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Optimisation modelling research

Explore our work in optimisation modelling, 1 of our areas of expertise in Operational Research and Logistics

Optimisation modelling is all about enabling people to make the best possible decisions. It's used in many contexts – from deciding the best routes for delivery trucks, to allocating resources efficiently in a manufacturing process, or scheduling activities successfully.

Critical analysis and interpretation of potential solutions is vital and through our research, we're modelling and solving problems for a huge variety of organisations in the public and private sectors. We're helping decision-makers to structure and solve real-life management problems by making evidence-based choices that they can easily justify to their stakeholders.

Businesses and organisations in all kinds of fields regularly adopt optimisation modelling. As well as improving their efficiency, it can also lead to policies and practices with enhanced economic, environmental or social benefits.

For example, a company that routes their fleet of vehicles more efficiently could reduce their fuel bill, cause less pollution and offer their drivers a better work-life balance due to shorter shifts. That's the kind of difference our research makes.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Routing
  • Scheduling
  • Facility location selection
  • Forecasting
  • Portfolio problems
  • Heuristics, metaheuristics, matheuristics

Methods

Our highly-developed techniques can cope with ever increasing quantities of data. We use quantitative research methods, such as the development of deterministic and dynamic mathematical and simulation optimisation models, to describe a variety of real world problems.

Collaborations and funders

We collaborate with partners ranging from Innovate UK to the Operational Research Society, and the UK's Catapult Centres in Transport Systems, Satellite Applications, and Offshore Renewable Energy (designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in those areas, and help to drive future economic growth).

We also have the advantage of academic links to universities worldwide, including Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), The University of Campinas and São Paulo State University (Brazil), and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China).

Our researchers have a strong record of securing grants. We've received funding from the European Union (FP7 / H2020 and Interreg Channel and 2 Seas), Innovate UK, the Royal Society, the European Commission and the most prominent UK research councils.

Recent funding includes:

  • Innovate UK – Windfarm Autonomous Support Vessels project, awarded January 2018, £153,494
  • Royal Society – The resilient blood supply chain system design for disaster relief, awarded February 2018, £9,600

Projects and publications

Our research is regularly published in leading academic journals within the field, such as the European Journal of Operational Research, OMEGA – The International Journal of Management Science, Computers and Operations Research, and the Journal of the Operational Research Society.

Our researchers also regularly attend international conferences such as IFORS, the European conference on Operational Research, and the International Federation of Operational Research Societies Conference.

Publication highlights

 

The Cooperative Brachytherapy (CoBra) project
Optimisation modelling for prostate cancer in order to enhance access to innovative treatment

 


Blood supply chain modelling with Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Emergency operations scheduling for a blood supply network in disaster reliefs

 


LEANWIND (Logistic Efficiencies And Naval architecture for Wind Installations with Novel Developments)
Optimisation modelling of offshore wind supply chains and maintenance scheduling

 

Discover our areas of expertise

Optimisation modelling is 1 of our 8 areas of expertise in Operational Research and Logistics. Explore the others below.

Decision and data analytics

Research in the design of decision support systems, and use of data analysis, to help people make better decisions through a better understanding of their data.
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Exact and metaheuristic solution methods

Heuristic and metaheuristic techniques are powerful and flexible research methodologies that offer a faster way of solving complex logistical challenges.

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Healthcare analytics

From nurse scheduling to infection and disease modelling, our research provides decision-makers in the healthcare sector with optimal strategies for treatment.
Nurse pointing at scan on computer screen
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Multiple criteria decision aid

Approaching complex problems with conflicting criteria, or uncertain data, our research helps people make more informed decisions.
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Transportation and maritime systems

Our research focuses on developing innovative optimisation models and decision support systems, to help improve the mobility of people, goods and services.
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Renewable energy and sustainability analytics

Modelling to answer a host of questions, from how to produce renewable energy more cheaply, to how the associated logistics can be sustainable.
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Risk and security analytics

We help organisations learn from failures, so they can improve the quality and resilience of their operations, and we develop new analytic approaches to detect security threats.

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Optimisation modelling is all about enabling people to make the best possible decisions. It's used in many contexts – from deciding the best routes for delivery trucks, to allocating resources efficiently in a manufacturing process, or scheduling activities successfully.

Critical analysis and interpretation of potential solutions is vital and through our research, we're modelling and solving problems for a huge variety of organisations in the public and private sectors. We're helping decision-makers to structure and solve real-life management problems by making evidence-based choices that they can easily justify to their stakeholders.

Businesses and organisations in all kinds of fields regularly adopt optimisation modelling. As well as improving their efficiency, it can also lead to policies and practices with enhanced economic, environmental or social benefits.

For example, a company that routes their fleet of vehicles more efficiently could reduce their fuel bill, cause less pollution and offer their drivers a better work-life balance due to shorter shifts. That's the kind of difference our research makes.

Research groups

Centre for Operational Research and Logistics

We're using our expertise in analytics, system design, simulation, programming, and forecasting to help organisations around the world make better decisions.

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Logistics, Operational Research and Analytics Group

Our Logistics, Operational Research and Analytics Research Group members conduct and supervise research in a wide range of fields.

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Interested in a PhD in Operational Research & Logistics?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Operational Research & Logistics postgraduate research degrees page.