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Awards - Companion of O.R

The Companionship of Operational Research is awarded for sustained support and encouragement for the development of Operational Research or for those in influential positions who are in broad sympathy with the subject area. Such contributions might be through public or private activities.

Citation for Companion of O.R. 2016

Sally Brailsford

Sally Brailsford and Ruth Kaufman

Sally Brailsford is Professor of Management Science at the University of Southampton and is currently Head of the Department of Decision Analytics and Risk at the Southampton Business School.  She is well known, both in the UK and worldwide, for the influential research on healthcare modelling that she has undertaken over the past 25 years.

Sally's research in healthcare has used simulation modelling to evaluate treatments and screening programmes, or to redesign and improve service delivery.  This has included work in many different disease fields including diabetes, cancer, mental health and HIV/AIDS, in addition to emergency care and end-of-life care.  Her more recent interests are in incorporating behavioural factors into simulation models, in combining simulation methodologies, and in combining simulation with other approaches such as optimisation.  She has twice won the OR Society's Goodeve Medal, in 2004 for modelling emergency healthcare services in Nottingham, and in 2006 for modelling chlamydia infection.
[GB NOTE: The win announced later in the ceremony will be her third, but of course we can’t mention that here!]

Sally has provided outstanding service to the academic community in many ways.  She is the current Chair of COPIOR, the Committee of Professors in OR.  Also, she was Vice-President of the OR Society during the period 2006-08, and a Vice-President of EURO from 2012-15.  She has actively participated in the activities of the EURO Working Group on OR Applied to Health Services (ORAHS) for many years. Highlights of her contributions to ORAHS have been organising the Group's annual conference at Southampton in 2005, and currently serving as the Group's Coordinator.

She is an editor of the book Discrete-Event Simulation and System Dynamics for Management Decision Making.  Also, she is an Editor-in-Chief of the OR Society's journal Health Systems, and is on the editorial boards of Health Care Management Science, the Journal of Simulation, and Operations Research for Health Care.

Sally's contribution to university life cannot be under-estimated.   She has always been instrumental in helping to develop the careers of many work colleagues, and in inspiring and educating the next generation of OR researchers and practitioners.

In summary, Sally's wide-ranging contributions to, and achievements in, OR make her an extremely worthy recipient of the Companionship of the OR Society.

Jeff Griffiths

Jeff Griffiths and Ruth Kaufman

Jeff Griffiths is an outstanding academic who has pioneered the development and practical application of Operational Research (OR) for over 55 years, to become a world authority in queuing applications. A member of academic staff at Cardiff University since 1964, Jeff was Head of the School of Mathematics for most of the period from 1983 to 2006. With a Ph.D. in Stochastic Processes, he first became interested in Epidemiology and Healthcare when investigating the world-wide eradication of small pox in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Since that time he has undertaken a large number of consultancies and contracts with government establishments and with a variety of public and private companies. He has also worked extensively in the field of transport, with particular reference to congestion problems. His extensive international work has taken him all over the world. Jeff has received grants and awards totalling over £4.5M. He has been an invited speaker at a large number of conferences in the UK and overseas, and has held key organisational responsibilities in several OR international conferences, e.g. EURO 2000. With authorship of over 140 publications and reports, he has appeared in expert capacity in several television and radio programmes, and as an expert witness in High Court actions.

Reflecting his significant achievements in successfully applying OR to healthcare systems in the UK, Jeff was awarded the unprecedented status of the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2006 – the only non-medical practitioner to be recognized in this way to date. From 2008-2012, Jeff was the Cardiff University representative in the LANCS initiative (with the Universities of Lancaster, Nottingham and Southampton) which was awarded an EPSRC Science and Innovation Grant. He played key influential and persuasive roles in national OR funded initiatives, e.g. LANCS, NATCOR.

During his academic career, Jeff successfully supervised 48 Ph.D. students in OR focused theses. One of his Ph.D. graduands gained the OR Society’s Ph.D. prize in 2012. Others hold membership and key responsibilities within the OR Society.

Recognising his considerable OR achievements in over 50 years of service, Cardiff University awarded him the prestigious title of Distinguished Research Professor when he took partial retirement in 2014. This has enabled him to continue his leading role in promoting and organising events with the South Wales OR Discussion Society (SWORDS). In November 2015, the University presented Jeff with its most prestigious award “The Lifetime Achievement Award”, with particular reference to his achievements in raising the profile of OR at the University through excellent teaching. The research group he formed and led at Cardiff for many years is now recognised as one of the major OR centres in the UK. In November 2015, it won the prestigious Times Higher "Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology" reflecting the significant impact made by the group in embedding OR methodology in the NHS systems and practices.

Providing an important contribution to his OR achievements, Jeff is one of the longest serving OR Society members with his membership dating back to 1961 – something of which he is very proud. He was Vice President of the Society from 1997-1999, and was President in 2006-2007. During his Presidency, such was his interest in stimulating the OR Society at local levels, Jeff provided a Presidential seminar at every live ORS Regional Society in the UK. He was the OR Society’s representative at the International Federation of OR Society Conference (IFORS) from 2000 and has attended the majority of IFORS conferences since 1961.

Demonstrating his significant communication skills, Jeff has used several different media channels to promote OR and the OR Society, For example, in February 2015, he appeared in a Radio 4 programme “The Bottom Line” devoted entirely to the impact which queueing theory has on everyday lives. Reflecting his unique status within OR, he was introduced as “one of the leading exponents of queuing theory in the UK”. He continues to act as a consultant to the consumer magazine Which? on various OR orientated projects. Jeff is a long standing member of the ORS Investment Committee and was the OR Society representative on the Council for Mathematics Sciences and the Heads of Departments of Mathematical Sciences for many years. In particular, through his unique contribution as Chair of and involvement with the ORS Publications Committee until December 2015, he established a firm foundation for the business strategy, operations and income from the Society’s journals which continues to substantially benefit the OR Society today.

Jeff was awarded the Beale Medal by the OR Society in 2010 reflecting his sustained and significant contribution to the theory and practice of OR in the UK and internationally. Although those who hold this award are not normally considered for Companionship status, Jeff’s outstanding, unprecedented and unrivalled commitment and support to OR and the OR Society at local, regional, national and international levels over the last 55 years makes him an exceptional candidate for the award of Companion of OR.