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Archive: November 2017 (Features)

Wednesday, 29 Nov 2017
ORinSchools (ORiS)

The OR in Schools (ORiS) iniativie liaises with teachers, lectures and educators to promote operational research (OR) and highlight potential careers. We have lots of interaction with students and recently, we've had some requests for work experience from those studying maths at Uni. 

If you offer work experience, please get in touch and let me know ( If you have a dedicated webpage or application process for university students (or even an informal process for school students), please send me the relevant details. I can either forward these on, or pop you in touch. 

A lot of students are studying maths or similar and are considering a career in OR. This is a great opportunity for them to learn more about your company and for you to get to know them!!

Thursday, 23 Nov 2017
Amy Patrick

Sir Alan Wilson, CEO of the Alan Turing Institute, was awarded a lifetime honorary membership to the Operational Research Society during its annual Blackett Memorial Lecture held at IET London on 23 November 2017. The award recognises his more than 50 years research and leadership related to operational research (OR), which is the science of making better decisions through the use of logic, mathematical modelling and analytical methods, and welcomes him to the OR community.

Sir Alan Wilson Honorary Membership

Sir Alan was responsible for the introduction of model building techniques which are now commonly used around the world. His body of research covers the use of mathematical modelling in the planning of cities in areas such as transport planning, demography and economic modelling. His current research is on the evolution of cities and the dynamics of global trade, migration, security and development aid. It embodies the OR tradition in its mix of modelling interconnected systems, borrowing methods from other disciplines, and accounting for the human aspects of problem-solving. His leadership of the Alan Turing Institute carries these features through to the developing discipline of data science.

OR Society President Ruth Kaufman said of his award: "This is an excellent moment for us to be recognising Sir Alan's many achievements with honorary membership of the OR Society. His work on urban analytics fits perfectly into the OR philosophy, and his work with the Alan Turing Institute will lead us to work even more closely together in future.” 

Sir Alan Wilson commented: “I am delighted and privileged to be made an honorary member of the Society. I have always believed in the importance of OR and I think this is particularly so in the age of big data, data science and AI. I will look forward to helping the Society in responding to these new challenges and opportunities, not least in my current role in The Alan Turing Institute.”


Notes for editors

1) The OR Society is the professional home of the operational research and analytics community. OR practitioners are people trained and experienced in finding effective approaches to real-world problems by using maths and science. The OR Society promotes the understanding and use of operational research in all areas of life, including industry, business, government, health, and education. The society is a registered charity which offers OR learning, encourages students to engage with STEM subjects, and facilitates pro bono consultancy services. See more at

2) Sir Alan Wilson was formerly Professor of Urban and Regional Systems in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London and Chair of the Home Office Science Advisory Council and of the Lead Expert Group for the Government Office for Science Foresight Project on The Future of Cities. He writes the weekly Quaestio blog on research and interdisciplinarity, See full bio at

3) The Alan Turing Institute is the UK’s national institute for data science, which brings together researchers from computer science, mathematics, statistics, engineering and the social sciences to turn data into useful information. Understanding the societal implications of big data is one of The Alan Turing Institute’s key research priorities. See more at

Thursday, 16 Nov 2017
Cara Quinton

Would you like to get involved with REF 2021?

What is the REF?

The REF is the system for assessing the quality and impact of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). It was first conducted in 2014, and replaced the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The REF will be undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland.

The REF exercise will be completed in 2021 and the results will be used by the four funding bodies to drive their allocations of research funding to HEIs. It will also provide useful benchmarking information and reputational yardsticks, and provide accountability for public investment in research and demonstrate its benefits.

The REF will be undertaken through a process of expert review. HEIs will be invited to make submissions which will be assessed by 34 subject-based expert sub-panels, working under the guidance of four main panels. Further information can be found here: and

You are also welcome to contact Kevin Glazebrook or Tom Archibald, who have been involved previously and are happy to discuss their experience with anyone seeking further information about serving on the Mathematical Sciences sub-panel ( or the Business and Management sub-panel (

ORS Nominating Main Panel and Sub-Panel Members

The Operational Research Society has been invited to nominate candidates to be panel members. We welcome applications from individuals with expertise in all aspects of operational research. We are seeking candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, institution types and geographical regions. We particularly welcome candidates from groups previously under-represented on assessment panels, including women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled people.

We are able to make nominations for the following:

  • Additional main panel members (with expertise in leading, commissioning or making use of interdisciplinary research, leading research internationally, or senior level experience in the commissioning, use or wider benefits of research)
  • Sub-panel members and assessors (including practising researchers, individuals with expertise in commissioning, applying or making use of research, and interdisciplinary advisers)

ORS Nomination Process

If you would like to be considered for nomination, please complete a REF 2021 Panel Nomination Application Formand send it with a short CV of no more than 2 A4 sides to by midday Thursday 30th November 2017. The Operational Research Society’s Selection Panel will then review all applications and submit nominations to the REF bodies. You will be notified of the Operational Research Society’s Selection Panel’s decision about your nomination by 20th December 2017. The REF bodies will then contact successful candidates in early 2018.

We are aware that many practising researchers in the OR area are not members of the Society. Please draw the attention of this call to any of your colleagues who may not otherwise have received it.


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