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ORUA is a standalone research group currently consists of two academics, eight PhD students, and at least six honours-level students each year. ORUA has its own test and development cloud computing environment.

ORUA sits within the University of Auckland’s Department of Engineering Science, which is part of its Faculty of Engineering. ORUA has active collaborations with other departments at the University of Auckland including the Geothermal Modelling Group, Statistics (Faculty of Science), Civil Engineering, and Information Systems and Operations Management (Business School).


Dr Michael O’Sullivan

Dr Michael O’Sullivan completed his BSc (Honours) and MPhil (Distinction) at the University of Auckland before gaining an MS and PhD at Stanford University where he specialised in Operations Research (OR).

Since returning to the Department of Engineering Science in Auckland his focus has been on applying OR and Analytics to difficult real-world decision making problems.

Michael formed the ORUA research group with Associate Professor Cameron Walker and they are now co-directors of ORUA which has research programmes that investigate decision making algorithms and tools in many application areas including Finance, Healthcare, and Infrastructure Planning. Michael’s research work includes collaborations with Stanford, Oxford University, and University of California (UC) Santa Cruz.

Michael was invited to be one of four Theme Leaders for the Precision Driven Health research partnership, a large public-private research consortium that utilise approaches such as Machine Learning, Analytics, Optimisation, and Simulation to improve decision making, such as investment in resources, in Healthcare. Michael is also an Associate Investigator in Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence specialising in Complex Systems.

Michael also focuses on working with industry and has successfully utilised his expertise in OR and Analytics in projects with Hewlett Packard, M & G Investments, several of the largest District Health Boards in New Zealand, and local and national government agencies in New Zealand including Auckland Council, the Ministry of Social Development, and the Ministry of Education.

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Associate Professor Cameron Walker

Associate Professor Cameron Walker has completed six degrees at the University of Auckland including an MA and PhD in Mathematics, an MOR (Operations Research) and an MSc in Statistics.

Cameron joined the Department of Engineering Science in 1998 and subsequently founded ORUA with Dr Michael O’Sullivan. His research focuses on spatial and statistical modelling, and optimal decision making in complex systems.

Cameron has collaborated with surgeons at Auckland, North Shore and Greenlane hospitals, resulting in over 30 journal publications. He has modelled hospital processes for Waitemata and Auckland District Health Boards. He has worked on government projects for the Accident Compensation Corporation, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Social Development. Projects include the integration of large datasets across multiple government agencies to evaluate the benefits of social investment projects, and the improvement of cancer pathways.

His on-going collaborations include the Centre for Environmental and Ecological Modelling at St Andrews University (UK), and the Bioengineering Institute at the University of Auckland. His consulting clients include HP Labs, M & G Investments, and Auckland City Council.

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