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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


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

Discover our areas of expertise

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

Research groups

We're using our expertise in analytics, system design, simulation, programming, and forecasting to help organisations around the world make better decisions.
We're researching how we can apply quantitative methodologies to improve decision-making across a range of diverse fields of application.

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.