Companion of OR Previous Awards


  • 2017 - Edmund Burke
  • 2016 - Sally Brailsford, Jeff Griffiths
  • 2015 - Sue Merchant
  • 2014 - Clive Humby, Ruth Davies
  • 2013 - Professor David Ryan
  • 2012 - Professor Peter Millard
  • 2011 - Professor V Belton, Ms R A Kaufman, Professor M Pidd
  • 2010 - Professor A Mercer, Mr T O’Connor
  • 2009 - Professor R J Paul
  • 2008 - Professor John Friend, Dr Geoff Royston
  • 2007 - Ken James, Robert Dyson
  • 2006 - Dr J F Miles
  • 2005 - Dr R A Forder, Professor F Kelly, G K Rand, Dr J C Ranyard, Professor J V Rosenhead
  • 2001 - Professor D J White, Professor K C Bowen
  • 1996 - Professor K B Haley, Professor M F Shutler
  • 1995 - Professor S Vajda
  • 1994 - Professor P Whittle, Mr J Plymen
  • 1992 - Mr G H Mitchell
  • 1991 - Mr R A Showell 
  • 1990 - Professor R C Tomlinson
  • 1989 - Mr D A Quarmby
  • 1988 - Professor H.Muller-Merbach
  • 1987 - Sir Charles Carter, Mr T P Frost
  • 1986 - Sir John Kingman, Sir Dennis Rooke
  • 1985 - Professor Sir David Cox, Lord Ezra, Mr P Hughes, Lord Zuckerman
  • 1984 - Mr H R W Watkins
  • 1983 - Sir Hermann Bondi, Mr D Hicks, Professor R V Jones, Professor B H P Rivett

Citation for Companion of OR 2017

Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke Professor Edmund Burke is a distinguished scientist with multidisciplinary research interests which lie at the interface of operational research and computer science. In particular, his main research is focused on the exploration of search methodologies and the role that they play in underpinning intelligent decision support systems across a wide variety of applications. Edmund obtained his PhD in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Leeds before joining the University of Nottingham. He held several academic positions at Nottingham, where he served ultimately as Dean of the Faculty of Science. While at Nottingham, he founded the Automated Scheduling, Optimisation and Planning (ASAP) Research Group. Within a less than a decade, the group became one of the largest OR groups in the UK with over 40 members, including academics, post-doctoral research students, PhD students and admin support. The group led by Edmund was one of the leading research groups in the world to set an international research agenda for computational research methodologies. Edmund then moved to Stirling to take the position of Senior Deputy Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and after that joined the Queen Mary’s University of London as Vice Principal.

In addition to successfully carrying out leading managerial roles at the universities mentioned above, Edmund’s research funding portfolio has been continuously growing. He has been awarded 57 externally funded grants worth over £17m. A major part of his funding comes from the UK research councils but he also has a considerable research income from other funding sources in the UK and EU. Edmund has considerably contributed to increasing the visibility of operational research as a discipline in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Councils (EPSRC) research agenda. Edmund was one of the key instrumentals in obtaining the largest EPSRC funded grant in OR in the UK, namely the Science and Innovation grant entitled the LANCS Initiative, which enabled collaboration between leading OR groups in the UK. Edmund has edited/authored 14 books and has published over 250 refereed papers.

Edmund Burke being awarded Companion of OR 2017 with Ruth Kaufman

Edmund Burke with Ruth Kaufman (President of The OR Society)

Citations for Companion of OR 2016

Sally Brailsford

Sally Brailsford is Professor of Management Science at the University of Southampton and is currently Head of the Department of Decision Analytics and Risk at the Southampton Business School. She is well known, both in the UK and worldwide, for the influential research on healthcare modelling that she has undertaken over the past 25 years.

Sally's research in healthcare has used simulation modelling to evaluate treatments and screening programmes, or to redesign and improve service delivery. This has included work in many different disease fields including diabetes, cancer, mental health and HIV/AIDS, in addition to emergency care and end-of-life care. Her more recent interests are in incorporating behavioural factors into simulation models, in combining simulation methodologies, and in combining simulation with other approaches such as optimisation. She has twice won The OR Society's Goodeve Medal, in 2004 for modelling emergency healthcare services in Nottingham, and in 2006 for modelling chlamydia infection.

Sally has provided outstanding service to the academic community in many ways. She is the current Chair of COPIOR, the Committee of Professors in OR. Also, she was Vice-President of The OR Society during the period 2006-08, and a Vice-President of EURO from 2012-15. She has actively participated in the activities of the EURO Working Group on OR Applied to Health Services (ORAHS) for many years. Highlights of her contributions to ORAHS have been organising the Group's annual conference at Southampton in 2005, and currently serving as the Group's Coordinator.

Sally Brailsford being awarded Companion of OR 2016 with Ruth Kaufman

Sally Brailsford with Ruth Kaufman (President of The OR Society)

She is an editor of the book Discrete-Event Simulation and System Dynamics for Management Decision Making. Also, she is an Editor-in-Chief of The OR Society's journal Health Systems, and is on the editorial boards of Health Care Management Science, the Journal of Simulation, and Operations Research for Health Care.

Sally's contribution to university life cannot be under-estimated. She has always been instrumental in helping to develop the careers of many work colleagues, and in inspiring and educating the next generation of OR researchers and practitioners.

In summary, Sally's wide-ranging contributions to, and achievements in, OR make her an extremely worthy recipient of the Companionship of The OR Society.

Jeff Griffiths

Jeff Griffiths is an outstanding academic who has pioneered the development and practical application of operational research for over 55 years, to become a world authority in queuing applications. A member of academic staff at Cardiff University since 1964, Jeff was Head of the School of Mathematics for most of the period from 1983 to 2006. With a Ph.D. in Stochastic Processes, he first became interested in Epidemiology and Healthcare when investigating the world-wide eradication of small pox in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Since that time he has undertaken a large number of consultancies and contracts with government establishments and with a variety of public and private companies. He has also worked extensively in the field of transport, with particular reference to congestion problems. His extensive international work has taken him all over the world. Jeff has received grants and awards totalling over £4.5m. He has been an invited speaker at a large number of conferences in the UK and overseas, and has held key organisational responsibilities in several OR international conferences, e.g. EURO 2000. With authorship of over 140 publications and reports, he has appeared in expert capacity in several television and radio programmes, and as an expert witness in High Court actions.

