dr. D. Demirtas (Derya)

Assistant Professor

About Me

ACADEMIC PROFILE: Derya Demirtas is an assistant professor at the Center for Healthcare Operations Improvement & Research (CHOIR) in the Department 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 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 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 was recently a visiting faculty in the Industrial and Systems Engineering and in the Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech, 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


Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
Heart Arrest
Decision Support Systems


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 mathematical optimization and spatial data analytics models to analyse the OHCA risk and to guide the deployment of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public settings.
  • 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.


Lee, M., Demirtas, D., Buick, J. E., Feldman, M. J., Cheskes, S., Morrison, L. J., & Chan, T. C. Y. (2017). Increased cardiac arrest survival and bystander intervention in enclosed pedestrian walkway systems. Resuscitation, 118, 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2017.06.013
Sun, C. L. F., Demirtas, D., Brooks, S. C., Morrison, L. J., & Chan, T. C. Y. (2016). Overcoming Spatial and Temporal Barriers to Public Access Defibrillators Via Optimization. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 68(8), 836-845. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2016.03.609
Barutcuoglu, A., Demirtas, D., Dilan, B., Duzgun, R., Koksalan, M., & Savasaneril, S. (2016). Bir otomotiv firmasi icin arac sevkiyati ve dagitim merkezi yer secimi problemi. Endüstri muhendisligi dergisi, 21(1), 4-16.
Chan, T. C. Y., Demirtas, D., & Kwon, R. H. (2016). Optimizing the Deployment of Public Access Defibrillators. Management science, 62(12), 3617-3635. DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2015.2312
Sun, C. L. F., Demirtas, D., Brooks, S. C., Morrison, L. J., & Chan, T. C. Y. (2015). True Public Access Defibrillator Coverage is Overestimated. Circulation, 132(Suppl. 3), A15051-. [A15051].
Chan, T. C. Y., Sun, C. L. F., Demirtas, D., Morrison, L. J., & Brooks, S. C. (2015). Spatiotemporal AED Location Optimization. Circulation, 132(Suppl. 3), A16492-. [A16492].
Lee, M., Demirtas, D., Buick, J. E., Ng, A., Feldman, M. J., Cheskes, S., ... Chan, T. C. Y. (2015). Public Cardiac Arrest Characteristics in Enclosed Pedestrian Networks. Circulation, 132(23), 22984-. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000334
Demirtas, D., Brooks, S. C., Morrison, L. J., & Chan, T. C. Y. (2015). Spatiotemporal Stability of Public Cardiac Arrests. Circulation, 132(Suppl. 3), A15003-. [A15003].

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University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Ravelijn (building no. 10), room 3420
Hallenweg 17
7522NH  Enschede
The Netherlands

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University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Ravelijn  3420
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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