Operational Research Involves One Than Solving Mathematical Problems

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The International Review of Mathematical Sciences 2010 (IRMS 2010) stated that "UK researchers represent excellence in continuous, stochastic and combinatorial optimisation... in particular, UK work on hyper-heuristic methods is world-leading and has had a significant impact."

The mathematical aspects of operational research have received significant support from EPSRC in recent years. The LANCS Initiative, a Science and Innovation award, has led to increased capacity at the four universities which make up the consortium. In addition STOR-i, a Centre for Doctoral Training in statistics and operational research, has recently been established at Lancaster University. The focus on applications means that operational research also receives significant financial support from non-academic research users.

This is a small research area, the £5.2 million LANCS Initiative is a substantial part of the current portfolio. However, the area forms the foundations of research in other areas within the Engineering and Information and Communication Technologies themes, for example Transport Operations and Management, Artificial Intelligence Technologies and Maths of Computing research areas.

The mathematical aspects of operational research have a strong focus on applications in areas including commerce, industry and the public sector, for example airport operations and healthcare logistics. Research in this area has high impact and underpins research in the EPSRC Challenge Themes. It is important in tackling challenges in Manufacturing the Future such as global value chain optimisation, through-life planning and design of product-service systems, and managing sustainability across manufacturing systems. In the Energy theme the mathematical aspects of operational research is particularly important in transportation aspects of end use energy demand e.g. optimisation of passenger and freight networks.

EPSRC investment in this area will be maintained, relative to others in...
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