Reflecting his significant achievements in successfully applying OR to healthcare systems in the UK, Jeff was awarded the unprecedented status of the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2006 – the only non-medical practitioner to be recognized in this way to date. From 2008-2012, Jeff was the Cardiff University representative in the LANCS initiative (with the Universities of Lancaster, Nottingham and Southampton) which was awarded an EPSRC Science and Innovation Grant. He played key influential and persuasive roles in national OR funded initiatives, e.g. LANCS, NATCOR.

During his academic career, Jeff successfully supervised 48 Ph.D. students in OR focused theses. One of his Ph.D. graduands gained The OR Society’s Ph.D. prize in 2012. Others hold membership and key responsibilities within The OR Society.

Jeff Griffiths being awarded Companion of OR 2016 with Ruth Kaufman

Jeff Griffiths with Ruth Kaufman (President of The OR Society)

Recognising his considerable OR achievements in over 50 years of service, Cardiff University awarded him the prestigious title of Distinguished Research Professor when he took partial retirement in 2014. This has enabled him to continue his leading role in promoting and organising events with the South Wales OR Discussion Society (SWORDS). In November 2015, the University presented Jeff with its most prestigious award “The Lifetime Achievement Award”, with particular reference to his achievements in raising the profile of OR at the University through excellent teaching. The research group he formed and led at Cardiff for many years is now recognised as one of the major OR centres in the UK. In November 2015, it won the prestigious Times Higher "Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology" reflecting the significant impact made by the group in embedding OR methodology in the NHS systems and practices.

Providing an important contribution to his OR achievements, Jeff is one of the longest serving The OR Society members with his membership dating back to 1961 – something of which he is very proud. He was Vice President of the society from 1997-1999, and was President in 2006-2007. During his Presidency, such was his interest in stimulating The OR Society at local levels, Jeff provided a Presidential seminar at every live ORS Regional Society in the UK. He was The OR Society’s representative at the International Federation of The OR Society Conference (IFORS) from 2000 and has attended the majority of IFORS conferences since 1961.

Demonstrating his significant communication skills, Jeff has used several different media channels to promote OR and The OR Society. For example, in February 2015, he appeared in a Radio 4 programme “The Bottom Line” devoted entirely to the impact which queueing theory has on everyday lives. Reflecting his unique status within OR, he was introduced as “one of the leading exponents of queuing theory in the UK”. He continues to act as a consultant to the consumer magazine Which? on various OR orientated projects. Jeff is a long standing member of the ORS Investment Committee and was The OR Society representative on the Council for Mathematics Sciences and the Heads of Departments of Mathematical Sciences for many years. In particular, through his unique contribution as Chair of and involvement with the ORS Publications Committee until December 2015, he established a firm foundation for the business strategy, operations and income from the society’s journals which continues to substantially benefit The OR Society today.

Jeff was awarded the Beale Medal by The OR Society in 2010 reflecting his sustained and significant contribution to the theory and practice of OR in the UK and internationally. Although those who hold this award are not normally considered for Companionship status, Jeff’s outstanding, unprecedented and unrivalled commitment and support to OR and The OR Society at local, regional, national and international levels over the last 55 years makes him an exceptional candidate for the award of Companion of OR.

Citation for Companion of OR 2015

Sue Merchant

Sue Merchant has had an illustrious career as an analyst, a manager of analysts and as a champion for OR both within the UK and internationally.

After an early career as an OR analyst at the Ministry of Defence where she carried out simulation and statistical modelling, Sue moved to the Metropolitan Police in 1975 where she worked as an internal consultant, project manager and senior manager. From 1990-2000 she was the Met’s Director of Consultancy and Information Services. Since then she has worked as an independent OR consultant specialising in planning and running problem structuring and information gathering workshops. Several of her projects have been for third sector organisations.

She also supervises MSc OR students in their summer projects at LSE and was a trustee of the Tavistock Institute for several years.

She is a long standing active member of The UK OR Society, chaired its Heads of OR Committee for some years, and was its President in 2008-2009 when she developed the ORS strategic plan. She has been a regular attendee and speaker at UK and international OR Conferences. She was involved in setting up, and chaired, the original OR in the Third Sector group and actively contributes to the ORS Criminal Justice special interest group. She regularly undertakes OR projects for charities under the ORS pro bono scheme.

Sue Merchant being awarded Companion of OR 2015 with Stewart Robinson

Sue Merchant with Stewart Robinson (President of The OR Society)

The Chair of the CJORSIG, Dr I.M. Newsome, says:

"Sue has been a key member of the CJORSIG steering committee since its establishment some 10 years ago. Over this time she has organised and administered events; obtained key contributions from different sectors of relevance to the CJ community; made presentations herself; and been central to the direction and development of the special interest group and its links into the ORS, such as through the Heads of OR Forum. Her constant focus upon the interests of the CJ community throughout her extensive networking with OR practitioners from all sectors has led to the proactive identification of contributions and the creation of links both within and between communities. Of particular note are Sue's significant organisational and interpersonal capabilities, her energy and personal commitment in keeping the SIG extremely active throughout its lifetime. Sue commits a significant amount of her own time and resource to sustain the CJORSIG and its links to OR more widely. She does this enthusiastically and willingly without any thought of self-gain and although a small number of us see and appreciate this, her contribution to the OR community is significant and this warrants a more formal acknowledgement.”

Sue is currently Vice President of the International Federation of OR societies and is chair of its Developing Countries committee. She has worked hard for the developing countries, having developed online resources for them, she worked on and took part in the judging of a prize for OR in Development, helped to establish a Nigerian OR Society, and obtained funding for some Nigerian delegates to attend the 2014 IFORS conference. She contributed to the success of the conference where she carried out many admin duties, was joint organiser of the Consultancy stream, and gave a talk to the Board of Representatives. 

