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Our Conferences / Events

OR59 Annual Conference
Loughborough University
12 - 14 September 2017

Careers Open Day
Millennium Point in Birmingham
15 November 2017

Blackett Lecture
IET London
23 November 2017

Beale Lecture
The Royal Society, London
22 February 2018

SW18 Simulation Workshop
Ettington Chase Hotel, Stratford
19 - 21 Mar 2018

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Thursday 22 February 2018

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


Lectures start at 2.30pm


The OR Society are pleased to announce this open event which begins with a short talk from our 2015 PhD winner, Çagri Koç, followed by a talk from our main speaker and 2016 Beale Medal award winner, Richard Ormerod.

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 O.R. in the UK, or to some combination of those areas.

Beale Medal Winner 2016 – Professor Richard Ormerod
Title:  The fitness and survival of the OR profession in the age of artificial intelligence.

‘The fourth industrial revolution’; ‘The rise of the robots’; ‘Humans need not apply’; ‘Robots to take 30% of graduate jobs’. Today we are inundated with books and articles about the coming of the robots and how they will take our jobs. This is not a new phenomenon; since cave(wo)men started creating and inventing, technology has been displacing labour. In more recent times technologists have invented and perfected new ways of doing things and new things to do, economists have studied the diffusion of innovation, sociologists have examined the social consequences and futurist have imagined new realities. The computerisation of human activity is now well underway affecting at first mainly non-skilled labour and then skilled labour. Now professional and managerial activities are under scrutiny. For this latest wave of displacement, artificial intelligence (AI) provides the key to unlocking the door; powerful computers the means.

For OR practice today, the issue is how AI will affect professional practitioners in general and OR in particular. What is likely to happen and how quickly? What are the implications for training, education and research? To examine these questions, we can turn to our experience of practicing OR and to the insights of mathematics, philosophy, economics, sociology and computer science. In OR we aspire to be logical, but what does this involve? Logic itself has recently been the subject of a rapid growth in research activity as philosophers, mathematicians and computer scientists innovate and collaborate. Economists have conducted research into the conditions that determine the adoption of a new technology and the speed at which it will displace the old one. Sociologists have examined the negative consequences such as the loss of the social context of work and the enhancement of managerial panoptic power; more positively they have developed the notion of communities of practice, involving activities which may be difficult for AI to replicate.

In terms of OR jobs it seems likely that, as in other professions, various roles will be differentiated (unbundled), giving rise to new, more varied career paths in the light of the systemization enabled by computerization including AI. In turn, educational and training requirements will change. The means of delivering OR education and training will also evolve in line with education activities more generally. During this transition and beyond, the OR Society will need to continue to facilitate a sense of community, a community of OR practice.

Richard Ormerod started his career as a civil engineer designing large steel bridges. In 1972 he obtained an MSc in OR and MS at Warwick and joined the NCB’s OR Executive (ORE) working in Yorkshire and London. Subsequently as Deputy Director of the NCB’s corporate planning unit he sponsored ORE’s development of strategic models addressing national and international coal and energy issues. From 1987, as a principal consultant in PA Computers and Telecommunications, he assisted a wide variety of clients, including Volkskas Bank, Nicholas Laboratories (now Piramal Healthcare), the Inland Revenue, National Grid, Sainsbury’s, and BP. In 1991 he returned to Warwick as Professor of OR and Systems. The focus of his research has been the practice of OR, how it can be described, understood and improved. He has published a number of case studies on his use of soft OR in consulting interventions including Sainsbury’s, PowerGen (now E.ON), and the UK Parliament. On these foundations he has developed the transformation competence perspective (TCP) as a way of thinking about, negotiating, and designing an OR intervention. His theoretical interests have included American pragmatism, Karl Popper’s critical rationalism, and Talcott Parsons’ functionalism. In 1995 he was an INFORMS Franz Edelman Award finalist.

Opening talk
PhD Winner 2015 – Dr Çagri Koç
For ‘The Most Distinguished Body of Research leading to the Award of a Doctorate in the field of O.R.’ 
Title: Heterogeneous Location and Pollution-Routing Problems

This talk presents new classes of heterogeneous vehicle routing problems with or without location and pollution considerations. We develop powerful evolutionary and adaptive large neighborhood search based metaheuristics capable of solving a wide variety of such problems with suitable enhancements, and provide several important managerial insights. We first classify and review the relevant literature on heterogeneous vehicle routing problems, and present a comparative analysis of the available metaheuristic algorithms for these problems. We then describe a hybrid evolutionary algorithm for heterogeneous fleet vehicle routing problems with time windows. The algorithm successfully combines several metaheuristics and introduces a number of new advanced efficient procedures. Results show that the algorithm is highly competitive with state-of-the art methods. We later introduce the fleet size and mix location-routing problem with time windows. We present integer programming formulations for the problem, along with a family of valid inequalities and an algorithm based on adaptation of the hybrid evolutionary metaheuristic. Results show that the algorithm is highly effective. We then introduce the fleet size and mix pollution-routing problem. An adaptation of the hybrid evolutionary algorithm is successfully applied to a large pool of realistic benchmark instances. The benefit of using a heterogeneous fleet over a homogeneous one is demonstrated. We finally investigate the combined impact of depot location, fleet composition and routing decisions on vehicle emissions in urban freight distribution characterized by several speed limits. An adaptive large neighborhood search algorithm is successfully applied to a large pool of new benchmark instances. The results illustrate the benefits of locating depots located in suburban areas rather than in the city centre and of using a heterogeneous fleet over a homogeneous one. 

Çagri Koç is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at Social Sciences University of Ankara. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at HEC Montreal and CIRRELT. He received his Ph.D. degree (2015) in Management Science from University of Southampton, and his M.Sc. (2012) and B.Sc. (2010) degrees in Industrial Engineering from Selçuk University. His research mainly focuses on transportation and distribution logistics, vehicle routing and scheduling, supply chain management, and mathematical and metaheuristic optimization.

Thursday 22 February 2018

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

Lectures start at 2.30pm
(Tea and biscuits at 2.00pm; Lectures finish around 4:30pm)

There is no charge for attendance at this event.
Registration is compulsory and open to members and non-members.


If you have any queries please contact Hilary Wilkes on