Felipe Alvarez


Institutional Contact

Universidad de Chile, Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences


Felipe sadly passed away in March 2017.


In 1996 I received a Mathematical Engineering degree from Universidad de Chile. In 1998 I obtained a PhD in Applied Mathematics from U. de Chile and UniversitŽ de Montpellier in France (sandwich thesis). My basic research focuses on the development of numerical algorithms based on the combination of penalty with trajectory methods. The basic idea consists in adding to the criterion to be optimized (the minimization of a cost/energy or the maximization of a benefit) a term which penalizes the violation of certain constraints on the solution. Then the optimization problem is formulated as a set of ordinary differential equations, whose equilibrium points correspond to optimal solutions. In regard to the theoretical foundations and computational aspects of such methods, I have published about 25 papers in international journals and I have been the advisor of 3 PhD students. I have also been interested in some applied problems from the Mining Industry. Since 2007, I am the Deputy Director of the Laboratory on Geomechanics of the Center of Mathematical Modeling (CMM) of U. de Chile, supported by contracts with CODELCO (Chile’s state-owned copper company), our task there is to develop new computational tools to assist the design for rockmass instability in underground mining operations. This is conducted in collaboration with experts on several disciplines like Physics and Geology as well as Civil, Mechanical and Mining Engineering. Concerning administrative duties, I served as Chair of the Mathematical Engineering Department of U. de Chile (2006-2008). I was the Scientific Director of the Millennium Science Institute on Complex Engineering Systems (2007-2010), an interdisciplinary center for excellence which gathers about 30 tenured researchers in the areas of Operations Research, Transportation, Energy, Industrial Organization and Mathematical Optimization.

His last position was serving as the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of U. de Chile.