The President of IFORS, Nelson Maculan, says

“I'm sure that Sue Merchant has all condition for the award of Companion of OR. As IFORS Vice-President, she is working very hard and developing new OR co-operations associated with different countries in AFRICA and ASIA. I need her support every day. She has given an outstanding service for IFORS.”

Citations for Companion of OR 2014

Clive Humby

Clive Humby has over 25 years’ experience in applying mathematical and statistical modelling methods to business, marketing and retail location) and a persuasive advocate of the power of data.

He began his career as a programmer in Bermuda for the geo-demographics firm CACI, innovating in what has become the site location industry. Quickly rising to be CEO of CACI’s UK business, Clive soon saw the value of using data to inform relevance and personalisation for customer.

After co-founding DunnHumby in 1989, Clive was responsible for customer strategy, from analysis through to the implementation of client merchandising, store operation, marketing and communication strategies. DunnHumby was the marketing firm which created the Tesco Clubcard and developed it from a basic loyalty scheme into a sophisticated tool for analysing shoppers' habits and fine-tuning promotional offers.

Clive Humby being awarded Companion of OR 2014 with Stewart Robinson

Clive Humby with Stewart Robinson (President of The OR Society)

They sold the company to Tesco in early 2011 (for a reported £93m), remaining on the board as Non-executive Directors. More recently they are Directors of Starcount, a new social media platform, and Purple Seven, an arts sector data analytics company that helps venues, production companies and audience development bodies maximise the potential of ticketing and customer data.

Clive is engaged with education, for example as Visiting Professor at Cranfield, and a member of The Operational Research Society.

Clive Humby is an early pioneer in areas of data analytics that are transforming our lives. He has advanced significantly the practice of the subject.

Ruth Davies

Ruth Davies has been one of the “big names” in simulation modelling since the 1980’s. Her PhD work at the University of Southampton with Keith Tocher resulted in a textbook co-authored with Bob O’Keefe entitled “Simulation Modelling with Pascal” which later led to her Patient Oriented Simulation Technique (POST) software. This approach uniquely enabled simulation objects to be in several queues or activities at the same time, something that at that time was not handled easily by commercial off-the-shelf packages, and thus allowed the user to develop realistic clinical models which also captured resource use and waiting times.

Ruth applied the POST approach to numerous disease areas such as end-stage renal failure, diabetic retinopathy screening and coronary heart disease, and successfully obtained grant funding from various NHS organizations and Research Councils.

Ruth was well known internationally and was a regular attender at simulation conferences. She worked at Southampton until 2003 and had been Professor of Operational Research at Warwick for six years when she had to take early retirement on health grounds following a major stroke in 2009.

Ruth Davies being awarded Companion of OR 2014 with Stewart Robinson and Gavin Blackett

Ruth Davies with Stewart Robinson (President of The OR Society) and Gavin Blackett (General Manager of The OR Society)

Ruth was well known internationally and was a regular attender at simulation conferences. She worked at Southampton until 2003 and had been Professor of Operational Research at Warwick for six years when she had to take early retirement on health grounds following a major stroke in 2009.

Ruth has served The OR Society in various ways - for several years as chair of the Publicity and Membership Committee and as co-chair of the 2009 Annual Conference OR51.

Ruth, with her sharp academic mind, keen sense of fairness and justice and wicked sense of humour, has been profoundly influential in the careers of many students, academics and practitioners. She still enjoys life to the full and retains her strong belief that OR is about making practical improvements in the real world.

Citation for Companion of OR 2013

Professor David Ryan

David Ryan is New Zealand’s leading authority on operational research and is that country’s most influential contributor to the field. Until recently he was Professor of Operations Research at Auckland with research interests that include; mathematical programming and optimization theory; optimization techniques of operational research; scheduling, timetabling and combinatorial optimization problems; and curve fitting and solution of under-determined linear systems. David had a health scare back in February which resulted in him spending a considerable period of time in hospital. Due to his illness, David has decided to officially retire from his position with the University, and has been granted the title of Emeritus Professor.

David joined the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Auckland in 1975, after gaining an MSc in Mathematics from the University of Otago and a PhD in Numerical Analysis from the Australian National University. David was Deputy Dean in Engineering at Auckland from 2004 to 2011, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) in 2003; he was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ), and an INFORMS Fellow in 2005; he was the IFORS Distinguished Lecturer at the 2002 INFORMS meeting in San Jose. At that meeting he was also awarded the INFORMS Prize for the Teaching of OR/MS Practice. David was awarded the Hans Dallenbach Prize of the Operations Research Society of New Zealand in 2001, and was selected as a finalist in the 2000 Edelman competition. In November 2011, David was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Pickering Medal that recognises excellence and innovation in the practical application of methodology. 

In 2004 David served as a member of the International Panel for the EPSRC-sponsored Review of Research in OR in UK universities, and in 2010 he was a member of the International Panel for the EPSRC Review of Mathematical Sciences in the UK. Members of the UK OR community are indebted to David for his strong support in these two reviews – his efforts were instrumental in the establishment of the NATCOR and the LANCS initiatives.

David is probably best known for developing the innovative ‘Ryan-Foster constraint branching’ methodology which is now a fundamental component of optimisation software used worldwide for solving complex logistics problems. This methodology revolutionised the optimisation landscape by dramatically increasing the range and size of problems to which optimisation could be applied.

David is a strong advocate for the use of mathematical optimisation techniques to solve problems of significant industrial importance. In New Zealand his methods have allowed a new range of practical real-world problems to be solved. As an example, David has collaborated with Air New Zealand for more than 20 years to commercially exploit his methodology. He developed pioneering optimisation software that is now used by the airline to optimally schedule flight crews. The savings from these optimisers were estimated in 2000 as being more than NZ$15 million per year. He has recently worked with Air New Zealand to develop robust solutions that can reduce the impact of disruptions, work which is regarded as ground-breaking and is possibly the first airline implementation of this new methodology. In 2000 his original 1992 publication on airline crew rostering was selected as one of five Milestone Papers to mark the 50th year of publication of JORS. 

