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Recent Blog Posts

Wednesday, 29 Mar 2017
Thomas M Monks

19 – 21 MARCH 2018


Important Information

19th -21st March 2018 sees the return of the OR Society’s biennial simulation workshop (SW18). The conference always boasts an excellent mix of delegates from the fields of simulation practice and research. The conference covers application and theoretical developments across all simulation methods, for example agent based simulation, system dynamics, discrete-event simulation and monte-carlo simulation. We have updated and refreshed the conference this year keeping the best of the original format and adding some exciting new elements.


Discover a charming and attractive hotel, set in 11 acres of grounds. Just seven miles away, explore over 800 year of history and the birthplace of William Shakespeare in the stunning Stratford upon Avon. Visit the Royal Shakespeare Company, take a trip on the river and soak up the historic and cultural atmosphere. Local attractions also include Warwick’s Medieval Castle.

Ettington Chase is easily accessible by air, rail or car. The nearest airport is Birmingham International a 30 minute drive away or by car from Junction 15 of the M40. London is only 1.5 hours away.

The Programme 

An extra half day of Simulation Tutorials at no extra cost.

Over the years we have received a lot of feedback from delegates asking for more technical talks about simulation methodology. The committee have been listening! We are pleased to announce that this year the conference will feature an extra half day dedicated to tutorial sessions for beginners and experienced simulation modellers alike. We are even doing this at no extra cost to delegates!

Learn from and meet the top names in Simulation

The Simulation Workshop has a proud track record of attracting top names in computer simulation as keynote speakers. Previous keynotes have included Prof. Barry Nelson, Prof. Shane Henderson, Prof. Charles Macal and Prof. Paul Fishwick and at SW16 not one but two major keynote talks from Prof. Alexander Verbraeck and Prof. Sally Brailsford. SW18 will be just as exciting and not only provides a platform for learning from these top names, but also the opportunity to meet them and get feedback on your work, either during the formal conference sessions, at the three-course conference dinner or the coffee breaks between sessions.

High quality talks – guaranteed

The conference typically features 30 high quality practitioner and researcher papers detailing applied case studies and theoretical developments in the field of computer simulation. We ask delegates to submit a 3-10 page paper that is published in our proceedings. Not only does this mean you get to take away 30 high quality papers in the proceedings, but it guarantees high quality talks!

Practitioner and researcher poster competition

If you don’t feel your work warrants a full oral presentation then the practitioner and researcher poster option is for you. Poster delegates produce an A0 or A1 poster showcasing their applied or theoretical simulation work and are asked to give a 2 minute ‘elevator pitch’ presentation to argue why their poster deserves the title of SW18’s best poster. We emphasise this competition is open to all SW18 delegates!

Conference Co-Chairs

Thomas Monks NIHR CLAHRC Wessex Methodological Hub Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton Southampton General Hospital Room AA72

Dr C S M Currie School of Management University of Southampton Highfield. SOUTHAMPTON 17 1BJ

Thursday, 2 Feb 2017
Martin Kunc

Date:    Wed, 1 Feb 2017 15:15:17 +0000

From:    Thierry Chaussalet <chausst@WESTMINSTER.AC.UK>

Subject: Re: Funded PhD Opportunities in healthcare OR, machine learning and process mining at the University of Westminster in Central London


This is to remind you that we have funded PhD Opportunities in operational research, machine learning, and process mining applied to healthcare. Please send to those who may be interested. Application deadline is 10 February 2017.








If interested, please contact the person(s) indicated in the corresponding link.


Thierry C.


Prof T.J. Chaussalet

Leader MSc Business Intelligence and Analytics and Health and Social Care Modelling Group Faculty Director of Business Development Faculty of Science and Technology University of Westminster

115 New Cavendish Street

London W1W 6UW

Tel: +44 (0)20 3506 4575




The University of Westminster is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. Registration number: 977818 England. Registered Office: 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW.


Monday, 21 Nov 2016
Thomas M Monks

John Ladbrook and Michael Higgins

Powertrain Manufacturing Engineering, Ford Motor Company

Wednesday January 18th 2017, 10:00-12:00, Department of Computer Science, St John’s Building SJ050, Brunel University London

External visitors please see for directions and notify Dr Simon J E Taylor ( if you wish to attend this event.


host: Dr Simon J E Taylor

Modelling & Simulation Group, Department of Computer Science, Brunel University London



The Ford simulation team has consistently saved millions of dollars over the past four years and as a result there has been a marked increase in the use of simulation within Powertrain Manufacturing.  This talk outlines the methods and tools used by the team to achieve such savings and how the simulation approach is streamlined to meet the increased demand.  Further, the presentation identifies the benefits of forming strong links with academia as well as the areas of both current and future research interest.



