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Archive: February 2017 (Features)


Monday, 27 Feb 2017
Jeffrey Jones

Chartered Scientist: a new opportunity from the OR Society by Ruth Kaufman, OR Society President

 

 We are delighted to announce that for the first time, the OR Society is able to offer a chartered qualification to its members. Chartered Scientist is a Science Council award that recognises generic scientific competence. It is only available to members of bodies licensed by the Science Council – and as of now, that includes the OR Society. Read on to find out why you should be interested, who this is for, and how you take things further. Why? There are two good reasons to consider Chartered Scientist: because of what it tells other people about what you have achieved and what you do; and because of how it helps you achieve more, better. The initials CSci after your name tell the world that you have been independently assessed as meeting certain minimum standards of competence and experience; that you are continuing to keep your skills up-to-date; and that you are committed to comply with an independent code of conduct. There are currently around 10,000 Chartered Scientists in the UK, and the Science Council is committed to publicising and promoting the award amongst employers, so that the level of recognition is steadily increasing. Applying for Chartered Scientist encourages you to consider and reflect on your experience so far, recognise your strengths and identify how you can continue to develop. As a Chartered Scientist you are required to undertake, and keep records of continuing professional development: a process which encourages and motivates meaningful building of your professional competence. You are also required to abide by a code of conduct, which helps endorse your integrity and professional ethics.

For O.R. generalists, the Chartered Scientist is particularly suitable because it places great emphasis on the generic scientific competences – of searching for the evidence and data, be it quantitative or qualitative, and respecting that evidence when you’ve found it; of using rigorous reasoning (inference or deduction) rather than leaps of faith; of curiosity and creativity in understanding and changing the world. It relates to what unites us at the most elementary level, rather than specifying any particular methodologies. CSci doesn’t replace our own O.R. accreditations, which are ideal if you want to demonstrate your specific O.R. credentials, but sits alongside as an addition or alternative if you want something which is more widely recognised, or which requires CPD and ethical compliance. Who? The minimum requirement for Chartered Scientist is normally 4 years practical experience post-MSc, or sufficient post BA/ BSc experience to demonstrate equivalence. It is more-or-less equivalent to our own AFORS (Associate Fellow of the OR Society). If you are interested in principle, but at an earlier stage in your career, then it is worth thinking now about how to ensure you sail through your CSci application when the time comes. We strongly encourage you to consider CandORS (for new graduates) and AORS (for those with a little experience). These will set you on the path of identifying your skills and experience and keeping track of your developing competences. Even better, they will enable you to present with confidence your evidence under Requirement E2 on the CSci application form: Demonstrate a commitment to professional development through continuing advancement of own knowledge, understanding and competence. It is also essential for an applicant to be a full member of the OR Society. This award is not open to affiliates.  This is because the Science Council requires membership of a licensed body as part-evidence of your personal commitment to professional standards and development. If you want to know more about ‘who’, elsewhere in this issue you can read about the experiences of Andy Harrison and Sophie Carr, long-standing Chartered Scientists and members of the OR Society. How? The OR Society is awarding CSci through the Science Council’s ‘Central Application Process’, a system that has been long established for other Science Council qualifications but has only just been extended to CSci. At this stage, therefore, we are only encouraging applications from people who are willing to act as ‘beta-testers’ for the new systems and processes. If this is you: read on! if not, watch out for further information in three months or so. To apply, go to the Portal on the Science Council website ¹. The application is in two stages. At Stage 1, you are asked to provide basic information (including the names of two ‘supporters’ who can vouch for your professional achievement)   which is then individually reviewed by Science Council staff to check your eligibility. If they are satisfied, you will be invited to continue to Stage 2, submitting a full application which will be reviewed by professional Chartered Scientists/OR Society members trained as assessors. The fee, set by the Science Council, is currently £25 pa for the Chartership (rising to £30 from 2018), plus £25 administration fee for the initial on-line application. There is plenty of background material on the Science Council website. For more specifically O.R.-based information, we will be building up a collection of useful materials on our website www.theorsociety.com/ CSCI/, including: a list of the designations available to OR Society members, and how you might choose which one(s) are for you; a ‘typical profile’ of an OR Society CSci;  an example completed application form; a CPD recording template; a list of CPD opportunities that you can consider; the OR Society code of conduct and associated disciplinary code; some FAQs; and who to speak to if you want to know more. What now? We have long been keen to introduce a wider variety of qualification opportunities for those members who want or need them, and it is satisfying now to be able to offer CSci. We are hoping that early next year we will also be able to offer the Certified Analytics Professional award, which will sit alongside our current accreditation system and CSci as an exam-based, analytics-oriented option.  More details of all options are on the website. We will be very interested to see the response and to get your feedback. ¹  http://sciencecouncil.org/scientistsscience-technicians/which-professionalaward-is-right-for-me/csci/