David Ryan has inspired and educated a generation of successful OR/MS practitioners in New Zealand and indeed throughout the world, including many in UK. It is difficult to imagine a more worthy candidate for Companionship of The OR Society.

Citation for Companion of OR 2012

Professor Peter Millard

Peter Millard FRCP is Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, St George's, University of London and President of the UK Nosokinetics Group. He coined the word Nosokinetics in his 1992 PhD thesis: Flow rate modelling: a method of comparing performance in departments of geriatric medicine. Peter is in active retirement a Health Advisor to the National Pensioners Convention and has been co-supervisor of doctoral students modelling health care systems at the Universities of Ulster, Westminster and Adelaide. He has over 120 publications on different aspects of modelling health and social care systems, in addition to numerous publications in the medical literature.

Peter qualified in Medicine in 1960. In 1968 he was the first consultant in geriatric medicine appointed to St. George's Hospital (London). From 1968-1984 he collected a unique longitudinal data set, including data on all geriatric patients in the hospital during the period; this data set has proved an invaluable resource and has formed the basis of much of the work in the following decades. Between 1993 and 1999 he was the Eleanor Peel Professor of Geriatric Medicine at St. George's Hospital Medical School (London), where his research interest in modelling and new methods of measuring activity in hospitals began. With no background in Mathematics or Operational Research, Peter intuitively realised the need to analyse his data to understand the processes at work and provide modelling and planning tools to provide better services for the elderly. As such, Peter extensively analysed his data set and in particularly realised that heterogeneity of length of stay of patients in hospital can be described by a two (or more) term mixed exponential distribution, thus characterising short-term (acute) and long-term patients. Thus began a long collaboration between Peter and a series of OR professionals.

In 1989, Peter visited the College of Charleston, USA and together with Gary Harrison (an applied mathematician) developed and published “Balancing acute and long-term care: the mathematics of throughput in departments of geriatric medicine” in Methods of Information in Medicine. The next year he met Professor Sally McClean, an operational researcher working in the University of Ulster, with whom he published widely, extending the model to stochastic as well as deterministic representations of patient flow. Between 1993 and 2002, he was a visiting professor to the Department of Mathematics at the University of Ulster where he co-supervised several successful PhD's (Gordon Taylor, Adele Marshall, Lalit Garg and Jennifer Gillespie, to date). Peter has also been a visiting professor to the University of Westminster for many years, where he collaborated extensively with Professor Thierry Chaussalet and Dr Elia ElDarzi, contributing extensively to a large number of MSc projects and co-supervising various successful PhDs (Christos Vasilakis, Revlin Abbi) in the area of Healthcare Operational Research. Other significant collaborators have been Dr Mark McKay and Professor Malcolm Faddy in Australia, Dr Brendan Rae in New Zealand, Professor Florin Gorunescu in Romania, not to mention various collaborations with OR and medical researchers in Europe, particularly Spain and France, where he has spent a sabbatical leave with Professor Alain Franco in Grenoble. Peter has also co-organised a large number of conferences, workshops and conferences to promote his work, principally the Health and Social Care Modelling conferences (Adelaide, 2006 and Portrush, 2008) and the recent workshop on “Maths and Medicine: Measuring and Modelling Patient Flow in Healthcare” held in St. George’s, April 2012.

Nosokinetics is the science/subject of measuring and modelling the process of care in health and social care systems. Nosokinetics brings together the Greek words for noso: disease and kinetics: movement and Nosokinetics, (analogous to Pharmacokinetics), and seeks to develop dynamic methods which measure and model the process of inpatient care. The aim is to develop a science base to underpin the planning of sustainable health and social care systems. In 2004 the Nosokinetics group newsletter was established, with Peter as Editor and an extensive circulation to both the OR and the Medical communities. Peter writes about Nosokinetics : "If the random forces of wind and tide can make such a beautiful statue (referring to an iceberg), how much better could mankind do if a new science was developed which explains the complex processes of health and social care. Until new methods of planning health and social care services to meet the needs of an ageing population are introduced, service delivery will stumble on from crisis to crisis. The world population is ageing and sustainable systems of health care need to be developed." This has led to the establishment of the Nosokinetics group of interested researchers. The group collaborates to organize conferences and disseminates news of Nosokinetics and related research and practical use of modelling to enhance decision making in health and social care systems. The Nosokinetics group comprises interested people in many countries including Australia, UK & Egypt, from different disciplines ranging from health care providers to management scientists.

Peter has previously been recognised by the Medical community. For example, in 1999, he became an expert advisor to the Council of Europe. Honours include President of the British Geriatrics Society, and President of the Geriatrics and Gerontology section of the Royal Society of Medicine. It is timely that he should also be recognised by the operational research community, which as a member of The OR Society and the Blackett Club, he would really appreciate. The importance of OR Healthcare is becoming increasingly recognised with the setting up and funding of numerous initiatives such as MASHNET, RIGHT, MATCH, HaCIRIC, and the Cumberland Initiative. Health Services are in crisis and the need to optimise and economise is imperative. However most of the efforts to introduce OR methods to healthcare have come from the OR side with poor understanding and buy-in from the NHS and other healthcare systems. In the midst of this environment Peter has been an outstanding champion for the cause of operational research in Healthcare for many decades. As such he is a very worthy candidate for the award of the Companionship of Operational Research.

Citations for Companion of OR 2011

Professor Val Belton

Val Belton is an outstanding academic who has contributed for over 25 years to work on the development and practical application of Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) methodologies. She was the joint author of a book on this subject “Multicriteria Decision Analysis: an integrated approach” published in 2002. She has worked to integrate problem structuring methods, system dynamics and other analytical approaches with multicriteria decision analysis. She has numerous associated academic publications and was editor of the journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis.

In 1994 she was awarded the MCDM Presidential Service Award and, in 2008, the Georg Cantor Lifetime Achievement Award. She was President of the International Society for MCDM from 2000 to 2004. 

