Sign Out
Logged In:
Tab Image

Our Conferences / Events

Beale Lecture
The Royal Society, London
21 February 2019

New to OR 2019 Biennial Conference
Conference Aston Meeting Suites (CAMS) at Aston University Business School
10 - 11 April 2019

2nd IMA & OR Society Conference on Mathematics of Operational Research
Aston University, Birmingham
Thursday 25 - Friday 26 April 2019

OR61: Annual Conference
University of Kent
3 - 5 September 2019

Tab Image


Thursday 21 February 2019

The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London. SW1Y 5AG


2.00pm Registration and refreshments

Lectures start at 2.30pm



The OR Society are pleased to announce this open event which begins with a short talk from our 2016 PhD winner, Itamar Megiddo, followed by a talk from our main speaker and 2017 Beale Medal award winner, Mike C. Jackson OBE.

The OR Society is pleased to announce details of our next Beale Lecture, open to members and non-members alike. The OR Society’s Beale Medal is awarded each year in memory of the late Martin Beale. It gives formal recognition to a sustained contribution over many years to the theory, practice, or philosophy of operational research (OR) in the UK, or to some combination of those areas.

Beale Medal Winner 2017 – Professor Mike C Jackson OBE
Title:  The Future of OR Is Present

In 1978, at a conference in York, Russ Ackoff argued that the deficiencies of OR could only be overcome by ‘a comprehensive re-conceptualization of the field, its methodology, the way it is practised, and the way students are educated to practise it.’ He saw little chance of this happening and declared ‘the future of OR is past.’ I maintain that the efforts made to broaden the scope of OR will allow us, in 2019, to discern a bright future for the field. In fact, the future of OR is already present. Concentrating on theoretical and methodological advances such as ‘soft OR’ and ‘multi-methodology’, and drawing upon developments in the related trans-discipline of systems thinking, a case is made for an ‘enhanced OR’ capable of helping decision-makers meet the challenges posed by modern day complexity. Is the approach recommended still OR? I argue that it most certainly is. Indeed, it enables the realization of the original ambition of OR to become an interdisciplinary approach capable of engaging successfully with important, problematic issues set in social systems. The future of OR is present. Carpe diem, and make it happen.

Mike C Jackson OBE is Emeritus Professor at the University of Hull. Born in Hull. He was awarded an Open Exhibition at University College Oxford and graduated in PPE. He spent four years in the civil service before gaining an MA from Lancaster University and a PhD from the University of Hull. Mike has written six books and over 100 articles on systems thinking and management, including some of the most cited in the field. He has edited Systems Research and Behavioral Science for 25 years. He was founding director of the Centre for Systems Studies at the University of Hull where he established ‘critical systems thinking’ as a major area of research and practice. Between 1999 and 2011 he was Dean of Hull University Business School and led it to triple-crown accreditation. Mike is a Chartered IT Professional and a Fellow of The OR Society, the British Computer Society, the Cybernetics Society and the Chartered Management Institute. He is a Companion of the Association of Business Schools. Mike has served on the General Council of The OR Society, been Chair of the UK Systems Society, and President of the International Federation for Systems Research and the International Society for the Systems Sciences. He has been a visiting professor at numerous international universities and been awarded two honorary doctorates. Mike received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, 2011, for services to higher education and business. His new bookCritical Systems Thinking: Responsible Leadership for a Complex World will be published by John Wiley & Sons early in 2019.

Opening talk
PhD Winner 2016 – Dr Itamar Megiddo
For ‘The Most Distinguished Body of Research leading to the Award of a Doctorate in the field of O.R.’ 
Title: Agent-based modelling for healthcare policy decisions in low and middle-income countries: analyses using data from India

The importance of also measuring fairness and contextualizing trial data from high-income countries is increasing, as demand for evidence-based decision making is increasing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Health-economics methods are well-established, but they are not well-suited for considering local context or the distribution of costs and consequences, nor are they well-suited for capturing the complexity of healthcare. The challenges of developing ABMs to model healthcare in LMICs, where data is often limited, are particularly acute.Use of agent-based models (ABMs) for understanding complex economic and social phenomena is increasing. They are often used in theoretical approaches with explanatory goals in mind. However, the flexibility of ABMs, along with their ability to integrate diverse data sources, also lends to a data-driven approach that can be used to model healthcare with predictive goals to inform policy and decision making. That is the realm of health-economics, which has been concerned with measuring the effectiveness, value and efficiency of healthcare systems, services, and interventions.

In this talk, we will discuss IndiaSim, a data-driven ABM of the Indian population and its utilisation of the healthcare system. We will discuss applications using IndiaSim, including analyses of India’s Universal Immunization Programme (rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines), developing water and sanitation infrastructure to reduce the burden of diarrheal disease and public financing of healthcare packages. In the process, we will reflect on the flexibility and challenges of using ABMs, what we did to overcome the challenges and what we might do better.

Dr Itamar Megiddo is a Chancellor’s Fellow, lecturer (assistant professor) at the Department of Management Science at the University of Strathclyde. His research focus is on improving evidence-based decision making and resource allocation in healthcare policy. His main body of work integrates disease (including infectious and non-communicable), health system, and economic modelling to evaluate impact and design policy and strategy, and he is particularly interested in improving agent-based modelling of healthcare systems in low- and middle-income countries.

Thursday 21 February 2019

The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London. SW1Y 5AG

(Tea and biscuits at 2.00pm; Lectures finish around 4:30pm. Drinks reception until 5:00pm)
There is no charge for attendance at this event.
Registration is now open to both members and non-members of The OR Society.
If you have any queries, please contact Hilary Wilkes on