Friday, 3 Feb 2017
Gavin Blackett

 

K. BRIAN HALEY 1933-2016 (OR Society President, 1982-83)

By Graham Rand, Lancaster University

The death of Brian Haley on Christmas Day at the age of 83, soon after a diagnosis of liver cancer, brought to an end over 60 years of substantial involvement and dedicated service to the OR Society and to the worldwide O.R. community.  His involvement with the OR Society dates from 1954 when he became an Associate Member. In 1959 he founded, with Neil Jessop, the Midlands OR Society.  He was the first UK contributing editor to International Abstracts in Operations Research, Editor of the Journal of the Operational Research Society from 1971-1980 and President of the Society in 1982-1983, as well as being on Council and many committees.  Following his retirement from academic life, Brian continued to be involved in the Society’s affairs, most notably as Chair of the Publications Committee, a position he held for a period of 11 years. During his time as Chair, the journals in the Society’s portfolio flourished, and Brian oversaw the development of a variety of initiatives, including the birth of the Journal of Simulation.  Not surprisingly, the Society bestowed honours on him, first with the Companionship of Operational Research in 1996, and, in 2010, the Beale Medal. Only three other Presidents have received both these honours.  In recent years he regularly attended the Blackett lecture, and was very disappointed on the few such occasions he missed.

Brian was born on 17th November 1933 in Smethwick, near Birmingham where he spent nearly all his life.  He attended King Edward’s School, Five Ways, before starting at the University of Birmingham in 1950 to study mathematics.  On graduating in 1953, he became a research assistant in the University’s Department of Engineering Production, obtaining his doctorate in 1956, for a thesis on industrial applications of linear programming.  His subsequent work always involved O.R. applied to a wide variety of real problems.  As Brian's period as research assistant came towards a close in 1957 he was faced with the prospect of National Service. In a profile of Brian in the OR Society Newsletter in February 1981, John Hough reported the decision problem he faced: a choice between fighting the Mau Mau in Kenya or EOKA in Cyprus as an officer, or operating a calculating machine in Byfleet as a Sergeant (Clerical).  However, a third option emerged - the National Coal Board O.R. Group (called FIG – Field Investigation Group) not only offered an outlet for his O.R. ambitions but it was also one of the very few acceptable alternatives to the Army.  Not surprisingly he opted for FIG. In 1958 Birmingham University had established the UK's first MSc Course in O.R. in the Department of Engineering Production and it was this, in 1959, which attracted Brian back to his home city to become the UK's first designated lecturer in operational research.  In 1968, he became Professor of Operational Research, retiring in 1999.

At the first international conference held in Oxford, UK, in September 1957, his paper, jointly authored with John Stringer, on the application of linear programming to a large-scale transportation problem, followed one from George Dantzig.  Exalted company indeed!   This conference led to the creation of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS) on 1st January 1959.   Later, Brian edited the proceedings of two IFORS’ conferences, held in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan (1975) and Toronto, Canada (1978).  He then became successively Vice-President (1983-85), Chairman of the Publications Committee and, from 1992-1994, President.  Brian took pride in having attended the first 14 IFORS conferences, usually accompanied by his wife Diana. At the fifteenth conference, held in Beijing, China (1999) Brian was unable to travel at the last minute through illness.  Brian did attend further IFORS conferences, with Diana, as was the case in 2008, when the conference was in South Africa.  Diana died in March last year and, no longer having to worry about caring for her, Brian had intended to attend the IFORS conference this year in Quebec, accompanied by his son, but sadly that plan was not able to be realised.   

He met Diana at Birmingham University, where she was a secretary and typed work for him.  They were married at St Germain’s Church, Birmingham on 2nd April 1960.   They had one son, Alan, and two granddaughters, Frances and Emma.   Brian was a keen sportsman, playing rugby, as a prop, at school and for Five Ways Old Boys 1st XV.  He sailed for 10 years at Barnt Green reservoir, played squash and badminton, and latterly archery and a game called pickleball!  He followed cricket closely, though he wouldn't buy Sky on principle, and supported Worcestershire, whilst Diana supported Warwickshire.   He was very involved in church life.  As treasurer of his local Church, he was able to exercise his O.R. talents. A time series analysis of weekly collections was developed to decide the optimum timing of special appeals for donations. For a time he was a deacon at Carters Lane Baptist Church and occasional lay preacher.  Another major activity for nearly 40 years was as a governor of Bromsgrove School, for whom he created an L.P. model to evaluate alternative fee-structures.

in his February 1981 profile, written when Brian ceased being Journal editor, John Hough said “Whilst we may be saddened at his departure from Editorship of the Journal we can certainly anticipate years of future service from him in one of the few ORS roles which he has yet to play, that of President-elect, and subsequently, President of the O.R. Society”.   As can be seen, John’s expectation was more than fulfilled.

 

 



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