dr. D. Demirtas (Derya)

Universitair hoofddocent

Over mij

A taste of the healthcare track of the UT IEM program and my research: https://youtu.be/CFS6F3gkCrY 

ACADEMIC PROFILE: Derya Demirtas is an associate professor at the Center for Healthcare Operations Improvement & Research (CHOIR) in the Section of Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems at the University of Twente. Her research focuses on operations research, optimization and data analytics, location theory and their applications to healthcare and public services.
Dr. Demirtas is a recipient of the NWO (Dutch Research Council) Veni grant (2019), American Heart Association (AHA) Young Investigator Award (2015), and the Best Poster Award by the National Association of EMS Physicians (2016). She also won the second place in the INFORMS Case Competition (2020) and second place in the INFORMS Section on Public Sector Operations Research best paper competition (2012). Her research has been published in top journals such as Management Science, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and Circulation. She serves in the editorial board of the Operations Research for Health Care journal and in the board of INFORMS Forum for Women in OR/MS (WORMS). She was a visiting faculty in the Industrial and Systems Engineering and in the Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech in 2018, where she worked on disaster response. 

ACADEMIC BACKGROUND: Dr. Demirtas received her BSc in Industrial Engineering with a double major in Computer Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Turkey (2008). She then obtained her MMath in Combinatorics & Optimization from the University of Waterloo, Canada (2010), and her PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada (2016).

IN THE MEDIA: Dr. Demirtas's research has been publicized by several media outlets including US News, the Globe and Mail, CTV News and Toronto Sun, and promoted by the Univ. of Twente: https://youtu.be/CFS6F3gkCrY



Medicine & Life Sciences
Heart Arrest
Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
Mathematical Programming
Programming Model


RESEARCH INTERESTS: Operations research, optimization, spatial data analytics and their applications in healthcare and humanitarian sector: in particular, linear and integer programming, facility location under uncertainty, covering problems, spatiotemporal trend analysis, public health resource planning, post-disaster recovery and emergency service location problems.
RESEARCH PROJECTS: The focus of Dr. Demirtas’s research is on data-driven decision making aimed at improving healthcare and humanitarian systems. Her projects include:
  • Optimizing the locations of public access defibrillators to improve survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA): In this research, we develop a comprehensive data-driven modeling framework for emergency facility deployment, leveraging optimization, metaheuristics and data science. Our models analyze the spatiotemporal trends in demand (OHCA) and supply (citizen volunteers), estimate citizen volunteer response rates using machine learning and historical data, and optimize locations of emergency facilities under both demand and supply uncertainty.
  • Optimizing the staff allocation in radiotherapy: The goal of this project is to maximize the number of patients completing the pre-treatment stage in radiotherapy (RT) within the waiting time targets. We focus on the tactical planning of radiation therapy technologists (RTTs) throughout the pre-treatment process of the RT treatment chain considering stochastic patient arrivals.
  • Process optimization in clinical chemistry laboratories: The focus of this project is to assess the operations from blood withdrawal to first results, and investigate different configurations and prioritization rules in order to reduce diagnostics turnaround time and improve the laboratory performance.
  • Post-disaster recovery: The aim of this research is to create efficient models to help decision making in debris collection. We focus on partitioning the affected area into zones and assigning these to contractors while minimizing costs, maximizing societal benefits and maintaining contiguity of zones.
  • Process improvement in private hospitals in South Africa: This research aims to investigate what constitutes problematic waiting times, the causes of these waiting times, and possible interventions to be designed to reduce these waiting times in a private hospital in South Africa.
  • Improving citizen volunteer response to OHCA: In the Netherlands, an innovative app, HartslagNu, alerts registered volunteers when an OHCA occurs nearby, and dispatches them either to the victim for CPR, or to an AED and then to the patient. In this research, we investigate potential improvement in HartslagNu’s dispatch strategy by creating simulation models to test various volunteer assignment strategies. Moreover, we investigate effects of mobile AEDs in terms of response time and survival. 


