Kjetil Fagerholt (NTNU), Photo: SINTEF
From left: Anne-Marie Mellbye, Nikolai Mathisen Bratsberg, Kjetil Fagerholt (NTNU), Photo: SINTEF

The NORS Master thesis award was handed out to Nikolai Mathisen Bratsberg and Anne-Marie Mellbye for their excellent work on improving the planning and layout of urban sites for housing.

About the winning thesis

In their thesis, Anne-Marie and Nikolai have modelled and developed algorithms for speeding up the process of, and improving design site layout proposals.

Architects manually design site layout proposals, often uncertain whether they comply with governmental regulations, and of how much of the potential saleable area is lost in the trial-and-error process. Planning authorities cannot reliably determine whether one layout design is better than another. The combination of quantitatively complex regulations and objectives merits the study of applying optimization techniques in the planning process. The thesis develops an optimization model in both two and three dimensions for the site layout design process on an urban site regulated for housing.

The thesis was praised highly by the NORS scientific committee for the rigorousness of their work. The optimization techniques used are highly sophisticated and well explained. Their work is highly innovative in its application of OR to the early-stage real estate development and it has a potential for high impact, especially on the future use of OR in the building industry.

In addition to their well-written Master thesis, Anne-Marie and Nikolai presented their work in the seminar with the same rigour and professionality as the thesis before receiving a well-deserved applause from the 26 attendees and 4 online participants.

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