Luis Nunes Vicente has been named the Timothy J. Wilmott '80 Endowed Faculty Professor and Chair of Lehigh University's Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE), effective August 1, 2018.
L. N. Vicente has been a professor of Mathematics at the University of Coimbra in Portugal since 1996. His research interests include continuous optimization, computational science and engineering, machine learning and data science.
“I have been interested in optimization all my research life, from various viewpoints: Theory and algorithms, software development, and industrial applications,” L. N. Vicente said. “I am thus eager to chair a Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering where optimization and operations research play such a crucial role."
L. N. Vicente, along with Lehigh’s Katya Scheinberg and Andrew R. Conn from IBM Research, received the prestigious Lagrange Prize in Continuous Optimization, awarded jointly by the Mathematical Optimization Society (MOS) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), for co-authoring the book Introduction to Derivative-Free Optimization. He has also published more than 100 papers, given a number of plenary lectures in distinguished societies around the world, and served on numerous editorial boards including MOS-SIAM Series on Optimization, EURO Journal on Computational Optimization and Optimization Methods and Software. He has served as editor-in-chief of Portugaliae Mathematica, published by the European Mathematical Society, and as associate editor for the SIAM Journal on Optimization.
When he assumes the role as chair, L.N. Vicente will take the helm from Ted Ralphs, who has served as the department's interim chair since September 2017. Ralphs, who succeeded professor Tamás Terlaky, assumed the role immediately upon return from a year-long sabbatical at the Zuse Institute Berlin, where he worked on a project involving energy applications. Among other accomplishments as interim chair, Ted oversaw the department’s integration with Lehigh's new interdisciplinary research institutes and helped to host the ISE doctoral program's 50th anniversary in tandem with its annual Spencer C. Schantz Lecture and alumni banquet.
L. N. Vicente obtained his doctorate in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University in 1996 as a Fulbright Fellow. He held visiting positions at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and the IMA/University of Minnesota in 2002-2003, the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU, the Université Paul Verlaine of Metz in 2009-2010, and Sapienza University of Rome and Rice University in 2016-2017. He served as a visiting Chercheur Sénior of the Fondation de Coopération Sciences et Technologies pour l'Aéronautique et l'Espace at CERFACS and Institut National Polytechnique in Toulouse, France, in 2010-2015. He has supervised six postdocs, 10 doctoral students and 12 masters' students.
“Lehigh’s ISE Department is one of the most prestigious in the country, and has enjoyed a strong reputation from the early days of industrial engineering through its recent strength in optimization developed under the leadership of Professor Tamás Terlaky," L. N. Vicente said. “I am proud to get on board with this fantastic venture, and to further contribute to the development of ISE at Lehigh.”
In his spare time, L. N. Vicente enjoys watching movies and learning languages. A Portuguese citizen, he reports that he has learned to speak some Spanish, speaks French fluently, and is currently refining his Italian.
Story by Mary Anne Lynch '16G
Luis Nunes Vicente

Luis Nunes Vicente, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Lehigh University. Photo courtesy of Jornal de Noticias (Noticias Magazine).