European Study Group 140 – Barreiro, Portugal

ESGI140 @IPSsetubal solving problems on water management services for Infraquinta and on data management during sport events for @lap2go.

The 140thEuropean Study Group with Industry (ESGI140)was held from 4thto 8thJune 2018 at  the Barreiro School of Technology of the Polytechnic Institute of Setúball (IPS), organized by IPS and coordinated by PT-MATHS-IN.

For the 12th year in a row a Study Group was held in Portugal and this year two companies have benefited from the insights of more than 30 experts in different fields of Mathematics.

One of the companies, Infraquinta, is a water utility that manages the water and wastewater services of a well-known tourist place in Algarve. Given its location, socio economic context and seasonality of demand, the company faces very specific challenges and two of them were tackled during the Sudy Group.

The first one was related to the water tariff structure based on consumption profile in a context of climate changes. The company wants to reinforce mechanisms for predictive planning, based on data analysis, in order to face the forecasted decrease in precipitation, especially in warm season.

The second one was about evaluating the water meters performance, using historical data, in order to find out the meter performance breakpoint and when should water meters be replaced.

The other participating company was Lap2Go, a portuguese timekeeping  company for sport events. They use chips to sort out the results of the participants in the events and sometimes, for the road running events with at least a few thousand participants, they use starting waves as a segmentation strategy. A bad strategy may have a very negative impact in the race, such as promoting traffic jams that slow down the running rythm of each participant and, worst of all, making people fall down. The challenge they posed was on how to come up with an appropriate number of waves and a release time between waves in order avoid the participants accumulation during a race.

The companies’ representatives have collaborated with the academics throughout the week, clarifying the challenges and helping to critically analyse the preliminary results. By the end of the week, both academic and industrial participants were quite happy with the achieved results and some further collaborations have been envisioned.

by Raquel Barreira

Dr Raquel Barreira


is the Vice-Dean at EST/BArreiro IPS.

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