Companion of OR

The Companionship of Operational Research is awarded for sustained support and encouragement for the development of operational research or for those in influential positions who are in broad sympathy with the subject area. Such contributions might be through public or private activities.

Citation for Companion of OR 2019

Richard Eglese

Richard Eglese is Professor Emeritus of Management Science at the University of Lancaster, Chair of the OR Society’s Publications Committee, and Immediate Past President of EURO.
It is unusual to present a Companionship award to a serving Board member. However, in Richard’s case, we asked for an exception to be made. This is because there has been barely a break in his record of service to the Society over more than 30 years, and if we wait for his service to end we will be waiting a long time.
Richard has contributed immensely to the development of OR nationally and internationally through his excellent research, mentorship and development of early career researchers, academic leadership, and distinguished, sustainable service to the OR profession.
Richard is a Lancaster alumnus, having obtained his M.A. in Operational Research (awarded with distinction) in 1973. After some years as an OR analyst at British Rail and a maths teacher, he returned to Lancaster as a lecturer, and has been there ever since.
During his outstanding academic career Richard became known internationally for his work on simulated annealing and the development of exact and heuristic algorithms for solving large scale network optimization problems. In 2017, his paper “Simulated annealing: a tool for operational research” was listed in the 50 most cited papers in the European Journal of Operational Research. He has published widely in the area of vehicle routing and scheduling and his most recent work has been focussed on modelling and solving Green Vehicle Routing Problems (VRPs). Richard’s work on the VRP has been cited extensively worldwide.
This eminent academic record has led to (at time of writing) three visiting lectureships around the world, 8 external examiner appointments, and 11 plenary speaker invitations at international conferences. He has been a member of the EPSRC Mathematics Panel for 3 separate terms.
Throughout his 45-year career Richard mentored and supervised 17 OR Doctoral Students and some of his students have received significant awards and have been recognized internationally for their academic contributions.
Richard’s academic leadership is also noteworthy.   He served as Head of the Department of Management Science in 2000-03 and also in 2012-14; and as a member of 7 different university committees.  He was Director of Studies for the highly-regarded BSc in Management Sciences and Chair of the Steering Committee for the BBA in Management.
Richard’s service to the academic and professional OR community in UK and internationally has been exceptional.
  • In the UK, he served on the OR Society Board for an exceptionally long time, from 1986 to 2012, including a period as Chair of the Publicity, Membership and Website Committee and two years as President of the OR Society. After the constitutionally-required period of stepping down from the Board, he was re-elected. He has been serving as Chair of the Publications Committee since 2015. In that role he was instrumental in ensuring the successful (beyond expectation) re-tendering of the all-important publications contract.
  • During the two years 2017-18 he was President of EURO, the Federation of European OR Societies, a great honour and responsibility. He has also been, for many years, an active participant of the Working Group on Vehicle Routing and Logistics Optimization within EURO
  • He has been active in the organization of OR conferences both in UK and internationally: he chaired the OR Society annual conference in 1990, the CO1994, and has been a member of the Programme Committee of 11 international conferences.
  • He has been a member of the editorial board of Computers and Operations Research since 2002 and International Transactions in Operational Research since 1993.
Richard’s lifetime contributions to OR make him a perfect candidate for the Companionship Award of the OR Society.
Richard Eglese Companion of OR.jpg

Richard Eglese (right) with OR Society President John Hopes

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