Val Belton has also worked on performance measurement in the pubic sector, on how decision makers learn from modelling, and the development of reflective OR practitioners through student-centred teaching and learning.

She is a long standing member of The OR Society. She has been a regular attendee and stream organiser at UK and international OR Conferences. In 1980 she was the first woman to be elected to the Council of The OR Society and was President of The UK OR Society from 2004 to 2006. As President she played a lead role in the high profile International Review of Research in Operational Research in the UK by the Research Councils ESRC and EPSRC, which resulted in more funding for the academic members.

She chaired the organising committee for EURO XIII/OR 36 in Glasgow in 1994. She was Vice- President of EURO from 1996 to 2000 and its President from 2009 to 2010.

Val Belton awarded Companion of OR 2011

Professor Val Belton

Ruth Kaufman

Ruth Kaufman has had an illustrious career as an analyst, a manager of analysts and as a champion for OR both within Government and more widely. 

After an early career in analysis, consultancy and management in the transport and energy industries, Ruth moved into Government OR in 1991. She spent five years in a project leadership role in the Department of Health, and then transferred to the Export Credits Guarantee Department as head of its OR group. An extremely effective advocate for OR, she was able to integrate the discipline into both the day-to-day business and the broader strategic planning of the Department. This was recognised by her appointment to the ECGD Executive Board as Head of Strategy, Change and OR.

During her 12 years at ECGD, Ruth also made an outstanding contribution to the governance and development of OR within the Civil Service generally. She served two terms as Chair of the Government OR Service Main Committee and hence as de facto Head of OR in Government. Particularly concerned to ensure mechanisms were in place to promote the effective career development of young analysts, she was undoubtedly a key player in facilitating the success and expansion of GORS over the last decade.

Ruth is now an independent consultant and a visiting senior fellow at the LSE Department of Management, and more active than ever in the wider OR community. She is chair of society’s Publicity, Membership and Website Committee, she is part of a small team organising and leading practitioner-oriented events at the annual society conference; and she is playing a key role in developing the society’s Third Sector OR initiative, having recently been elected to chair the associated Special Interest Group.

Ruth Kaufman being awarded Companion of OR 2011 with Richard Eglese

Ruth Kaufman with Richard Eglese (President of The OR Society)

Professor Mike Pidd

Mike Pidd is currently Head of the Department of Management Science at Lancaster University, which contains one of the largest groups of OR academics in the UK. He is an outstanding academic who is well known for his books “Tools for Thinking: modelling in management science” (now in its 3rd edition) and “Computer Simulation in Management Science” (now in its 5th edition).

He is an active researcher in OR, particularly in the fields of performance measurement and simulation. In 2003 to 2005 he was an ESRC Research Fellow funded under the Advanced Institute of Management Research, investigating ways to improve performance measurement in the provision of public services. Recent work in simulation funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has included work on performance measurement and improvement for hospitals in the National Health Service.

He is a long standing member of The UK OR Society and was its President in 2000-2001. Since then, he has served the OR community by being Chair of the Committee of Professors of OR (COPIOR) from 2005 to 2009.

Mike Pidd has also served the wider academic community by being chair of the Business & Management panel (I36) for the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2005 to 2008. He is currently chair of the Business & Management subpanel for the Research Excellence Framework (REF). These research assessments are extremely important and influential for UK academic departments. In 2009, he was made a Fellow of the British Academy of Management.

Citations for Companion of OR 2010

Professor Alan Mercer

Alan Mercer began his career in 1954 and, like many of the UK’s pioneers of peace-time OR he started in the National Coal Board, before moving on after two years to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, where he did early research on the generation of pseudo-random numbers for high-speed computers and on stochastic process approximations to nuclear reactions, leading to the probability distribution of the size of an accidental explosion. During his Aldermaston period, he wrote his Ph.D. thesis ‘Some Stochastic Processes Analysed by the Method of Supplementary Variable’ during his own time over a three year period; his supervisor was D.R. Cox, then at Birkbeck College, University of London. During this period Alan also published papers on queues and renewals in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society.

In 1962 he left to join the infant IT function at Armour & Co. Ltd. as the senior manager responsible for operational research, statistics and data processing. A couple of years later, Alan became a founder member of the Department of Operational Research and of the University of Lancaster, lured with others to the north by Pat Rivett. The Lancaster Department, headed by Pat, was the first of its type in the UK and its work continues today, though under the name Management Science. Alan soon became a professor and later led the department for many years, encouraging its staff to view OR as a practical discipline based on intellectual rigour and honesty.

During his career he made many contributions to OR in the UK and Europe. He joined the ORS in 1954, and became a Council Member in 1969. Whilst on the Council, and as Chairman of the Education and Research Committee, he was closely involved in the debates concerning Stafford Beer’s attempt to create a professionally qualified society. Most importantly, he was a founding editor of EJOR and held that position for 20 years, insisting on the high standards that have led to EJOR’s excellent reputation around the world, regarded by many as the best OR journal from outside the INFORMS stable and a worthy competitor for JORS. Alan later ensured that EJOR became a major part of EURO’s activities. He was also a regular contributor to JORS. On taking up the founding editorship of EJOR he subsequently found little time for ORS activities, though his swan song was to organise a very successful ORS conference in Lancaster in 1998.

Alan was a distinguished researcher in his own right and, until recently, was one of a very few UK researchers in quantitative marketing, writing the first book on OR in marketing and contributing to another on OR in physical distribution. He has supervised numerous PhDs, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in OR in the UK and around the world.

In addition he has had an extensive public career which brought OR to the attention of policy makers. Included in such activities were his chairmanship of the then SSRC’s (now ESRC) Management and Industrial Relations Committee, his membership of the North-West Economic Planning Council and his chairmanship of the Warrington and Runcorn New Town Development Corporation.

