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Embarking on an adventure: empowering Indonesia through mathematical modelling

25 March 2024

A cohort of five researchers, from our school, recently travelled across Indonesia to support on-going research collaborations and to establish new partnerships.

In Jakarta, Professor Paul Harper and Dr Sarie Brice presented to the health authority including the director and senior team of PK3D, a new organisation that has been established to provide emergency care services. Our team discovered that our research, initially funded by EPSRC, has significantly contributed to the development of a freely accessible emergency ambulance service covering the city’s 11 million inhabitants. This involvement includes strategic investments in ambulance numbers and distribution, as well as the recent addition of paramedics on motorbikes.

The team then travelled to Bakrie University where they supported Dr Daniel Gartner who delivered a short course on optimisation to students and health practitioners. At the Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB), one of the top-ranking universities in Indonesia, our team explored new projects working with ITB staff, PhD students and health authorities across West Java, a region serving a population of 50 million. The aim was to assist them in critical planning decisions on locations of health services and resource allocation for the upcoming 10-20 years. As an immediate outcome of this workshop, four MSc projects were agreed for our students to run this summer.

After a short flight to Malang, Dr Geraint Palmer and Dr Mark Tuson led on the delivery of two specialised courses to undergraduate mathematics students on simulation modelling with Python, and time series and forecasting: healthcare applications. These courses were warmly received, sparking discussions about establishing an ongoing partnership to deliver further courses within the mathematics department.

In total over the week, our team delivered short courses to over 100 students and healthcare professionals. Additionally, discussions were held regarding potential joint grant applications including those with the British Council and EPSRC, paving the way for future collaborative endeavours.

Our journey across Indonesia was more than just a venture; it was a testament to the power of operational research and mathematical modelling in shaping the future of global healthcare services. A big thank you to the institutions and organisations that welcomed us, its brilliant to forge partnerships that can help enhance education and address real-world challenges.
Professor Paul Harper Professor of Operational Research

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