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YOR20 - Careers Panel

As always at a Young to OR Conference, we are very pleased to advise that we have an excellent careers panel available which includes representatives from a variety of industries.  These representatives will be willing to take any careers questions you may have, so put your thinking caps on now!  There will be a box at the registration desk at the start of the conference for you to put your question (and name) into.  These questions will be used to start off the session, which will then continue with more questions from the floor and general discussion on careers.

The list of panel members, in alphabetical order, are shown below: 

John Hopes, (Partner at EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young))

John is a partner at EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young) where his roles include being Global Leader of Transaction Analytics and Business Modelling.  He has also been Vice President of the Operational Research Society from 2011-2016, chairing the Society’s Analytics Development Group, and is a member of the Heads of OR Forum.  John started his career in Operational Research at Shell where he also worked in Business Strategy and Production Economics for North Sea oil and gas fields.  He then moved into professional services, first at KPMG where he became lead partner for Business Modelling and Customer Management consulting, before moving to lead Business Modelling at EY 15 years ago.

Ruth Kaufman, (President of The OR Society and Independent Consultant)

Ruth Kaufman, a ‘Companion’ of the OR Society, became President of the Society in January of this year.  Like many other members of the OR Society, she fell into O.R. by accident, in her case having taken a maths BA in the School of Social Sciences at Sussex University.  This led to a long career in public sector O.R. and wider management at London Transport, London Electricity, Department of Health and Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD).  At ECGD, she joined the Executive Board, having responsibility for strategy and change management as well as leading an influential OR group. In the voluntary sector, Ruth chaired a small charity, Woman's Trust, for five years and was a founder member of the OR Society’s Pro Bono Scheme. Ruth is currently (amongst other things), Advisor to the Finance Committee at the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, a visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and a freelance consultant and advisor. She was awarded an OBE for 'services to Operational Research' in the 2016 New Year's Honours list.
During her two-year presidency of the OR Society, Ruth aims to help O.R. become more visible and to help the OR Society grow its reach and impact, nurture OR research and build the people pipeline.

Tony O’Connor, (Chief Analyst, Ministry of Defence and Chair Government Operational Research Service)

Tony has 30 years’ experience of operational research in Government across Education, the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury and since 2009, within the Department of Health’s Strategy Group working on various cross-cutting and longer-term challenges for the health and care sector.  Tony played a key central Government role as the Chief Analyst of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit between 2001 and 2008, where he improved the use of evidence at the heart of Government, working in particular on performance measurement across key public services and reporting to the then Prime Minister. More recently he is leading a project on the potential of big data and data analytics for the Department of Health and across Government.
In addition, since April 2004 Tony has been the Head of the Government Operational Research Service (GORS), representing the interests of over 600 government operational research analysts across 20+ departments.   In 2007 he was awarded the CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for his work promoting operational research across Government and his analytical contribution to the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit. In 2010 he was made an Operational Research Companion of Honour by the Operational Research Society.

Sandra Weddell, (Transport Modelling Manager at London Underground (TfL))

Sandra leads the Rail & Underground’s Transport Modelling team which uses a range of simulation and transport assignment models and analytics to support decision making. She ensures the results of analysis are used to provide answers covering R&U’s complex strategic, service development and operational issues. This includes: pedestrian modelling of stations for the capacity programme to improve the flows as part of the design process for all TfL stations including for Crossrail 1 & 2 stations how they integrate with existing stations; modelling train service capacity upgrades to understand the journey time benefits for customers of options to meet future demand and the effect on reliability; assessing the impact of events (for example the Olympics) & closures on crowding across the transport system. She joined London Underground in 2005 to lead the measurement of the performance & payment regimes for capability and reliability for the Public Private Partnership contracts.
Previously, Sandra worked in performance analysis at the Strategic Rail Authority on the Rail Performance Fund providing analysis to support business cases for projects, developing the first Rail Performance Improvement Plans by setting up cross industry forecasting and reporting on targets. Prior to that Sandra worked for over 10 years in the Central Government Operational Research Service: at HM Treasury; Export Credit Government Department; Property Services Agency. Sandra’s areas of expertise are public transport and financial modelling, underground & rail performance and policy analysis plus Operational Research.
Sandra has also been involved with various functions of the OR Society for many years including: Young to OR conferences, Events committee, LASEORS and also served on the OR Society Board.  Sandra has a degree Mathematics from South Bank University and a Masters in Operational Research from the LSE.