The OR Society Undergraduate Award Previous Awards


  • 2017 - Anthony Luciani, Ffion James-Hargreaves
  • 2016  - Archie Rees

Citations for The OR Society Undergraduate Award 2017

Anthony Luciani, University of Leicester

After graduating from BSc Mathematics, Anthony will be studying a Masters in Financial Mathematics and Computation at the University of Leicester and working on a long-term project regarding cryptocurrency trading with a friend.

Optimising a Mining Strategy For New Crofton Cooperative Colliery (NCCC)

New Crofton Cooperative Colliery is planning to sink a new coal mine near Wakefield in Yorkshire. The proposed method of working – room and pillar – is understood on a theoretical basis using a presentation written by Dr Hirschi, but NCCC would like to understand more about how it will work in practice and whether it is the most efficient method. The purpose of this project is to develop a simulation model in a suitable software package that can be used to demonstrate to NCCC its proposed method of operation and possible alternatives to it. The dissertation outlines the benefits of the proposed methods, and contains a simulation creator tool which allows people with no specialist simulation knowledge to measure the optimality of their own strategy against the methods of others.

Anthony Luciani winner of 2017 Undergraduate Award with Professor Alex Clark

Anthony Luciani with Professor Alex Clark

Ffion James-Hargreaves, University of South Wales

Following Graduation from BSc Mathematics at the University of South Wales, Ffion has accepted a job at the Office for National Statistics based in Newport, South Wales as a Statistical Officer working in the National Accounts Coordination Division.

Investigating the impact of alcohol related attendances at A&E

This research investigates the impact of alcohol related attendances on the demand and capacity of the emergency services, specifically the Accident and Emergency departments within the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

Alcohol misuse is a major problem in modern society, resulting in both physical and mental harm, causing a large number of Accident and Emergency (A&E) attendances, which are therefore creating a significant burden on the department. The current operation of alcohol-related attendances, by most A&E departments, could be further improved. The remainder of this research examines the current literature published around areas of the subject, such that known methods can be implemented, i.e. statistical analysis and simulation.

Overall, there has been a decrease of 40.71% of attendances over the time frame of April 2010 to March 2016, yet men still encompass 61% of these. According to a Chi-Squared Goodness of Fit test, paired with the Kruskal-Wallis and the post-hoc Stepdown Bonferroni, there were no differences between the number of male and female attendances year on year, explaining that the ratio of males to females stays constant, although total alcohol-related attendances are decreasing in general. After performing further statistical analysis, it was seen that the Royal Gwent General Hospital and Nevill Hall General District Hospital handled the greatest number of attendances and were also found to have the largest number of patients arriving via Air Ambulance/Helicopter.

Then, when simulating an A&E department using the simulation software, Simul8, it was shown that having one doctor assigned to each specific triage category (1 through 5 and 6), was a viable solution to decreasing the impact of alcohol-related attendances on the A&E department. This was seen when 100% of patients left the system in less than the specified time frame, at four hours.

This should, in turn, strengthen the role of A&E departments and overall, may result in a decrease in the number of cases of alcohol-related incidences.

Ffion James-Hargreaves winner of 2017 Undergraduate Award with Dr Penny Holborn

Ffion James-Hargreaves with Dr Penny Holborn

Citation for The OR Society Undergraduate Award 2016

Archie Rees, University of South Wales

When asked about his future plans, Archie said “after my degree in BSc Mathematics I wish to pursue a career in the analytics and statistics industry. In particular, my time doing the project reaffirmed my desire to have a career analysing sports statistics, as I thoroughly enjoyed focusing on the NFL, making decisions based on both the statistics and figures attained and the actual football and setup of the national football league.”

The best of the best: An investigation into the efficiency of NFL franchises

This project investigates the efficiencies of NFL franchises for the 2014 and 2015 Regular Seasons. After investigating the strengths and weaknesses of several benchmarking methods, an adapted CCR formulation of DEA is used. The approach is applied to the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and it is found that there is a range of efficiencies for the NFL franchises for both the 2014 and 2015 season, however on average the 2015 season (74.79%) has slightly higher efficiencies than 2014 (71.06%), although this difference is not significantly different. The Seattle Seahawks were the only franchise to be 100% efficient in both seasons.

The analysis is carried out using normalised data with regards to offensive and defensive salaries (as inputs) and winning percentage, passing touchdowns (taken as a differential of touchdowns scored and touchdowns conceded) and rushing touchdowns (also as a differential). The approach also allows for the identification of areas of inefficiency, which are analysed for the 2014 season.

The models and results are then contrasted with other work in the area, namely ‘Is Winning Everything?’ (Einolf, 2004). The main contrasts between the two papers is their attitude towards injuries and how they affect efficiency, and the formulation of DEA, as ‘Is Winning Everything’ uses the BCC formulation of DEA to include the concept of diminishing returns, where the CCR formulation used in this paper that assumes a constant rate of return from inputs.