Buter, R., van Schuppen, H. , Koffijberg, H. , Hans, E. W., Stieglis, R. , & Demirtas, D. (2023). Where do we need to improve resuscitation? Spatial analysis of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest incidence and mortality. Scandinavian journal of trauma, resuscitation and emergency medicine, 31, Article 63. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13049-023-01131-8
Tsai, E. R. , Demirtas, D., Tintu, A. N., de Jonge, R., de Rijke, Y. B. , & Boucherie, R. J. (2023). Design of fork-join networks of First-In-First-Out and infinite-server queues applied to clinical chemistry laboratories. European journal of operational research, 310(3), 1101-1117. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2023.04.003
Schober, P., van den Beuken, W. M. F., Nideröst, B., Kooy, T. A., Thijssen, S., Bulte, C. S. E., Huisman, B. A. A., Tuinman, P. R., Nap, A., Tan, H. L., Loer, S. A., Franschman, G., Lettinga, R. G. , Demirtas, D., Eberl, S., van Schuppen, H., & Schwarte, L. A. (2022). Smartwatch based automatic detection of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: Study rationale and protocol of the HEART-SAFE project. Resuscitation Plus, 12, Article 100324. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resplu.2022.100324
Tsai, E. R. , Demirtas, D., Hoogendijk, N., Tintu, A. N. , & Boucherie, R. J. (2022). Turnaround time prediction for clinical chemistry samples using machine learning. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 60(12), 1902-1910. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2022-0668
Vieira, B. , Demirtas, D., B. van de Kamer, J. , Hans, E. W., Rousseau, L-M., Lahrichi, N. , & van Harten, W. H. (2020). Radiotherapy treatment scheduling considering time window preferences. Health care management science, 23(4), 520-534. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10729-020-09510-8
Vieira, B. , Demirtas, D., Kamer, J. B. V. D. , Hans, E. W., Rosseau, L. M., Lahrichi, N. , & van Harten, W. H. (2020). A Mathematical Programming Model for Radiotherapy Scheduling with Time Windows. In V. Belanger, N. Lahrichi, E. Lanzarone, & S. Yalcindag (Eds.), Health Care Systems Engineering: HCSE, Montréal, Canada, May 30 - June 1, 2019 (pp. 241-249). (Springer Proceedings in Mathematics and Statistics; Vol. 316). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-39694-7_19
Marques, I. , Demirtas, D., Rachuba, S., & Vasilakis, C. (2020). EURO 2018 — Innovative methods and uses of operations research in health and care applications. Operations research for health care, 24, Article 100243. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orhc.2019.100243
Tsai, E. R., Tintu, A. N. , Demirtas, D. , Boucherie, R. J., de Jonge, R., & de Rijke, Y. B. (2019). A critical review of laboratory performance indicators. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 56(7), 458-471. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408363.2019.1641789

Pure Link

Google Scholar Link



PhD Student Supervision 

  • Robin Buter, "Strategic placement of Automated External Defibrillators under demand and supply uncertainty," expected to graduate in 2024
  • Maria van Zyl, "Process improvement in public hospitals in South Africa," expected to graduate in 2023
  • Eline Tsai, “From blood withdrawal to first results,” expected to graduate in 2022
  • Bruno Vieira, “Advanced Logistics Optimization of the Radiotherapy Treatment,” graduated in 2020

Graduate Student Awards Won by My Thesis Students

  • Bekader (IEM & IBA alumni association) Thesis Award for IEM, first place, awarded to S.Relijveld, 2021. Thesis title: "Analysis on the Costs of Care for Colorectal Cancer Patients Using Australian Multicentered Linked Data".
  • BMS faculty Graduation Award, first place, awarded to G. Holsbrink, 2021. Thesis title: "The Optimal Allocation of Casualties to Hospitals in case of a Mass-casualty Incidence".
  • KHMW Philips Graduation Award for Data Science and AI in Health Care, awarded to A. Nazarian, 2018. Thesis title: "Optimizing the Deployment of Automated External Defibrillators by a Data-driven Algorithmic Approach".

