OR – It’s used in everything we do!
I recently attended the OR53 conference in Nottingham, UK. The conference is run by the Operational Research Society and holds host to operational researchers from around the world. I met people from Canada, Colombia and Denmark, and there were people from even further afield who came to find out all about current events in Operational Research (OR)
This was my first OR conference and I was amazed at the amount of applications that OR techniques are used for. There were talks on everything from the use of OR in logistics, defense and healthcare to sports. It really is used in so many every day things and we don’t even realize!
For example, I was at a talk about how they scheduled the New Zealand Rugby Union Matches. With so many constraints to consider, such as players not being able to play too many games in a row, travel to away games and television rights, it soon became clear it’s not as simple as sitting down and writing a schedule.
Simulation has also featured heavily and it is great to see the variety of sectors that it’s used in, and what it can achieve. One of our healthcare consultants Fiona Lindsay, presented a project she had been working on with UK NHS Worcestershire to plan Dementia care.
I was totally amazed at how many different uses that there are for simulation and operational research. Although I see all the variety of sectors it’s used in, every day, being there and seeing sectors I never even considered makes it even more interesting.
Everyone we’ve met here has been great, and we hope to meet more of you at the conferences we’re attending soon!