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Conferences & Events
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58th Canadian Operational Research Society Annual Conference (CORS2016)
Banff National Park, Canada
30 May 2016 - 01 Jun 2016
Information Systems, Logistics and Supply Chain 2016
Kedge Business School Campus
01 - 04 Jun 2016
36th International Symposium on Forecasting
Santander, Spain, Palace de La Magdalena
19 - 22 Jun 2016
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Special Interest Meetings

Wed 09 Mar   Criminal Justice
Mon 21 Mar   Health & Social Services
Tue 26 Jul   Defence
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Past Meetings

Visit to Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Date: Wednesday, 04 May 2016 at 14:00 - 16:00

There is a visit to Dwr Cymru Welsh Water on Wednesday 4th of May between 2 and 4pm. The details are below. This is a great opportunity to see some exciting and innovative uses of Operational Research at first hand. Welsh Water has invested over £9 million in innovation projects over the last 12 months which has transformed the way they operate. The tour will give the opportunity to see cutting edge visualisation tools as well as many other areas of their business.


Please let me know if you plan to attend (email – Welsh Water require numbers in advance. Please also contact me if you would like a lift and we will see if we can arrange transport.




The address is Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Ty Awen, Spooner Close, Coedkernew, Newport, NP10 8FZ. There is car parking onsite with a few visitor spaces at the front and an overflow carpark just behind the building.




The visit will include the following:


1.         Igloo 360 demonstration - Igloo 360 is a circular pod which projects a 360 degree image onto the walls. It has the capability of google street map and intricate details of sites (see

2.       Modelling bacti failures at reservoirs - Bacti failures can occur in the water at reservoirs and Welsh Water model the probability of a sample failing at each reservoir

3.       Treatment Performance Forecast (TPF) - Looking at determinants at treatment works to establish causing factors and provide a score to each work

4.       Smart Hub overview - The Smart Hub is an area of the company that looks at predicting failures/problems before they happen to reduce disruption to the customer

5.       Smart scheduling - Optimising tanker deliveries around sites to minimise the number of tankers, fuel emissions and cost of hiring contractors

6.       Rant and Rave - If a customer contacts us we invite them to provide us with feedback of our customer service via our Rant and Rave system. From this we can establish how to improve via sentiment analysis

Structural Modelling the Mis-selling of Retail Banking Products

Venue: School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
Speaker: Dr Richard Wood, Lloyds Banking Group
Date: Wednesday, 09 March 2016 at 17:45 - 19:00

This SWORDS seminar will be given on the 9th of March by Dr Richard Wood of Lloyds Banking Group on Structural Mis-selling of Retail Banking Products. Drinks will be available from the Internet cafe in the School of Mathematics, Cardiff University from 5.30pm and the sminar will begin at 5.45pm. 


Alongside market and credit risk, operational risk represents a significant exposure for financial firms, against which large amounts of capital are held. Operational risk is defined as the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed processes, people and systems or from external events. This includes scenarios such as rogue trading, sanctions breach, mis-selling, cyber fraud, and terrorist attack. The standard method to assess capital requirement for each such scenario is a well-known actuarial technique - frequency/severity modelling. Here the numbers of losses per year are probabilistically combined with the loss amount given event occurrence to yield a distribution of annual loss, from which the 99.9% quantile provides the capital requirement as per the Basel II/III regulation. Rather than calibrate the frequency and severity distributions through the typical means of using loss data or expert opinion, which is not necessarily risk sensitive and limits the extent of facilitating risk management consideration, this study develops a structural approach in which these distributions are determined using bespoke models built on the underlying risk drivers. As an example, product mis-selling in Retail banking is considered. For this scenario, the frequency distribution is constructed using a Bayesian belief network and the severity distribution using system dynamics with elements of queuing theory and multi-objective optimisation. This talk describes the approach taken to this end, and illustrates how the model can be used to estimate capital for a particular crystallisation of the scenario involving packaged bank accounts.