Tony O'Connor

Tony has served as the chair of the main committee of the Government OR Service (GORS) since 2004. At that time, he was working as Chief Operational Research Analyst in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU), and this experience of seeing how analysis should and could be applied at the very highest levels in Government gave him what is probably a unique perspective amongst current OR practitioners. His insight into the types of communication needed to influence high level decision making in government is second to none and will no doubt be invaluable to him in his new senior post in the Department of Health. As chair of GORS(M), Tony has brought structure and discipline to an organisation highly reliant on volunteers with other “day jobs”, and his leadership has encompassed the profession’s central management, continual development of professional capacity (both individually and as a whole), professional standards and links with the world beyond. GORS has flourished during his tenure and membership has expanded substantially to over 400 analysts across over 20 Government departments and agencies. GORS now carries out all the recruitment of OR analysts in the departments covered by GORS to ensure that high standards are maintained. Tony has worked tirelessly to raise the profile and visibility of OR, and to ensure that we retain a seat at the “top table” of analytical professions. He has been an exceptionally effective ambassador for the profession, grasping every opportunity with both hands and has recently taken the initiative to spread the good news about OR to the Scottish and Welsh governments. His enthusiasm for OR contributes greatly to the health of the profession in general, especially in encouraging young OR analysts.

Tony’s efforts for the government have clearly been greatly appreciated as he was rewarded with the CBE in 2007.

Tony has also supported and continues to support The OR Society in many ways such as membership of the Heads of OR forum, speaking at conferences and hosting events – a recent example was when the President of EURO wished to arrange a meeting of European OR Society presidents in London. In typical charismatic style Tony took the participants on a grand tour of the Treasury building in Whitehall and gave a fascinating presentation to them on OR in government.

Tony O'Connor being awarded Companion of OR 2010 with Richard Eglese

Tony O'Connor with Richard Eglese (President of The OR Society)

Citation for Companion of OR 2009

Ray Paul

Ray Paul, who retired from Brunel University, UK, in 2003 due to ill health has spent 37 years in academic life. His activities included: teaching simulation modeling, creating a research culture among his colleagues, generously investing his energy, creativity, and intellect into developing young researchers, creating simulation software, researching simulation environments and challenging conventional views and approaches. 

Ray has served on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including the Journal of Simulation Systems Science and Technology. He founded the European Journal of Information Systems in 1991 and is a Guiding Editor for the Journal of Simulation, launched in 2006. He has been on the editorial board for the British Computer Society Practitioner Series for a number of years and from 2000 has been the series editor. He has made a considerable contribution to the academic community, has been an author of over 100 refereed papers published in academic journals and has been involved in the supervision of 55 PhD students.

Ray Paul being awarded Companion of OR 2009 with Sue Merchant

Ray Paul with Sue Merchant (President of The OR Society)

Citations for Companion of OR 2008

Geoff Royston

Dr Geoff Royston has worked in OR in Government for over 30 years, holding a Senior Civil Service post since 1990, and from 2003 as Head of Profession for OR. The majority of that time has been in the Department of Health during which OR has grown strongly. 1

Throughout this time he has been an exceptionally strong positive influence on the use of OR both through identifying innovative new Priority Business work areas, amongst them, and of exceptional mention, NHS Direct 2 the 24 hour help-line service, and championing, along with more traditional OR techniques, non mathematical approaches such as System Thinking and Horizon Scanning.

In addition to successfully promoting OR within Government he has done much to ensure that OR is a good career route for entrants into the field. He has actively encouraged OR staff to make public their work through presentations at OR conferences, to edit Special Issues and publish in JORS and elsewhere, and to organise, and participate in, The OR Society events. He has also pump-primed the establishment of part-time distance learning MSc courses in Health OR for Health Service professionals.

Geoff Royston being awarded Companion of OR 2008 with Sue Merchant

Geoff Royston with Sue Merchant (President of The OR Society)

Geoff is extremely well liked and respected by OR professionals and managers not only within the Department of Health but also the wider OR community. He has been Chair of the Government OR Service, given numerous invited keynote presentations at prestigious conferences, including ORS events, and published over 25 papers, with some in JORS. He has also undertaken OR consultancy for the WHO.

1 Government Operational Research Service: Civil OR in UK Central Government
H S Turner
JORS,vol 59,2008, 148–162.
Author H S Turner

2 Operational Research for informed innovation: NHS Direct as a case study in the design, implementation and evaluation of a new public service
Journal: JORS, vol: 54, Oct 2003, 10, page(s): 1022-1028
Authors: Royston, G., Halsall, J., Halsall, D. and Braithwaite, C.

John Friend

John Friend has made major contributions to the operational research community, both nationally and internationally, over more than 40 years. His methodological and practice contribution is embedded in the Strategic Choice Approach to participative problem structuring, of which he is the unquestioned prime author. The distinctive focus of Strategic Choice is on the management of uncertainty, with a rich variety of tools to help groups make progress through from problem identification to action commitment. The approach is meticulously documented in Planning Under Pressure (Friend and Hickling) which has been in print in 3 successive editions for over 20 years. The first book on the strategic choice approach was by John Friend and Neil Jessop who was the first Director of the Institute for OR and who sadly died suddenly, soon after its publication. The latest edition incorporates a range of practical case descriptions, including most striking the appropriation of Strategic Choice by the Venezuelan government for decision-making up to Presidential level.

John Friend’s creative achievement has been recognised, remarkably for someone who has never held a regular university post, by visiting professorial appointments at several UK universities, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Amsterdam, and by a special issue of the journal Planning Theory devoted to his work.

John Friend being awarded Companion of OR 2008 with Sue Merchant

John Friend with Sue Merchant (President of The OR Society)

To these outstanding accomplishments John Friend has added sterling service to The Operational Research Society, starting with his work in the South Wales Operational Research Discussion Society (SWORDS) from the late 1950’s. He has been particularly involved in the ORS Developing Countries committee, through which he has consistently sought to support those in the 3 rd World endeavouring to use appropriate OR to achieve development. As ORS Vice President in 2000-3 he extended his customary purposeful attention to detail to a wider remit of the society’s affairs. Long past several retirements he continues to scheme constructively to make the world a better place.

