New to OR Conference: Streams


Michael Mortenson

The Analytics Stream at New to OR 2019 incorporates a wide range of topics relating to:

  • Business analytics
  • Data science
  • Big data technology
  • Machine Learning and Data Mining 
  • Artificial intelligence. 

The principle focus is on data-driven applications of analytical methods, particularly those focused at real-world use-cases (whether the approaches are theoretical or applied). With such a focus, the stream promises attendees exposure to a wide-range of cutting-edge research, practice and case studies, and inspire new collaborations, new ideas and the opportunity to network with other delegates forging a career in these exciting and prominent fields.


Dr Michael Mortenson (University of Warwick) has a PhD in analytics from the University of Loughborough and has published in the European Journal of Operational Research and the Journal of Simulation among others. His work, both commercially and in research, is focused on natural language processing, machine learning and data/cloud architectures. At the University of Warwick, he is module lead on Big Data, Analytics & Visualisation, Computational Statistics with Python, Data Science & Machine Learning, and Cloud Native Computing.

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Big Data and AI

George Carter

As the world becomes populated with an ever-increasing number of network connected devices and the information landscape becomes rich, analysts are faced with a new problem. How to make sense of enormous amounts of data!
No sector is immune from this development, and there are boundless applications for technology which can take steps to harness this.

This stream considers the toolkit which is available to the modern analyst, including developments in the fields of data engineering, data analytics and data science. Early-career analysts are well disposed to take advantage of these developments, as there is a desperate shortfall of talent in these areas and a level playing field for anyone willing to invest the time in developing their skills.

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Gordon Squire and Panagiotis Samartzis

The purpose of the consulting stream is to be a platform for OR practitioners to present their experiences of employing OR methods to solve business problems. This can be a project carried out for an external client or as part of an in-house consultancy team. 

The focus will be geared towards the practical applications of operational research and data science techniques in solving real-world problems. The techniques could stem from any part of the life cycle of a project, from the definition, to problem structuring, the analysis, model building, implementation and deployment. Also the techniques used could vary from simulation, optimisation, data science to soft system methodologies and data visualisation.

Areas that can be discussed in the consulting stream include, but are not limited to:

  • What was the problem faced?
  • Which methods were considered and what was the approach finally taken?
  • Which project management framework was used for the delivery of the project (e.g. waterfall, agile)?
  • How often was the communication with the various stakeholders and did the requirements changed throughout the process?
  • What sort of challenges that you faced and what steps did you take to overcome them?
  • What the outcome of the project and the impact it had on the client was?
  • What was the impact to the client and what was the feedback provided by them?
  • What lessons were learnt and could the problem be approached in a different way?


Gordon Squire is a consultant at decisionLab, an independent operational research and data science consultancy. He obtained his MSc in OR from the University of Edinburgh, since joining decsionLab he has work on high-profile modelling projects including medical evacuation modelling for DSTL,  prognostic machine learning models for Rolls Royce and food hygiene forecasting for the Food Standards Agency.

Panagiotis Samartzis is an Optimisation and Data Science consultant at decisionLab. He obtained his Diploma (Meng equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens with a specialisation in Energy Engineering as well as an MSc in Operational Research from Lancaster University. During his masters, he completed a placement at Jaguar Land Rover, where he analysed the stamping operations performance. Since joining decisionLab, Panagiotis has worked across several different industries, being involved in the deployment of web-applications featuring advanced statistical and machine learning techniques as well as building optimisation models that help organisations improve their operations.

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Fahim Ahmed and Dominic Finn

The purpose of the Education stream and associated workshop is twofold. First, we want to see the ways that OR can improve the delivery of education in its many forms. Education is a major part of individual and economic development, so ways to improve quality and efficiency are valuable. Secondly, we want to look at the ways that we can teach OR and related disciplines across various age groups and levels of expertise – high school, undergrad, post grad, and training for organisations.

The traditional stream will cover talks from speakers. The workshop will be a chance for us to learn from each other in a more interactive setting. Look out for details of Keynote speakers for the stream, and we very much look forward to reading your abstracts.


Fahim Ahmed has recently joined the Department of Management Science at Strathclyde University as a Teaching Associate. His areas of expertise are mainly in Discrete Event Simulation and more broadly in the use of simulation methodologies within service operations.  He attained his doctorate from Loughborough University, UK, in 2015. His PhD thesis focused on the adaptation of computer science methodologies in simulation conceptual modeling.

Fahim holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan (2005) and master’s degree in Systems and Control Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden (2007). Fahim has been involved in teaching at various reputable business schools in Pakistan including KSBL and IBA. Within the UK, he has taught for undergraduate and postgraduate programs at Loughborough and Warwick University.

He is a member of The Operational Research society and has been actively engaged in research and teaching throughout his postgraduate career. He has so far published in major simulation conferences and journals including Winter Simulation Conference, Simulation Workshop series (SW12 and SW 14), IEEE virtual reality conference and Journal of Discrete Event Dynamics from his research works. Currently, he is also involved in a project from NHS (funded by Scottish government) along with Gillian Anderson and Robert Van Der Meer at the department of Management Science (Healthcare Operations group). 

