Florent Hernandez, lecturer
Florent Hernandez combines research with field experienceMonday, October 5, 2020
A specialist in computer modeling of logistic and transportation problems, Florent Hernandez is driven by his desire to help organizations find the most effective solutions based on their specific reality.
Thanks to his experience in research and in the business world, he has received have a broad spectrum of both theory- and practice-based learning – a significant asset for students who take his introductory computer programming course!
From an academic perspective, Mr. Hernandez holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Université de Montpellier 2 in France. His dissertation was developed in conjunction with the Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l’environnement et l’agriculture (IRSTEA – National institute for research into science and technology for the environment and agriculture), and focuses on the application of optimization methods to facilitate field work in the winemaking industry.
He explains: “Right up to the first decade of the 2000s, land devoted to viticulture represented 3% of all agricultural land in France, but consumed 20% of the pesticides used in the entire country. In an effort to reduce this massive application, the State introduced new standards that effectively increased the workload for winemakers.” In light of this, the subject of his dissertation was the proposal of a decision support system that makes it easier for winemakers to respect the new standards.
This approach of applying the theoretical to the practical is also reflected in his post-doctoral studies, which he pursued after having taught at Université Montpellier 2. Drawn by the international reputation of the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur les réseaux d’entreprise, la logistique et le transport (CIRRELT – Interuniversity research centre for business, logistics and transportation networks), Florent Hernandez joined Polytechnique Montréal, where he developed an optimization of delivery schedules, working in partnership with a Montréal-based company.
According to Mr. Hernandez: “We applied the techniques of combinatorial optimization in order to propose delivery time slots within the context of online purchases. The program that was developed proposed schedules that were convenient to both the company and its clients, thus minimizing transportation costs and delivery problems caused by client absences.”
His post-doctoral research also led him to consider the problem of delivery in the case of non-specific demand. This is a theoretical problem that can be observed in practice in the case of the distribution of gasoline to service stations.
Mr. Hernandez explains: “When they place a fuel order with their distributor, there is a time lag before delivery, and the exact quantity that is required is unknown. We proposed advanced calculation methods that led to a reduction in transportation costs linked to this uncertainty.”
In Québec to stay
After a brief return to his native France, Florent Hernandez decided to come back to Montréal, this time with his wife!
This allowed him to enhance his professional experience by working as a Programmer-Analyst and an Operational Research Developer for two Québec companies.
He was delighted to join the ÉTS team in July 2019. “In my opinion, the fact that ÉTS is an engineering school that opens up opportunities for all students, without specific requirements, is extremely promising for the future of Québec. I am very proud to be a part of this educational mission,” he affirms.
ÉTS also represents a venue that allows him to pass his knowledge on to his students and faculty colleagues. Having grown up on the shores of the Mediterranean in the Sète commune– the home of Georges Brassens – Florent Hernandez knows a great deal about fishing, and he is looking forward to having an opportunity to better explore Québec’s lakes and other natural wonders!