ISMOR 22: Three days at International Symposium on Military OR


ISMOR is the annual international symposium sponsored by the UK Ministry of Defence, under the auspices of The OR Society. This year, the event took place in mid-July, based at Royal Holloway University London, and for the first time was run in a hybrid format, with both presentations and Q&A being provided live and virtually.

The themes this year were Analysis in a changing world, The OR of value, and Multidisciplinary analysis.

Over the course of three days (the hottest in ISMOR’s 40-year history), the 92 participants took part in a series of workshops and listened to 16 presentations. Day one’s workshops included Systems Engineering, developing the OR workforce, and wargaming; a novel feature was the afternoon siesta introduced to help attendees cope with the heat.

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Royal Holloway Building

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The opening keynote address was delivered by John Curnow, Director of Analysis at the UK MoD, where he is responsible for ensuring MoD’s decisions are informed by high-quality analysis.

The big debate posed the question, “Is military OR a discipline that practitioners should be formally trained and certified in, or a more informal discipline that people can grow into from different backgrounds?" Perhaps not surprisingly, the room felt that it is not a question of either/or, there is room in the discipline for both.

Over the course of days two and three, analysts from the UK and US Defence industries, Dstl, academia, NATO, the RAF, and Canadian DRDC delivered presentations.

The after-banquet Ronnie Shepherd memorial address was delivered by Judith Rawle, who recently retired from programme managing ASTRID, the main framework by which the UK Government can quickly and efficiently place contracts for scientific and technical research and development.

In an amusing post-prandial oration, she expounded her seven rules for a successful career in Military OR.

With sponsorship from Sirius Analysis, BAE Systems Corda and Roke, attendees were well provided for socially, with a BBQ on Tuesday evening and a sumptuous banquet (complete with port, unfortunately not passed from the left!).

The winner of the Eugene Visco award for the best presentation by an early career analyst was won by Yasmin Underwood of Diem Analytics for “When we know they know we know”.

The David Faddy award for the best presentation was won by Joerg Fliege from Southampton University for “A mathematical programming approach for trajectory optimisation of UAVs in the presence of adversary sensors”.

All the presentations will soon be available in PDF format on The OR Society website, through the Defence SIG page, or on, where the full archive of ISMOR papers is available.

Please do get in touch if you would like to be involved in 40ISMOR, and keep an eye out for next year’s announcements.

ISMOR - The OR Society