JOHN LADBROOK In 1998 after 4 years research into modelling breakdowns he gained an M.Phil. (Eng.) with the University of Birmingham.  It was at this time he was promoted to his current position of Simulation Technical Specialist.  Since 1982 he has used and promoted the use of Discrete Event Simulation within Ford and Education and has been responsible for sponsoring many projects with various universities. John currently leads a team of 10 modellers.  The team was recognised by Lanner in 2013 with a project of the year and just recently John was awarded the post of Honorary Professor at UEL <>.


MICHAEL HIGGINS graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics in 2011 and in 2014 gained an MPhil(Eng) through his research into the application of Discrete Event Simulation within the automotive industry.  He has worked with Ford Motor Company since 2012 where his current role is within Powertrain Manufacturing Engineering (PTME) as a Simulation Engineer. He has utilised simulation as a tool across several functions within PTME and is currently researching and developing methods to increase usability, and widen the application of, the Ford Simulation Toolset. His email address is <>

Tuesday, 5 Jul 2016
Cara Quinton

Behavioral Operational Research: Theory, Methodology and Practice

Editors: Kunc, Martin, Malpass, Jonathan, White, Leroy (Eds.)

Thursday, 2 Jun 2016
Martin Kunc

The call for papers for a special issue on System Dynamics has been posted in JoS.

Please, share the information with your contacts.

Here is the link to the word document 

and to the journal website


Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Martin Kunc

JOHN CROCKER wrote his perceptions about the recent SW16 conference in OR Inside. He said: 

"Not a postal area of London, but the biennial Simulation Workshop which this year ran from 11 to 13 April and was held at the new venue, Ettington Chase Hotel, a few miles south of Stratford-upon-Avon. I have to admit that I rather like the new venue but it will be interesting to see what the feedback is from the other delegates. This year’s event was spread over three days with the first day’s series of tutorials starting after lunch, making it a lot easier for many of us to get there on time."

Other activities to highlight were:

  1. A good set of SD papers and a tutorial to complement the usual DES papers
  2. We had the Annual General Meeting of the SIG with the attendance of few but highly involved academics in the area of Simulation. Some of the issues discussed were:
    1. The arrangement to have a one-day PhD Colloqium on Simulation methods during 2016. We are looking for volunteers.
    2. The development of a one-day event on Distributed Simulation organised by Simon Taylor by the end of 2016.
    3. New chairs to be named before the end of 2016 to replace Tom Monks (DES) and Martin Kunc (SD)

Please, participate in the SIG by delivering any activity that helps to discuss advances in the area, connect practitioners with academics, support PhD students or just have a bit of social networking.

The SIG has a budget to support activities.

Thank you,

Martin Kunc


Dear All,

The System Dynamics community has held the UK Chapter annual conference. The event was in London at the Warwick Business School campus. More than 40 participants attended the event and there was an interesting blend between practitioners', academics' and students' presentations. Some presentations and videos can be obtained from the website of the UK Chapter of the SD Society.

From May 9-11, the first NATCOR course for PhD students on System Dynamics was held at the Warwick Business School campus in Warwick. Eigthteen students from different universities in the UK and Europe attended the course. It was very good to see so many enthusiastic students sharing their research topics. John Morecroft, Brian Dangerfield and Martin Kunc were the lecturers. We hope to see more students in the next course.

I am looking for volunteers interested in organising events that connect System Dynamics with the wider Simulation community. Feel free to send me an email if you have an idea. The SIG has funding to support the initiative.

Martin Kunc


Thursday, 25 Feb 2016
Sion Cave

System dynamics for developing strategy in the real world – 2016 UK SD Conference

The UK System Dynamics conference this year is taking place on April 14th and 15th at the Shard in London. The conference includes presentations from eminent practitioners and interactive workshops. Tickets for the event can be booked from here, with tickets available for both days and for single days. The price to attend the whole conference is currently £110, with a special student price of £55. In addition we are also still accepting student presentations or posters and submissions for the student prize paper worth £250.

