Nepalese Mathematician Researches Improvement of Transport Networks in Times of Crisis

Sunrise over Boudhanath Stupa temple in Kathmandu, Nepal
Since November 2017, the Nepalese mathematician Dr. Urmila Pyakurel has been researching the issue of traffic network optimization during emergencies. Dr. Pyakurel was awarded a Georg Forster research scholarship for postdoctoral students from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at TU Freiberg.

An assistant professor of mathematics at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal, Dr. Pyakurel consciously chose TU Bergakademie Freiberg for her research period in Germany, as the university has an excellent knowledge base and a strong reputation in the field of mathematical optimization.

Dr. Pyakurel appreciates the excellent research conditions and the highly developed scientific network at the Bergakademie in the fields of mathematical optimization and discrete mathematics – a factor of particular importance for her work. This is not the first visit to Freiberg for the Humboldt Scholarship holder, however. From August to November 2016, she was in Freiberg under the framework of an institute partnership on the topic of “Optimization Models and Methods for Sustainable Development”, which was also funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. An earlier research stay led her to the University of Kaiserslautern. She will remain at TU Bergakademie Freiberg until the end of October 2019 to complete her scientific work. For her current research topic – “Integrated Transportation Network Optimization for Emergency Planning” – she will be supported by a PhD candidate and a research assistant, in addition to the guidance of her host, Prof. Dempe from the Institute for Numerical Mathematics and Optimization.

For her academic host Prof. Stephan Dempe, the research period of the Nepalese mathematician will also be a valuable enrichment: “With her extensive and in-depth knowledge in the field of network optimization, Ms. Pyakurel is a valuable addition to our research in the field of mathematical optimization,” he said. “Issues surrounding the best possible evacuation of injured parties – including the opposing transport of emergency personnel – are deeply fascinating and challenging from a scientific point of view. Due to the high rate of occurrence of natural disasters there, her work is also of particular interest for Nepal.”

The Humboldt scholarship holder intends to further strengthen her contact with TU Bergakademie Freiberg, and to deepen her cooperation with Freiberg after her return to her home university.

For a short resume of scholarship-holder Dr. Urmila Pyakurel, visit:

Contact person:

Prof. Stephan Dempe, Tel.: 39-2956