An OR State of Mind - The Benefits of an OR Approach to Continuous Improvement Programmes.

Venue: School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
Speaker: Jon Richards, Nicola Drake (Quintec) and Felicity McLeister (OR Society)
Date: Wednesday, 24 February 2016 at 17:30 - 19:00

The next SWORDS seminar is scheduled for the 24th of February in the School of Mathematics, Cardiff University. Drinks will be available in the Internet Cafe from 5.30pm with the seminar commencing at 5.45pm. 


Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme operated by The OR Society which places skilled analysts in short terms projects with third sector organisations across the UK.  A team from Thales Cyber and Consulting Services conducted the following Pro Bono O.R. project with Diabetes UK:


An OR State of Mind - The Benefits of an OR Approach to Continuous Improvement Programmes.


In any working environment, especially as an organisation expands it is easy to 'stick with what works' and repeat successful processes. These processes are often duplicated with minor tweaks and become part of 'business as usual'.

When the organisation is challenged to conduct improvements it can be very difficult to analyse these processes to identify what can be improved and where changes would provide benefits.


Based on the fundamentals of Business Change and Process Management this Pro Bono O.R project demonstrates the benefits of an OR approach to identifying challenges and deriving improvements to business processes.  This presentation discusses the analysis of business processes and the utilisation of all available information and people to derive observations and recommendations in direct support of the continuous improvement programme.


The presentation will conclude with the Pro Bono O.R. Project Manager, Felicity McLeister giving an overview of the scheme, some current volunteer roles and details of how you can get involved.

Maintaining Blood Stocks in Wales - a simple case of Demand & Supply?

Venue: Room M/0.40, School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
Speaker: Cath O’Brien (Director, WBS) and Stuart Morris (Head of Business Systems, WBS)
Date: Wednesday, 10 February 2016 at 17:30 - 19:00

The Welsh Blood Service [WBS] collects voluntary, non-remunerated blood donations from over 100,000 of the general public. These donations are processed and tested before distribution to hospitals where they support patient care. This currently covers South, West and part of Mid Wales; however in May 2016 North Wales will transfer from the English service to WBS with a 25% increase in production and creating an all Wales service.


This highly regulated supply chain operation has to maintain stock levels for this short-life product (5-7 days for platelets and 35 days for red blood cells) against variable and difficult to predict supply and demand across a range of blood groups.


Donors choose to donate at their convenience and are only able to donate at a set frequency of 16 weeks.


Hospital needs for blood vary according to total supply and blood group requirement resulting in a continual challenge to manage supply and ensure a minimal waste through expiry of the generous gift that donors give.


Currently only 1 in 30 people who are eligible to donate blood do so, whereas 1 in 3 people may need blood at some time in their life. As lifestyles and population demographics change, donor numbers are diminishing and recruitment techniques and donation process needs to meet the needs of the new donors we need to recruit.


The WBS blood collection model uses 5 teams of staff based on a system introduced in 2012 and now being reviewed. This utilises mobile blood vehicles, church halls, businesses and other community venues. The bleed model accommodates a mixture of appointments and walk in slots on an appointment grid and Donors follow a process of booking, screening, donation and rest through the clinic.  Variable attendance and donor throughput time in the clinic impact on flow, waiting times and clinic capacity. The range of permutations of alignment of staff to clinic capacity, appropriate skill-mix, the clinic visit cycle and travel time to clinic from the WBS base all need to be factored into the planning.


Following donation, the blood has to be tested and processed according to tightly defined protocols before distributing to hospitals across Wales.

Swansea Bay Lagoon Construction Logistics

Venue:  Swansea Civic Centre (County Hall), Committee Room 2, SA1 3SN
Speaker:  Iona Jenkins, Development Director for Wales
Date: Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 18:00 - 20:00

The Swansea Bay development has the potential for a significant impact, both for the local region and the Welsh economy more generally. However, there are many logistical challenges in completing this development, and these will be explored in this presentation.