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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. 2017

Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke and Ruth Kaufman


Edmund Burke Professor Edmund Burke is a distinguished scientist with multidisciplinary research interests which lie at the interface of Operational Research (OR) and Computer Science. In particular, his main research is focused on the exploration of search methodologies and the role that they play in underpinning intelligent decision support systems across a wide variety of applications. Edmund obtained his PhD in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Leeds before joining the University of Nottingham. He held several academic positions at Nottingham, where he served ultimately as Dean of the Faculty of Science. While at Nottingham, he founded the Automated Scheduling, Optimisation and Planning (ASAP) Research Group. Within a less than a decade, the group became one of the largest OR groups in the UK with over 40 members, including academics, post-doctoral research students, PhD students and admin support. The group led by Edmund was one of the leading research groups in the world to set an international research agenda for computational research methodologies. Edmund then moved to Stirling to take the position of Senior Deputy Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and after that joined the Queen Mary’s University of London as Vice Principal.

In addition to successfully carrying out leading managerial roles at the universities mentioned above, Edmund’s research funding portfolio has been continuously growing. He has been awarded 57 externally funded grants worth over £17M. A major part of his funding comes from the UK research councils but he also has a considerable research income from other funding sources in the UK and EU. Edmund has considerably contributed to increasing the visibility of Operational Research as a discipline in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Councils (EPSRC) research agenda. Edmund was one of the key instrumentals in obtaining the largest EPSRC funded grant in OR in the UK, namely the Science and Innovation grant entitled the LANCS Initiative, which enabled collaboration between leading OR groups in the UK. Edmund has edited/authored 14 books and has published over 250 refereed papers.

Edmund has been a member of EPSRC Strategic Advisory Teams on three separate occasions, and is currently Chair of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Strategic Advisory Team. His previous two terms were in Mathematical Sciences (2008-2013) and ICT (2003–2005). Edmund is a Fellow of the Operational Research Society (FORS), the British Computer Society (CITP) and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. Edmund also has a very prominent role in editorial activities. He is Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Scheduling, Area Editor for Combinatorial Optimisation of the Journal of Heuristics, Associate Editor of the INFORMS Journal on Computing and Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation. Since 1995, Edmund has led the organisation of the international series of biennial conferences on the Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling (PATAT). He has played a leading role in the organisation of several other major international conferences in his research field. He also participates in the work of OR Society national conferences and delivered a plenary talk at OR53.

In addition Edmund is a very enthusiastic person who continuously organises and undertakes a wide variety of activities to promote OR research and practice in the UK and abroad. He has established and maintained a network of distinguished international scientists in OR and OR related disciplines.

In summary, Professor Burke’s exceptional commitment to research in general and particularly to promoting OR makes him an outstanding candidate for the award of Companion of the OR Society.