Dr Michaël Thémans
Vice-Presidency for Innovation and Technology Transfer
BiographyMichaël Thémans holds a M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics (University of Namur, Belgium) and a Ph.D. in Operations Research and Transportation Modeling (EPFL, Switzerland). His Ph.D. thesis, supervised by Prof. Michel Bierlaire, was entitled "Numerical Methods and Models Relevant to Transportation Applications".
Between 2002 and 2007, he was research and teaching assistant in the Transport and Mobility Laboratory at EPFL. He published 5 papers in international journals in the field of Transportation and Operations Research. He was teaching assistant for 15 courses in Operations Research and Behavioral Modeling. He also supervised 20 master theses and research projects in Optimization and Behavioral Modeling. During the same period, he was working on several large-scale transportation-related research projects, in association with MIT and ETH Zurich as well as transportation professionals in Switzerland (Bureau Robert Grandpierre Rapp, Lausanne, Büro Widmer, Frauenfeld), sponsored both by the Swiss Federal Office of Roads and the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Between 2007 and 2009, he was statistician and R&D specialist at the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne. He provided support in statistics and modeling to R&D centers worldwide and was involved in over 50 R&D projects. In parallel to this, he developed innovative discrete choice models to predict consumer purchasing behavior and disseminated these new methodologies to Nestlé markets worldwide. He also designed and analyzed over 40 market research studies for various Nestlé markets around the world. He also gave training in market research and Design of Experiments to R&D community.
Between 2007 and 2011, he also holded a position as lecturer at EPFL, teaching a master course in Numerical Optimization. Since 2014, he is lecturer at EPFL, co-teaching the "Global Issues" course entitled "Mobility B" which focuses on transportation systems and logistics systems.
Between 2010 and 2014, he was the Deputy Director of EPFL’s Transportation Center (TraCE), in charge of the operational management of the EPFL’s Transportation Center with the main focus on the business development activities. The main tasks associated with this position were:
- Develop strategic business partnerships and research projects with private companies and industries as well as public institutions and authorities, at the local, national and international levels.
- Percolate and highlight EPFL’s ongoing research activities in transportation outside EPFL.
- Obtain external funding to conduct new cutting-edge multi-disciplinary research projects in the field of transportation at EPFL.
- Management of large-scale R&D projects with industry.
- Promotion of technology transfer and innovation in all fields related to transportation and mobility.
Between January 2015 and December 2016, he was Deputy of the Vice-President for Innovation and Technology Transfer at EPFL, in charge of seconding the Vice-President Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli in her various tasks.
Since January 2017, he is the Deputy of the Vice-President for Innovation at EPFL and the Head of the Large Enterprises and Innovation Projects Units of the Vice-Presidency for Innovation.
Some other activities and affiliations of Michaël Thémans include:
- Scientific consulting for various private companies and national agencies in Switzerland and in France.
- Business Development and Fund Raising for various EPFL’s startups and spin-offs.
- Strategic Business Development Advisor for BestMile SA.
Since May 2012, in parallel to his main activity at EPFL, he is partner and Chief Business Development Officer at "6T - Bureau de Recherche", an EPFL’s spin-off specialized in mobility analysis.
His main scientific expertise is in the design, development and applications of demand models and optimization algorithms, which he successfully used during ten years in transportation, food and marketing contexts. He also has a significant experience in market research and consumer understanding. He also has a strong experience in the transportation demand analysis and in the modeling/optimization/simulation of complex transportation systems.
During the years 2010-2014, he has acquired a global knowledge and expertise in transportation thanks to the operational and strategic management of EPFL’s Transportation Center (TraCE) which gathers all EPFL’s laboratories related to transportation and mobility.
He has also developed over the past seven years a strong experience and expertise in large-scale project management, people management, business development and technology transfer from research to business, with a strong focus on partnerships between academia and Large Enterprises in Switzerland and abroad.
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