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Prize win at ORAHS 2019

3 August 2019

Cardiff University was well represented at ORAHS. Pictured above left to right: Emma Aspland (Cardiff University), Ines Arnolds (KIT), Dr Daniel Gartner (Cardiff University), John Threlfall (Cardiff University) and Emily Williams (Cardiff University)) all in attendance to present research from the School of Mathematics.

Research student, Emily Williams, received the Professor Steve Gallivan Award for Best Presentation by an Early Career Operational Researcher at the Operational Research Applied to Health Services (ORAHS) conference.

The 45th international conference of the EURO Working Group on ORAHS took place in Karlsruhe, Germany from 28th July to 2nd August 2019. The underlying theme of this year’s ORAHS conference was ‘Healthcare Analytics – Artificial Intelligence and Human Experience’.

Emily Williams, PhD student from Cardiff University's School of Mathematics, presented her research in collaboration with the Welsh Blood Service in a talk entitled ‘Scheduling Blood Donation Clinics to Match Supply and Demand’. This involves the development of a decision support tool that optimally schedules donation clinics, workforce, and donor appointments, to match the supply of blood to demand across hospitals in Wales. Her work was awarded the Professor Steve Gallivan Award for Best Presentation by an Early Career Operational Researcher.

Dr Daniel Gartner, Senior Lecturer at the School of Mathematics, presented a poster detailing his research in collaboration with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) titled ‘The big difference of small weight losses: Creating digital solutions for patients with obesity’. This research focuses on the development of a motivational tool to ‘reduce the risk of obesity-related diabetes’, utilising a ‘Monte Carlo Simulation to predict the inter-temporal progression of diabetes risk because of obesity’.

Research student, John Threlfall, also presented a poster, titled ‘Benchmarking construction and improvement heuristic algorithms for classification problems in healthcare’. This research is also in collaboration with ABUHB and involves implementation and evaluation of a ‘Java-based approach that combines a construction heuristic with a scatter search-based improvement heuristic, to learn a graphical Markov Blanket-based classifier’ from a dataset.

Emma Aspland gave a presentation on ‘Modelling Lung Cancer Clinical Pathways’ detailing her research in collaboration with Velindre Cancer Centre. Emma discussed the creation of a decision support tool which ‘facilitates expert interaction with data mining, through the application of clustering’. Results of this process feed into a discrete event simulation to ‘model patient flows through the captured clinical pathways’.

On winning a prize at the event Emily added, “ORAH 2019 was most enjoyable and provided an excellent opportunity to form connections with other researchers working on related projects. To top off the conference, I feel incredibly honoured to have received the Prof Steve Gallivan Award for ‘best presentation by an early career operational researcher’; I am extremely grateful for the judges’ consideration”.

All the above PhD research projects are funded by KESS 2 and supervised by Prof. Paul Harper and Dr Daniel Gartner.

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