The theme for the conference this year is “System dynamics for developing strategy in the real world” and presentations include:

The Powertrain Technology Transition Market Agent Model (PTT-MAM) and application to EU transport policy

Gillian Harrison and Christian Theil (JRC)


Are all swans white?: Improving the Adaptive Response of British Telecom through the transformative fusion of cybernetics, systems dynamics and social capital

Steve Brewis CEng (Chief Research Scientist, British Telecom)


OSCAM: 20 years of making better operating and support cost estimates of fleets of ships and aircraft for the US Department of Defense

Stephen Curram (Decision Analysis Services Ltd)

Brittany Basilone (Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division)


Modelling the economy as if real data matters

Simon Roberts (Arup)

Colin Axon (Brunel University)


From problem-solving to problem-prevention with model-based management

Kim Warren (Strategy Dynamics)


Behavioural Operational Research: The contributions of System Dynamics

Martin Kunc (Warwick Business School)


Group model building

David Carter (Plymouth University)

Jennifer Morgan (Cardiff University)


Further information on the conference can be found here. We look forward to seeing you there!

Best wishes



Wednesday, 14 Oct 2015
Martin Kunc

UK SD Chapter: Event news and Geoff Coyle Prize notice


As you are no doubt aware, the UK Chapter hold a (seemingly) random series of events throughout the year and most of these are held in London, in response to previous questionnaires.  Our next such random event, to be held in Edinburgh (see, we do listen ;-) ) on the 19th of this month, will no doubt prove once again to be interesting, entertaining and an ideal opportunity to meet fellow practitioners.

We like these events, and we want more!  This is where you come in.  The UK Chapter wants to encourage others to organise relevant events to be publicised to the wider community.  So, if you know of such events or are organising or thinking of organising an event, we are here to help.

In addition to publicising your event to almost 500 members (actually 421 but it sounds better) we can provide some financial support up to a maximum of £500.  This can be used towards travel & subsistence costs for speakers or for event hire.  A formal submission would need to be made to the Policy Council who will meet in a secret location in a dark corner of the island to determine the worthiness of your begging letter, I mean, request for financial assistance.

Not all events can be supported, if you want to increase the chance that your event will attract financial support, we are particularly looking for events covering a specific industry sector or theme.

In addition to the above, if there are any events you believe would be of interest to the membership (either national or local events), please do let us know, preferably with a link to the event notice or some information regarding subject, location and time.  We will then advertise the event on our website and (subject to the number of such notices we receive) publicise via email to the subscribed members.


Geoff Coyle Prize

The Geoff Coyle prize is to be awarded for innovative system dynamics work in the UK.  Since Geoff Coyle had encouraged early career developments in SD, this will form the scope of the prize for either research or practice.

The prize takes the form of a medal and will be presented at our annual conference on April 15th 2016 .

Guidelines for submission:

    UK-based nominee

    Early career: within 10 years of commencing use of SD


    Only submissions reported in calendar year considered

    Description of work and contribution (no more than 800 words,12pt font size in plain text)

    Discretionary award by 3 member panel of policy council

    No age limit applies

The awarding panel will contact short-listed nominees in order to discuss their work, prior to award.

Closing date Friday 1st April 2016

Please, go to the UK SD Chapter website for more information


Best regards

Lee Jones

VP Membership


Posted by Martin Kunc

Monday, 28 Sep 2015
Thomas M Monks

The 8th Simulation Workshop – SW16 – is taking place next 11th – 13th April 2016. Stratford-Upon Avon, England, UK.  Deadline for papers 23 October 2015.

Instructions to submit your paper:

Our upcoming conference brings with it an extra half day of beginner and advanced simulation tutorials taught by some of the leading names in simulation.  This is a fantastic opportunity for beginners and experienced modellers alike - and a great reason to come and join us.   Here we announce five confirmed tutorials.

 1.      Simulation Input Uncertainty.

Tutor: Prof. Russell Cheng; University of Southampton

A simulation model usually depends on parameters whose values will affect its performance. For example in a single server queue, the queue length and customer waiting times depend on the customer arrival and server service rate parameters. Simulation experiments involving such a model often assume fixed, given values of these parameters. The only uncertainty is then the simulation uncertainty which is just the random variation that is built into the simulation model itself and which occurs when the model is run. Where there is uncertainty concerning parameter values, then this adds an input uncertainty that has to be taken into account in analysing simulation results.

