Saturday, October 30, 2010

Young OR Conference April 2011 - Consultancy Stream

The OR Society is hosting the biennial Young OR conference in the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, on 5-7 April 2011. I am organising the Consultancy stream, and I am looking for speakers, presenters and of course audience. If you are disregarding the conference because of the word 'young', think again, because the definition of 'young' in this context is <= 10 years in the field of OR. You can find more information for presenters here. Essentially, this is what you need to do:
  • a 200 word abstract for the conference programme
  • a presentation of max 20 minutes

I described the stream as follows:

The consultancy stream aims to attract speakers and audience interested in sharing their experiences in the practical application of Operational Research in a client-consultant setting. The consultant can be internal or external to an organisation. The problem at hand can be simple or complex, technically or organisationally.

The challenges we face as OR consultants are very similar no matter the industry, the organisation or the problem at hand. There are definite gaps between practical application and academic research in OR, but it is still one of the most rewarding jobs. The recommended format would be a case study presentation covering the entire cycle of the project where possible, but presentation creativity is absolutely encouraged.

  • How did the problem find you or how did you find the problem? i.e. How was it sold?
  • Steps taken to establish your course of action
  • OR and non-OR techniques and methodologies used to structure and solve the problem
  • How were your findings and recommendations communicated to the stakeholders and decision makers in an effective way?
  • How did the client take your recommendations? Did they implement?
  • Finally, what do you enjoy most about your job?

Most of all, have fun and meet some fellow Operational Research practitioners.

Please pass on the message. Better yet, please drop me a line to present! As you can see, the stream description is very wide, encompassing all real life applications of OR. You don't have to have 'consultant' in your title, neither does your company or organisation. Come and share your experience and the fun (or pain?) of applying Operational Research in anything from ordinary day to day life to extraordinary situations of, for instance, life and death and taxes. How have you helped with better and more informed decision making?

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