Citations for Companion of OR 2007

Ken James

After directing Chemical Defence at the MoD, Ken, now in his 90th year, was chosen to head OR in the new Civil Service Department. Taking OR to the highest ministerial levels, he was responsible for establishing most of today’s civil OR groups and for OR’s high stature in government today.

Ken James is a former Vice-president of the society and a Silver Medallist. After a distinguished career as a chemist, ending as Director of Chemical Defence, he was moved from headship of the Army Operational Research Group to lead OR in the newly-formed Civil Service Department. There he managed the establishment of most of today’s civil OR groups, personally advising at the highest ministerial levels. OR’s high stature in government today is directly due to his efforts. The society is happy to acknowledge these again by appointing him a Companion.

Ken James being awarded Companion of OR 2007 with Maurice Shutler

Ken James with Maurice Shutler

Robert Dyson

Industrial experience with Pilkington Bros Plc, 1964-1970. Joined Warwick Business School in 1970. Chairman of the Business School 1978-81. Dean 1998-2000. Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University 1989-95 and 1999-2005. Chair, Committee of Professors of Operational Research 1995-1997. President of The Operational Research Society 1998/9, Editor European Journal of Operational Research and member of INFORMS. He has continued to contribute The OR Society after being President. He, with Mike Pidd, led the successful campaign to bring in accreditation and is himself a FORS. He was the Chair of OR48 and he is a current member of the Education and Research Committee.

Robert Dyson being awarded Companion of OR 2007 with Jeff Griffiths

Robert Dyson with Jeff Griffiths (President of The OR Society)

Citation for Companion of OR 2006

Julian Miles

The Companionship of Operational Research should be 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.

The award of Companion is expected to meet one of six different requirements, and the person nominated this year falls in Category 5 – “Those who have given outstanding service to The OR Society”.

Dr Julian Miles, better known throughout the OR world as “Bob Miles”, retired from the post of Secretary and General Manager of the society on 31 October 2006, after 15 years of dedicated service.

Bob initially took a degree in Civil Engineering at Leeds University, and worked for a number of years after graduation in this field in the Birmingham area. He decided on a career change in 1972, and took a Masters degree in OR at Birmingham University. After gaining some teaching experience at Lanchester Polytechnic, Bob was appointed to a vacant lectureship in OR within the Department of Production Engineering at Birmingham University in 1974, and went on to take his PhD in Decision Theory whilst a member of staff. During his seventeen years at Birmingham University, Bob supervised several PhD students and a large number of Masters’ projects. He was also a very active participant in The OR Society affairs – a member of Council, organiser of the society’s Open Days, and Chair of the Organising Committee for the Durham Conference in 1985.

When Bob took up the position of the society’s S&GM, his experience in the civil engineering world, where he had responsibility for bidding for large contracts, was immediately put to good use in keeping a tight reign on the society’s finances. Those of us who have worked closely with Bob will testify to his unfailing dedication to his duties. The number of extra hours Bob has put into the job is incalculable. As will be appreciated, the role of S&GM has changed significantly over the years, particularly with regard to recent legislation, and the society owes Bob a huge debt of gratitude for steering us carefully through a minefield of issues, such as the Charity Commissioners’ requirements and the procedures leading up to the production of the new Constitution which comes into force on 1 January 2007. Bob will no doubt draw satisfaction from the fact that he leaves the society in a strong financial position, and with stable membership numbers.

Bob’s interests outside of the society are in the theatre, opera, and concerts, with a preference for Baroque and earlier music. He will not rest in retirement - he has decided to take a Master’s degree in local history. Bob is also a keen rambler, and intends to spend a substantial part of his retirement years on walking holidays both in UK and overseas. I am sure that everyone present will join me in thanking Bob for his conscientious service over the last 15 years, and in wishing him a long, happy and healthy retirement.

Citations for Companion of OR 2005

Roger Forder

Roger Forder has worked in OR in defence since 1974, holding a Senior Civil Service post since 1993. Formerly Chief Analyst of the Centre for Defence Analysis of DERA, the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, he has continued to undertake similar roles in the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) following its creation in 2001. During this time he has been a strong positive influence on OR as technical ‘head of profession’ in the largest practitioner group in the UK. He has encouraged a broad outlook on OR within the defence environment, promoting and facilitating many links with the wider OR community and supporting innovative approaches proposed by younger practitioners, seeking to make available the opportunity and resources to enable them to pursue their ideas. He is well known and highly regarded for his gentle manner and his integrity. It is for this long-term encouragement of OR in his own organisation that Roger has been awarded the Companionship of OR. However, he has also served the wider OR community in many ways, for example, as a member of EPSRC’s Strategic Advisory Team, a representative on the panel appointed to undertake EPSRC’s recent International Review of UK research in OR, chair of the Government OR Service, chair of the Heads of OR Committee, member of Council and guest co-editor of a special issue of JORS.

Frank Kelly

Frank Kelly is Professor of the Mathematics of Systems at the University of Cambridge. He is renowned for his wide ranging work on modelling communications networks, which was the subject of his 1996 Blackett lecture. Professor Kelly has received a number of awards for this work including the 1991 Lanchester prize of the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) and the 2005 Kobayashi award of the IEEE. The citation for the Lanchester prize reads: "In a series of six major papers ... Frank P. Kelly has taken the leap from the theory of Erlang which aptly described the village telephone exchange of 1917, to a theory that is fully capable of the analysis of today's global telecommunications network”. The Kobayashi award cites, in particular, his work with colleagues in Cambridge and at BT’s Martlesham laboratories in developing the concept of Dynamic Alternative Routing, which has influenced call routing strategies worldwide, and his application of the economic theory of pricing to congestion control and fair resource allocation, which has reshaped how researchers study future directions for the Internet. In 2003 he was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department for Transport – a role which also calls for understanding of congestion and charging. Although Frank’s primary allegiance is to statistics – he is a Fellow and current council member of the Royal Statistical Society – his work represents an important contribution to the theory and practice of what everyone here would recognise as operational research, and for that reason we are delighted to welcome him as a Companion of OR.

