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Meet Juliane Mueller, 2014 Alvarez Fellow

August 20, 2014


Juliane Mueller

As the 2014 Luis Alvarez Postdoctoral Fellow, Juliane Mueller joins Berkeley Lab’s Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering (CCSE) where she will be developing optimization algorithms for computationally expensive black-box problems. These are problems where the objective function evaluation requires time-consuming computer simulations and derivatives are not available.

“This work is important for a wide range of application problems,” says Mueller. “There are environmental applications, such as the cleaning up of contaminated groundwater at minimal cost; alternative energy applications, like generating the maximal amount of energy from hydropower dams or kites; or calibration of climate models, which involves finding better model parameters to make predictions agree better with actual observational data.”

These examples represent some of Mueller’s previous work, which she will talk about in a Computing Sciences seminar on Friday, August 29 at 1pm in Room 50F-1647.  

A native of Germany, Mueller’s interest in optimization began while she was an undergraduate at TU Bergakademie Freiberg, or Freiberg University of Mining and Technology. “My minor was industrial engineering and there were some problems where a good knowledge of optimization came in handy,” says Mueller.

In fact, she developed an optimization algorithm to solve the vehicle routing problem for her diploma thesis. This work helps companies identify cost-effective and time-efficient delivery routes for their fleet of vehicles.

Juliane Mueller rock climbing.

“I was very excited about applying my knowledge to a real problem,” says Mueller. “There are so many applications that I got to work on in the past. I believe that at Berkeley Lab I will get the opportunity work on a much larger range of optimization problems because the research areas here are so vast.”

After Germany, Mueller began her graduate studies at Tampere University of Technology in Finland, and then moved to Ithaca, NY to complete her PhD at Cornell University in applied mathematics. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors. Her hobbies include bouldering and rock climbing, cycling, running, and she hopes to pick up surfing.

About Berkeley Lab

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 16 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit