Yorkshire & Humberside OR Group past meetings

Modelling the Northern Powerhouse + AGM

Venue: The Open Data Institute, 3rd Floor Munro House, Duke St, Leeds LS9 8AG
Speaker: Aidan Cross, Rail Analysis Manager, Transport for the North
Date: Wednesday, 14 November 2018 at 17:30 - 20:00

Transport for the North is the UKs first sub-national transport body with statutory powers to produce the long term plan for investment in the North to drive economic growth and help rebalance the UK economy. Its purpose is to transform the transport system across the North of England, providing the infrastructure needed to drive economic growth. TfN is a unique partnership, with elected and business leaders from all areas of Northern England uniting to work with central government and national transport bodies.

TfN’s unique mission has required the development of new thinking, tools and approaches about the impact of transport on the economy of the North of England, and the wider impacts on skills, investment and innovation. In this talk we discuss how we model the interaction between transport systems and the economy, and how TfN approach to sharing data in the context of devolved and decentralised government.

Aidan Cross

Aidan joined Transport for the North in 2016 to lead development of the evidence base for Northern Powerhouse Rail. Prior to that he was a Government Operational Researcher with over 10 years experience of exploiting large and complex datasets to inform policy and front line operational decision making. Aidan has led teams developing things like national staffing models, operational performance measures and innovative funding models for public-private partnerships.

Chris Storey

Chris has been with TfN for 3 months as a modelling and analysis officer. Before that he worked for 5 years with Stagecoach UK Bus as a data and revenue analyst, scaling and designing data to inform business decisions.

Jack Snape

Jack leads on wider economic modelling at TfN, exploring the impacts of transport investment on businesses and households in the north. He has a background in physics, and has worked as a public policy analyst across policy areas including industrial strategy, climate change and local transport.

Rachel Todd

Rachel works as part of TfN’s data analytics and modelling team, where she leads work on demand forecasting for transport models as well as on internal quality assurance processes. Prior to working at TfN, Rachel worked for the Government Operation Research Service, providing support to policy and finance teams.

After the talk there will be an AGM. If you are interested in joining the YHORG committee and helping to plan future events, please contact Sarah Fores.

Refreshments will be available from 5:30pm.

Please contact Sarah Fores (sarahfores [at] gmail.com) to book a place.

DoctOR will see you now – how OR is putting new life into the NHS

Venue: Est Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, LS2 7UP
Speaker: Charles Tallack
Date: Wednesday, 27 September 2017 at 17:30 - 19:00

"… we will expand NHS operational research, RCT capability and other methods to promote more rigorous ways of answering high impact questions in health services redesign."

OR doesn’t often get a mention in a national government strategy document, so this statement from the 2014 NHS Five Year Forward View, the blueprint for redesign of the NHS, is both exciting and daunting. Charles was subsequently appointed to set up and lead the NHS England Operational Research and Evaluation Unit. His team is contributing to the transformation of the NHS, and evaluating the impact that new models of care being piloted are having. They are modelling how the changes are supposed to work, and testing these models using advanced analytical techniques.

Charles will talk about the pioneering approaches the team are taking and the impact they are having on the issues and challenges facing the NHS, and how he’s come to see OR and evaluation as natural bed fellows.

As places are limited, please contact Sarah Fores (sarahfores [at] gmail.com) to book a place.

Leveraging OR Techniques for a Smarter Field Operations

Venue: Sheffield Hallam University (Room CharlesSt-12.4.12)
Speaker: Leveraging OR Techniques for a Smarter Field Operations
Date: Tuesday, 27 June 2017 at 16:30

BT is continually investing in making the Digital Britain vision a reality by creating a faster, more flexible network and associated Internet services. To support this investment and large scale network infrastructure programmes, such as Broadband UK, BT requires an efficient, responsive mobile field service operation. BT’s 23K field engineers serve geographically dispersed and diverse customers including ISPs and end users. The deployment of our engineers has significant impact on delivering customer experience, travel and CO2 emissions. The question is how can we send the right engineer with the right skill to the right location to deliver the right service? Addressing this challenge will lead to (i) reduction in CO2 emissions, (ii) improve engineer utilisation, and (iii) customer experience through improvement in engineer productivity. The presentation will highlight how BT has leveraged OR techniques to address the challenges.

BT won the President’s Medal which was awarded at the recent Blackett lecture. The President’s Medal is awarded for the best practical application of OR submitted to the competition.

Refreshments will be available from 4:30pm. As places are limited, please contact Sarah Fores (sarahfores [at] gmail.com) to book a place.

YHORG Meeting and AGM

Date/Time: Wednesday 26th April 2016 at 18:00
Venue: West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, LS2 7UP

The application of OR tools and techniques in a Policing environment – the West Yorkshire Police experience

Martin Rahman

West Yorkshire Police has been an active member of the OR community since the mid 1990’s. Over the years it has utilised many OR tools and techniques to help address real life operational challenges ranging from its call handling capability through to the design of large scale operating models. This presentation will look at how OR tools are used within the Force to aid decision making and will include Simulation Modelling, System Dynamics, Regression Analysis and other related techniques.

Martin joined West Yorkshire Police in 1997 as the Process Improvement Project Manager. He has taken on a number of roles and is currently a Corporate Business Change Lead. He leads on such issues as Continuous Improvement and OR. Martin’s team comprises a number of OR specialists who apply advanced analytical tools and techniques to help senior managers make strategic and tactical decisions. Martin is a co-founder and ex-chair of the Continuous Improvement Exchange Forum (North) and chair of the OR Criminal Justice SIG.

Optimising the Efficiency of the National Police Air Service through the application of Simulation Modelling Tools

Gail Ludlam

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) was developed as the single provider of police aviation and was the first truly national police collaboration. NPAS commissioned a simulation model to test anticipated performance and viability of alternative base numbers and locations. The model was built in Witness and covered various aspects of air support: e.g. selection of an appropriate response aircraft, maintenance time, flying time limitations. This model provided NPAS and the National Strategic Board with quantitative analysis to base their decisions on and was essential in securing and maintaining the trust and confidence of the many stakeholders, which led to an agreed operating model with an approximate 14% saving.

Gail joined WYP as a Business Change Specialist in 2013 after completing both a BSc and MSc in OR and Management Science at Lancaster University. Gail has worked on cross-organisational projects and continues to look at applications for OR to help management decision making across WYP.

Prior to the talks, there will be a short AGM. If you are interested in joining the YHORG committee and helping to plan future events, please contact James Crosbie.

Refreshments will be available from 5:30pm. As places are limited, please contact James Crosbie (jamescrosbie [at] hotmail.co.uk) early to book a place.

Systemic Intervention: Developing Services with Young People Missing from Home or Care

Venue: West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
Speaker: Gerald Midgley
Date: Wednesday, 07 December 2016 at 17:30 - 19:30

Joint Third Sector/YHORG event

In this presentation, Gerald Midgley will discuss the methodology of systemic intervention that he has been developing for over twenty years. He will focus on key aspects of this methodology, such as the need for critical reflection on ethical and boundary judgements, and the value of mixing methods from a wide variety of sources to ensure that intervention is flexible and responsive to stakeholders’ concerns. The methodology will then be illustrated with a case study of an intervention conducted in Central Manchester, in which young people (under 16) and a variety of agencies developed new ideas to support children missing from home or care. The emphases will be on (i) how systemic intervention directs attention to the need to amplify the voices of marginalised stakeholders (such as, in this case, homeless children); and (ii) the value of mixing a variety of problem structuring methods to promote co-operation and mutual learning in a situation where multi-agency working was highly problematic.

For those wanting to read more about systemic intervention prior to the presentation, you might like to have a look at Gerald Midgley’s book—Systemic Intervention: Philosophy, Methodology, and Practice (Kluwer/Plenum, New York, 2000). This not only contains details of the methodology, but also presents four case studies of practice, including the one to be discussed in this seminar.

Refreshments will be available from 5pm. Please contact James Crosbie (jamescrosbie [at] hotmail.co.uk) to confirm your place.

Diversity and identity: challenges and opportunities for UK OR
Venue: West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Speaker: Ruth Kaufman
Date: Wednesday, 14 September 2016 at 17:30 - 19:00

People engaged in an activity like OR, can be described on countless dimensions. For example, personal characteristics (the 'protected characteristics' of ethnicity, gender etc that are part of formal diversity initiatives, but also values, preferences, personality), daily work activities, customer, owner, career path, whether they have ever heard of OR. Diversity can be a strength; but so can uniform identity. This talk reviews some significant dimensions of diversity and identity in UK OR, to consider what we might need to do to overcome the challenges of too much or too little diversity, and where we can exploit the enormous potential benefits of the glorious variety of ways of 'being an OR person'.

Refreshments will be available from 5pm. Please contact Sarah Fores (sarahfores [at] gmail.com) to book a place.

OR and Data Science: a match made in heaven?

Venue: The Circle, Sheffield S1 4FW
Speaker: Dr Giles Hindle and Prof Richard Vidgen
Date: Tuesday, 23 February 2016 at 17:00 - 19:00

The upsurge of interest in data and data science provides a source of opportunities and threats for operational researchers. In this seminar we will explore the intersection of soft and hard OR, data science and IT and consider the contribution of each to business analytics. In particular, we aim to build an agenda for change for the operational research community as it navigates the business analytics and data science space. The seminar will be illustrated with examples from projects we are currently involved in; the first is a geospatial analysis of food banks, which is built using Python, R, and d3, and the second a text mining and social network analysis of research outputs. For both projects data visualization and ICT skills are of central importance.

Dr. Giles Hindle is a Senior Lecturer at Hull University Business School and an Associate Fellow at Warwick Business School. He has conducted consultancy and research projects for a wide range of clients including the NHS Scottish Executive, County Councils Network, Countryside Agency, Department for Transport, Department for Health in N. Ireland, Network Rail plc, Northern Hi-Tec Ltd, and many others. He has specialist knowledge in soft systems thinking and quantitative modelling which he has practiced in both strategic and operational contexts. Giles has developed business analytics masters courses for the universities of Warwick and Hull.

Richard Vidgen is Professor of Business Analytics at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Business School, Sydney. Following fifteen years working in the IT industry as a consultant and a project manager he worked at the School of Management, University of Bath, and then as Professor of Systems Thinking at Hull University Business School. His research specialisms are in agile software development and business analytics, both of which he approaches through soft systems and complex adaptive systems theory. His background and skills in IT and quantitative methods have enabled him to develop his practical skills in data science. He is a member of the OR Society’s Analytics Development Group and is taking an active role in helping shape the future of OR and data science.

Following the formal talk, there will be a discussion session where delegates can ask questions about Analytics and the new skills needed by Operational Researchers.

Refreshments will be available from 4:30pm. As places are limited, please contact James Crosbie (jamescrosbie [at] hotmail.co.uk) early to book a place.

Using Systems Thinking to Undertake a Review of Child Protection in England

Venue: West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, LS2 7UP
Speaker: Prof David Lane, Chair in Business Informatics, Henley Business School
Date: Tuesday, 24 November 2015 at 17:30 - 20:00

17:30 Panel discussion on careers in Operational Research

Panel members will include Jane Parkin (University academic, Government OR Service, independent consultant), James Crosbie (Department of Work and Pensions, Department of Health, NHS England), David Lane (Professor of Business Informatics) and Sarah Fores (University academic, independent consultant, EURO manager)

18:00 Using Systems Thinking to Undertake a Review of Child Protection in England

Prof David Lane, Chair in Business Informatics, Henley Business School

The work formed a central part of ‘the Munro Review’ into state-managed child protection activities in England, conducted for the Department for Education.

Child protection in England encompasses a wide range of services which aim to secure the safety and welfare of children and young people. This includes, for example, the provision of foster care and adoption services, and support for families. The child protection system is also responsible for the investigation of possible cases of child maltreatment, and intervention in such cases.

Using systems thinking and causal loop diagrams the work addressed a vital area of public policy and it had a major influence on the recommendations of the Munro Review. That influence continues through on-going changes in government policy for child protection.

The work was judged a worthy winner of the Operational Research Society's President’s Medal for 2014.

David Lane is Professor of Business Informatics at Henley Business School. He specialises in strategic analysis using system dynamics and systems thinking. He works interactively with groups of senior managers to help them express their ideas in the form of a system dynamics-based simulation model. The model and the facilitated process help managers to think through the long-term policies of their organisation. He has mathematics degrees from Bristol and Oxford Universities, a Doctorate in mathematical modelling and was a consultant at Shell International before moving to academia.

Refreshments will be available from 5pm. Please contact James Crosbie (jamescrosbie [at] hotmail.co.uk) to book a place. If you wish to attend the panel discussion on careers in OR, please include a question that you would like the panel to address.

Why use simulation?

Venue: Congreve Room, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
Speaker: Claire Cordeaux, Director of SIMUL8 Healthcare
Date: Wednesday, 21 October 2015 at 17:00 - 19:00

Claire Cordeaux, Director of Simul8 Healthcare, will speak about her conversion to simulation and demonstrate some healthcare simulation models which have supported decision making for key healthcare issues in areas including:

  • admission avoidance
  • bed capacity management
  • patient safety

Can delegates please register through the ORS webpage or notify James Crosbie (jamescrosbie [at] hotmail.co.uk) if they wish to attend.

Health Analytics: use of Statistics and OR in a health context

Venue: Sheffield University, room 2502, Hicks Building
Speaker: Sophie Whyte, Joanne Dalzell and Graeme Connor
Date: Tuesday, 02 June 2015 at 16:00 - 18:00

This joint event between the Sheffield branch of the RSS and the Yorkshire and Humberside group of The OR society is designed to showcase and discuss the use of both Statistics and OR in a health context. There will be 2 talks: Sophie Whyte from the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at Sheffield University is an OR analyst and Joanne Dalzell and Graeme Connor (Department for Work & Pensions) are statisticians working in the Government Statistical Service. Afterwards there will be an opportunity to discuss how Statisticians and OR analysts can work more closely together to deliver improved health analytics.

Using mathematical modelling to inform policy making for early diagnosis of bowel cancer

Sophie Whyte, ScHARR

The early diagnosis of cancer is a topic with the potential for large impacts in terms of saving both money and lives. Understanding of cancer progression rates is limited and the use of clinical trial to determine optimum screening strategies is often unfeasible. Hence, mathematical modelling can be extremely useful to inform policy making in this area. A summary of results from several studies using the ScHARR bowel cancer screening model will be presented. Challenges of modelling in this area will be discussed including differences between model predictions and real world observations, and modelling several interventions simultaneously.

Sophie has worked since 2007 as a mathematical modeller within the Health Economics and Decision Science section of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at Sheffield University. She has significant expertise and experience in three related areas: natural history model calibration, early diagnosis of cancer, and the evaluation of diagnostic tests.

Personal Independence Payment - using data to deliver a range of quality analyses and advice at pace.

Graeme Connor and Joanne Dalzell, Department of Work and Pensions

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced in 2013 to replace Disability Living Allowance for working age claimants. The analytical team that support this have been involved from day one in shaping the benefit policy, forecasting expenditure/savings/caseload, reviewing operational capacity, reporting management information, publishing official statistics and evaluating the benefit process and outcomes. All of these have involved a range of analytical techniques and processes, using skills across the different analytical professions. This work has been underpinned by a sound evidence base and a new atomic data store that captures real time data for PIP. This presentation will guide people through how data can be used for a range of analyses in order to deliver quality outputs and advice at pace to support Ministers, policy makers and operations.

Joanne has worked in the Government Statistical Service since 2000 and has worked on a range of areas relating to both health and benefit analyses. Her current role within the PIP team involves the production of official statistics and management information, modelling of health professional provision and backlogs in the system, and forecasting benefit savings/policy cost modelling. She co-manages a team of statisticians, operational researchers, social researchers and economists.

Refreshments will be available from 3:30pm. Details of the location can be found at: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/visitors.

Please contact James Crosbie (jamescrosbie [at] hotmail.co.uk) to book a place.

Experiences with CrewPLAN: balancing flexibility, usability and optimality and Case-based Reasoning in Radiotherapy Treatment Planning for Brain Tumour

Venue: West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, LS2 7UP.
Speaker: Paul Smith, Omnibus; and Sanja Petrovic, Nottingham University Business School
Date: Friday, 08 May 2015 at 18:00 - 20:00

Experiences with CrewPlan: balancing flexibility, usability and optimality

Paul Smith, Omnibus

Omnibus is a market leader in the supply of software solutions to the passenger transport industry. This talk will focus on experience gained supporting and developing the company’s CrewPLAN crew scheduling system. CrewPLAN makes use of a mixture of heuristics and combinatorial optimisation techniques to enable customers to produce efficient and flexible driver schedules. It is widely used in the public transport industry. The talk will consider some of the challenges facing customers producing duty schedules and how they can be addressed with software. It will also reflect on how these demands and priorities may have changed over the many years that computer based duty scheduling systems have been in use.

Paul is a Senior Consultant at Omnibus and leads the technical support and development of the CrewPLAN system. He has over twenty years of experience in OR related fields and specialises in scheduling algorithms and software. He has held a number of project management and consultancy positions in industry and was a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University prior to joining Omnibus nine years ago.

Case-based Reasoning in Radiotherapy Treatment Planning for Brain Tumour

Sanja Petrovic, Nottingham University Business School

Radiotherapy treatment planning aims at delivering a sufficient radiation dose to cancerous tumour cells while minimising the dose received by healthy surrounding tissues and organs at risk which are close to the tumour. A Case-based Reasoning (CBR) approach to radiotherapy treatment planning for brain tumour will be presented. One of the main advantages of case-based reasoning is that it enables capturing of clinicians’ knowledge and experience in radiotherapy planning. The case base consists of patients’ records which include description of patients and radiotherapy plans for their treatments. The similarity measure has to be designed in such a way so that a case useful for the treatment for the new patient is retrieved from the case base. We propose new similarity measures that aggregate appropriately similarity values between case attributes. The developed similarity measures were evaluated on real-world patient records from the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, City Hospital Campus. In addition, approaches to adaptation to take into account the differences between the retrieved case and the new patient will be discussed. The first developed approach is based on neural networks, while the second one includes adaptation in the retrieval phase of the system. The talk will end with the discussion about the future research directions.

Sanja Petrovic is a Professor of Operational Research at the Nottingham University Business School. She is a Vice-president of the Operational Research Society, UK. In the last few years she has conducted multi-disciplinary research into models, heuristics and algorithms for a variety of real world optimisation and scheduling problems, including radiotherapy planning and scheduling, production scheduling, nurse rostering, and university timetabling. Her research interest includes the fields of case-based reasoning, multicriteria decision analysis, modelling of uncertainty by fuzzy sets, meta-heuristics, hyper-heuristics and multi-agent systems.

Please register here and contact James Crosbie (jamescrosbie [at] hotmail.co.uk) if you have any queries.

OR at the Department for Education

Venue: Department for Education, 2 St Paul's Place , 125 Norfolk Street , Sheffield S1 2FJ
Speaker: Ioannis Patmanidis, Tetyana Mykhaylyk and Chris Savoury
Date: Tuesday, 17 February 2015 at 16:00 - 18:00

From Norfolk Street to Monte Carlo – Forecasting the Capital Demands of the Free Schools Programme

Chris Savoury, DfE

In this talk I will give an overview of Monte Carlo simulations, starting with what they are and why and when I like to use them. Along the way I will talk about how we used Monte Carlo simulations in the Department for Education to explore uncertainty and risk when forecasting the costs of building new schools. I will discuss (some of) the various challenges we faced along the way (from data to presentational) and we how we overcame them.

Academy trajectories: new System Dynamics approach

Ioannis Patmanidis and Tetyana Mykhaylyk, DfE

The Department for Education needs an understanding of the long term trajectories for academies in order to assess the impact on the wider school system, and the delivery of school services. In this talk we will give an overview of the initial forecasting model based on the growth curve approach and discuss how, while overhauling the model, we approached the problem differently.

Please contact James Crosbie (jamescrosbie [at] hotmail.co.uk) to book a place.

As the venue is a government building delegates need to book prior to attending. Please give at least two days prior notice as I cannot guarantee to have access to my email to arrange last minute requests.