The above approaches are based on a frequentist viewpoint. A natural alternative is to use a Bayesian formulation of input uncertainty. This has the advantage of enabling expert opinion to be incorporated into the formulation and this will also be discussed.

 Professor Russell Cheng has carried out academic research in simulation for the past 40 years and has previously given both introductory and advanced tutorials at the prestigious Winter Simulation Conference, as well as being a lecturer on the EPSRC-funded NATCOR simulation course, a national centre for the education of PhD students.

 2.      System Dynamics and Enduring Feedback Structure in Love and Supply Chains.

Tutor: Prof. John Morecroft; London Business School

In this tutorial John will introduce system dynamics modelling and simulation with a selection of well-known models that examine feedback structure and system performance. The models span a range of topics from Romeo and Juliet to manufacturing firms and supply chains. He will review the feedback structure of the models and the dynamics that arise from different ways of coordinating operations and asset stocks. Participants then use a variety of pre-built simulators to test and explore such coordination dynamics for themselves. He will demonstrate an approach to model analysis that combines visualisation and simulation with non-technical narrative interpretation of simulations. The approach yields intuitively appealing insight into performance paradoxes to help modellers (and executives) identify practical policy changes that improve functional coordination and overall firm performance.

Professor John Morecroft is a past president of the System Dynamics Society and a leading expert in strategic modelling and system dynamics, publishing numerous articles and several books in the area, including the very successful textbook Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics.

 3.      Conceptual Modelling for Simulation.

Tutor: Prof. Stewart Robinson;  University of Loughborough

Conceptual modelling is the abstraction of a simulation model from the part of the real world it is representing; in other words, choosing what to model, and what not to model.  This is generally agreed to be the most difficult, least understood and most important task to be carried out in a simulation study.  The aim of this tutorial is to develop a better understanding of conceptual modelling and how to do it.  We shall first define the term ‘conceptual model’ and identify the role of conceptual modelling in the simulation project life-cycle. We shall then go on to discuss the requirements of a conceptual model, the benefits and approaches for documenting a conceptual model, and a framework for guiding the conceptual modelling activity.  The tutorial will be illustrated with a number of real life modelling examples.

Professor Stewart Robinson is President of the OR Society and the author of one of the key texts in simulation, Simulation: the Practice of Model Development and Use. Like Russell, he is also a lecturer on the NATCOR simulation course.

4.      Practitioner and Academic Collaborations: Getting the Best from Both Worlds

Tutor: Dr Simon Taylor; Brunel University

Effective collaboration between practitioners and academics can lead to extremely beneficial results for both parties.  However, how do collaborations get started?  What are reasonable expectations from both sides?  How can such collaborations be managed?  What can happen if things go wrong?  Using real examples of collaborations, this tutorial will explore how to get the best from both worlds.  The tutorial will particularly focus on practitioners who want to know more about funding mechanisms that support academic collaborations and early stage academics who want to start industrial collaborations.

Dr Simon Taylor leads the Modelling and Simulation Group at Brunel University and was previously Editor-in-Chief of the successful Journal of Simulation.  Simon is a regular lecturer on the NATCOR courses.

5. An Introduction to Agent Based Modelling

Tutor: Dr Bhakti Stephan Onggo. Lancaster University

This tutorial will provide an introduction to agent-based simulation (ABS) using Repast. The tutorial consists of four parts. In the first part, I will introduce the concepts of ABS with some examples. In the second part, I will explain about the concepts and structure used by Repast Simphony such as context and projections. This will be followed by an example in repast. Finally, I will conclude the tutorial with some cases in which repast have been used. The software and the instruction on how to install it can be found from 

Dr Bhakti Stephan Onggo is a lecturer (assistant professor) at the Department of Management Science at the Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, United Kingdom. He completed his PhD in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore and his MSc in Management Science from the Lancaster University. His research interests are in the areas of simulation modelling methodology (modelling paradigms and conceptual modelling), simulation technology and simulation applications in supply chain and healthcare.


See for more information about the conference.


Sent on behalf of the SW16 organising committee


  • Dr Christine Currie, University of Southampton – Conference co-chair
  • Dr Thomas Monks, University of Southampton – Conference co-chair
  • Dr Martin Kunc, University of Warwick – Programme chair
  • Dr Anastasia Anagnostou, Brunel University – Programme chair
  • Dr Katy Hoad, University of Warwick – Programme chair
  • Dr Anastasia Gogi, Loughborough University – Poster Chair