Master’s Thesis Supervision (summary)

  • Healthcare logistics projects at UMC, Amsterdam; ZGT, Almelo; Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen; St. Antonius Hospital, Utrecht; Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem; MST, Enschede; Slingeland Hospital, Doetinchem; AcuteZorg Euregio, Enschede; StanCPR Network; Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand; University of Melbourne, Australia.
  • Logistics projects at Albert Heijn, Bol.com, Westphalia DataLab, Hema, Benchmark, Contour Covering Technology BV, PoolPlaza.

Master’s Capita Selecta (Short-term Internship) Supervision (summary)

  • Healthcare logistics projects at University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, Netherlands Cancer Institute Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (NKI-AvL), Willem Kolff Stichting & Nierstichting

Undergraduate (Bachelor) Thesis Supervision (summary)

  • Logistics projects at Victoria Hospital, London, Canada; Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen; Acute Zorg Euregio, Enschede; Contour Covering Technology BV, Winterswijk; Demcon Production, Enschede; Royal Lemkes; UMC Utrecht; Deventer Ziekenhuis; MST Enschede; CHOIR Network; Boven Hospital, Amsterdam; CORE Chemistry, Eindhoven. 


Instructor, Industrial Engineering & Management Bachelor and Master’s Program (2016 – present)

  • Operations Research Techniques 1 (1st quartile, yearly), ~75 students, 5 European Credits (5ECs)
  • Warehousing (4th quartile, yearly), ~100 students, 5 ECs
  • Professional Skills (2019 – 2020), 160 students
  • IEM Research Orientation (2017 – 2018), 60 students, 5 ECs

Coordinator & Instructor, Health Sciences Master's Program (2021 - present) 

  • Optimizing Healthcare Processes (2nd quartile, yearly), ~25 students, 5 ECs

Instructor, European Association of Hospital Managers (EAHM) (2018)

  • Crash course on operations management for hospital managers (together with Ines Marques)

Instructor, Global Faculty Program, Monterrey Inst. of Technology, Mexico (2018) 

  • Facilities Design and Materials Management, 20 students
  • Optimization Models, 20 students
  • Applications of Optimization in Healthcare, 30 students 

Instructor, Health Sciences Bachelor Program (2016) 

  • Operations Management (OM) in Healthcare (in Module 4: Optimization of Care), 50 students, 3 ECs 
  • OM Practicum (in Module 4), 50 students, 3 ECs       
  • Project: Optimization of Healthcare Processes (in Module 4), 50 students, 1 EC 


  • Guest lecturer, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal (2018)
  • Author, Case Study on Maximizing Team Diversity in a First-year Engineering Course, University of Toronto (2015)
  • Guest Lecturer, MIE 258 Engineering Economics and Accounting, University of Toronto (2015)
  • Certificate in Prospective Professors in Training, University of Toronto (2014)
  • Guest Lecturer, MIE 468 Facility Planning, University of Toronto (2013)
  • Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto (2010 – 2015)
  • Teaching Assistant, Division of Engineering Science, University of Toronto (2011)
  • Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Combinatorics and Optimization, University of Waterloo (2008 – 2010)


  • Chair, Examination Board, TBK/IEM, 2022 – present
  • Member, Examination Board, TBK/IEM, 2021 – present
  • Member, OLC (Opleidingscommissie – Program Committee), TBK/IEM, 2017 – 2021

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Vakken Collegejaar  2023/2024

Vakken in het huidig collegejaar worden toegevoegd op het moment dat zij definitief zijn in het Osiris systeem. Daarom kan het zijn dat de lijst nog niet compleet is voor het gehele collegejaar.

Vakken Collegejaar  2022/2023



Universiteit Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Ravelijn (gebouwnr. 10), kamer 3420
Hallenweg 17
7522NH  Enschede

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Universiteit Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Ravelijn  3420
Postbus 217
7500 AE Enschede

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