Dominic Finn.  After working in Banking & Investment, as well as Internet Retail, Dominic returned to education at University of Strathclyde. This led to research into System Methods in the Public Sector, and subsequent teaching opportunities. He became a Teaching Associate in 2017 delivering and developing courses in “Soft” OR, Operations Management and experiential learning. Currently he is working on blended learning approaches to undergraduate, post graduate and executive education.

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Ahmed Kheiri

This stream welcomes abstracts and presentations covering metaheuristics such as genetic/evolutionary algorithms, tabu search, simulated annealing, variable neighbourhood search, (adaptive) large neighbourhood search, ant colony optimisation, etc.. 

Hyper-heuristic methods used for automated selection or generation of heuristics for solving single and multi-objective optimisation problems and issues related to development of such approaches are also of particular interest.

We also welcome both empirical and theoretical research as well as industrial applications. Applications may include (but not limited to): Routing, Timetabling, Scheduling, Clustering, Cutting, Packing, Placement, Assignment, Ordering, Grouping, Partitioning, Multi-objective Optimisation, Deterministic or Stochastic Combinatorial Optimisation.


Dr Ahmed Kheiri is Assistant Professor in Operations Research at Lancaster University Management School, Department of Management Science, and a member of the Optimisation Research Group. He received his BSc (Hons - First Class) from the University of Khartoum, Sudan, in 2007 and received his MSc (Distinction) and PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2010 and 2014 respectively. He then held research positions at the University of Exeter and the Cardiff School of Mathematics in Wales. Dr Kheiri has good inter-disciplinary research that broadly contributes to the growing field of Search and Optimisation, and his research interests cut across operational research, artificial intelligence and data science, investigating flexible and general cross domain optimisation methods to solve combinatorial optimisation problems.

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Modelling and Simulation

Tom Stephenson

Building an imitation of the real system can provide valuable insight to decision makers. Scientific feedback can be attained that enables understanding of how the system operates and the potential impact of changes to that system.

This stream welcomes any submissions where a simulation or model has been used to study the behaviour and performance of an actual or theoretical system. Models built using any software at different complexities or scales are all welcome. Presentations can include information about:

  • The type of model built and benefits of using this methodology to the project

  • Insights gained from the model or simulation, were there any surprises?

  • Results of the simulation and recommendations that were made


Tom Stephenson is the Head of Consulting at SIMUL8 Corporation. He manages a consulting team who have delivered many successful simulations globally and has been a consultant for over 6 years.

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Mahdi Doostmohammadi

Optimisation is an inter-disciplinary field, lying at the interface between Operational Research, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. This stream aims to bring together a variety of researchers and scholars interested in optimisation. More particularly, the objective of this stream is to cover a wide range of theoretical, algorithmic and applied contributions in the field, to give an overview of the relevant research that is currently being carried out in the UK and to address current developments and challenges in the field of optimisation. Hence, we invite abstracts and presentations within the area of optimisation in a broad sense.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Discrete Optimisation and Integer Programming
  • Continuous Optimisation
  • Combinatorial Optimisation and Graph Theory
  • Optimisation under Uncertainty
  • Multi-Objective Optimisation
  • Large-Scale Optimisation


Mahdi is a Lecturer in Operational Research at the Department of Management Science of the University of Strathclyde since October 2018. He received his PhD degree in Operational Research from University of Aveiro, Portugal, in 2014. Afterwards, he moved to the UK and worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Management Science of the University of Strathclyde. Then he worked as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon. Before joining the Strathclyde Business School, he held a Lecturer position in Operational Research at the School of Mathematics of the University of Edinburgh.

His research interests lie primarily in mixed integer optimization, mathematical programming, network optimization, mixed integer multi-objective optimization, robust optimization and their applications, in particular in production planning, transportation and inventory routing planning, and metabolic engineering.

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Supply Chain and Transportation Management

Mouhamad Shaker Ali Agha

This stream invites submissions on the use of operational research methods to solve all supply chain and transportation problems. Potential topics and not limited to include the following:

  • Supply chain risk analysis
  • Supplier-buyer relationships
  • Sustainable supply chains
  • Green Logistics
  • Inventory management
  • Spare parts inventory management
  • Digital supply chains
  • Vehicle routing problems
  • Inventory-routing problems
  • Location-routing problems
  • Location-districting problems
  • Economic analysis of transportation systems
  • Environmental analysis/aspects of transportation systems
  • Collaborative transportation


Dr Mouhamad Shaker Ali Agha is a member of the Department of Management Science, University of Strathclyde where he also received his PhD and MSc.  His research interests lie in the area of supply chain management in general. In particular, he is interested in supply chain risk and resilience analysis, digital supply chains and spare parts inventory management.  Mouhamad teaches subjects related to operations management, ERP and technical risk management.  He is also director of three master courses at department and faculty levels.

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