Graham Rand

The Companionship of OR is awarded to Graham Rand in recognition of his outstanding contribution to The Operational Research Society and to IFORS, the International Federation of Operational Research Societies, over a period of over 30 years. At all times since 1974 Graham has been involved in some way – usually in several ways - with either or both of the ORS and IFORS. His first involvement was as UK contributing editor to International Abstracts in OR (IAOR) from 1974 to 1979; he then took over the editorship of IAOR until 1991, when he became editor of the Journal of the Operational Research Society for a period of 5 years to 1996. He became IFORS Publications coordinator in 1998 and managing editor of International Transactions in OR from 2000 to 2005. His involvement has not been limited to publications; he was chair of the conference committee for OR 26, held in Lancaster in 1984, and of the Programme Committee for the 12th IFORS Conference, held in Greece in 1990. He became a Vice-President of IFORS in 1998. Graham has also been actively involved in many ways in supporting OR in developing countries.

All this constitutes an impressive catalogue of activity, but it by no means covers all of Graham’s contributions to OR, which also include chair of North West OR group, chair of the study group for OR in developing countries, chair of national events committee, council member – and one of, perhaps the, longest innings as member of an ORS committee with 22 years unbroken service on the publications committee.

John Ranyard

The Companionship of OR is awarded to John Ranyard for his substantial contribution to OR and The OR Society following his term as President from 1988 – 1989. Since that time he has chaired the committees of two successful national conferences, in York in 1993 and Chester in 2005; edited the Journal of the OR Society for 5 years from 1997 to 2002; and founded and chaired two committees of the society, the membership committee which was established in 1996 and the electronic services committee which started life in 1997 as a working group to explore the setting up of the society’s website. Together with Robert Fildes he conducted the ORS sponsored investigation into the success and survival of OR groups and has since written and talked widely about that work and other aspects of OR practice. All of this builds on his substantial contribution to the profession prior to becoming President of ORS; 20 years as head of the Yorkshire Unit of British Coal OR Executive– including two years as chair of the ORE Manager’s Committee, a founding member and co-chair of the Heads of OR Committee, a Vice President of the society, chair of National Events committee, chair of the Yorkshire and Humberside OR Group and member of the EPSRC OR panel.

Jonathan Rosenhead

The Companionship of OR is awarded to Jonathan Rosenhead for his substantial contribution to OR following his term as President of The OR Society from 1986-1987. We would like to highlight three distinct, but inter-related themes of that contribution. Firstly his continuing support of and contribution to Community OR, a field of activity which grew from Jonathan’s initiative in establishing the Community OR Unit at Northern College during his term as President. Secondly, his influence in drawing together the different threads of “soft OR” to create what has come to be recognised as the coherent field of study in methods for Problem Structuring. An important contribution in this regard is his editorship of the book, Rational Analysis for a Problematic World (1989) and its 2001 sequel, Rational Analysis for a Problematic World Revisited, co-edited with John Mingers. And thirdly his contribution to OR in developing countries, which is reflected in many ways, in particular his co-chair, with Arabinda Tripathy of the 1st and 5th ICORD (International Conferences on OR in Development) conferences in 1992 and 2005. At the first of these the Ahmedabad declaration, a policy statement which sought to secure support for OR in developing countries, was adopted unanimously. This declaration can now be seen to have had a significant effect on IFORS policy. Through these, and his many other contributions, Jonathan continues to both challenge and exert a strong positive influence on OR.

Citations for Companion of OR 2001

Ken Bowen

Ken Bowen is one of the few "original" operational researchers still working. Ken began his OR work towards the end of World War 2, and continued mainly in the Defence environment until his (first) retirement, at which stage he was Head of Research at Defence Operational Analysis Establishment (DOAE) at West Byfleet. He has been an Honorary Professor at Royal Holloway since that time, and still turned out for the cricket team in his late seventies!

He continues to provide the "30 Years Ago" abstract every month for the society's newsletter. Ken has devoted his whole working life to OR, and there are many colleagues, friends, students, etc who would support the proposal that this honour be bestowed on him.

D White

Professor White's contribution to the literature and development of OR is quite extraordinarily extensive and wide ranging. Many will be familiar with some part of his work but few who have not seen his full bibliography will realise what a remarkable list of publications he has to his credit. (A list of these published in the IMA Journal of Mathematics Applied to Business and Industry, Vol 6, No 2, 1995 contained over 130 entries in print in 1992). His books on decision theory, decision methodology, dynamic programming and OR techniques have become definitive texts for these subject areas, while his papers in the fields of Markov decision processes, multi-objective decision making, and applications of heuristics have made major contributions to our discipline.

The society has already acknowledged Professor White's research achievement through the award of the Beale Medal. However, impressive as they are, Doug's books and articles by no means exhaust his contributions to OR. In a number of institutions his activities as teacher, research supervisor, and academic leader have left an indelible mark. His rigorous approach, accepting nothing less than highest standards, but coupled with a generous and supportive demeanour has provided an enormously valuable experience to those fortunate enough to have worked with him.

Early in his career he created the department of OR at the University of Strathclyde, becoming its first Professor and Head, there providing an exceptional quality of leadership and creativity to which many can personally attest. He established the OR Centre (and within it the health Services OR Unit), a team of independently funded applied researchers, which played an important role in engendering a strong liaison with business and industry, both within and beyond Scotland, a relationship which continues to this day.

Subsequently, in Manchester University, Professor White established and led the new Department of Decision Theory to which he recruited a powerful team whose research and other work created a new and important academic presence in the North west of England. This is probably the right point to note the remarkable number of UK professorships filled by Professor White's proteges. I can enumerate eight (nine if we add Canada) without difficulty, all of whom paid their respect by attending the 1994 Celebration of Doug's career and imminent retiral, and at which all recorded the exceptional importance to their subsequent careers of the periods under his leadership. At the same meeting Professor White's international reputation was vouchsafed by the presence of delegates from Japan, Canada, and from the USA where he spent some years as visiting professor, enhancing his own reputation as well as that of our discipline.