ABOUT ORUA

ORUA is a standalone research group consists of academics, PhD students, Masters students and 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).

OUR DIRECTORS

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.

Find out more

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 an Associate Investigator in and Deputy Director of 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.

Find out more

OUR RESEARCHERS

Dr Thomas Adams

Thomas Adams is a Research Fellow in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland and has completed a BE (Hons) and PhD in Operations Research at the University of Auckland. His PhD thesis investigated the impact of risk and uncertainty when making data-informed rostering and scheduling decisions in tertiary healthcare.

Thomas has been awarded a Precision Driven Health – Health Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship to develop improved surgical scheduling algorithms using individualised surgical duration predictions. He has previously undertaken optimisation and simulation modelling for: physician rosters at Waitemata District Health Board; surgery schedules at Counties Manukau District Health Board; the patient transit system at Waitemata District Health Board; and the emergency department at Auckland District Health Board.

Find out more

OUR STUDENTS

Amila Wickramasekara

Amila Wickramasekara is a PhD researcher attached to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The University of Auckland. In Amila’s PhD, he focuses on utilizing serious games for controlled experiments in construction project management research. In general, his research interest is to apply OR and Analytics to solve real-world decision-making problems. Before starting his PhD, Amila worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Decision Sciences, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka. He completed his BSc (Statistics) at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and MSc (Operational Research) at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka.

Find out more

Clever Gama Alves

Clever has been doing a PhD in Operations Research at The University of Auckland since March, 2019. His academic background is in Aeronautical (Bachelor’s degree from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics, ITA, in Brazil) and Mechanical (Master’s degree from the State’s University of Campinas, UNICAMP, in Brazil) Engineering. Having worked in flight testing and automotive product development during the first half of his professional life, Clever then moved to construction and petroleum engineering, where he has specialised in onsite operations like earth-moving machinery and oilfield services.

His research aims at leveraging the HCCM (Hierarchical Control Conceptual Modelling) framework, developed by ORUA in 2015, with a technical standard and a modelling language towards the easiness of both project communication with industry stakeholders and simulation development using a model-driven engineering approach. In addition to simulation-related topics, he is also very keen on collaborating in mathematical optimisation and machine learning projects, which gives him a fuller breadth of experience in the field of Operations Research and Analytics.

Find out more

Kian Wee Soh

Kian Wee Soh completed his MSc in Mathematics at the National University of Singapore and PGDE with specialisation in teaching at junior college (pre-university) level at the Nanyang Technological University/National Institute of Education. He has recently completed his PhD in Operations Research at the University of Auckland. His PhD thesis studied novel approaches for predicting surgery durations and evaluating sessions.

Kian Wee’s research interests include domination and graceful labelling (graph theory) as well as statistical modelling and machine learning (artificial intelligence).

Find out more

Warren Ladbrook

Warren Ladbrook is a (provisional) PhD student at the University of Auckland, building on an extensive international and domestic consulting career. His expertise is in leading the funding, planning, design and construction of large, complex, multi-agency infrastructure programmes, with a particular focus on post-disaster reconstruction of resilient infrastructure.

Warren’s research is focused on post-disaster decision-making, and the development of methods to incorporate quantifiable social benefits into infrastructure investment decisions.

Find out more

OUR COMMUNITY

Te Whare Marea Tātari Kaupapa l Public Policy Institute

The Public Policy Institute (PPI) has been established to foster independent, critical research on key policy issues affecting New Zealand, the Asia Pacific, and the global community. We bring together researchers from across disciplines to create and disseminate evidence-informed, policy-relevant knowledge that speaks to policy agendas, amplifies policy impact, and grows our partnerships with governments, both local and central, as well as non-profits, communities and others engaged in policy research and evaluation in New Zealand and internationally.

Te Pūnaha Matatini

Cameron Walker and Mike O’Sullivan are both Associate Investigators within Te Pūnaha Matatini, New Zealand’s Center of Research Excellence on Complex Systems.

Precision Driven Health

Mike O’Sullivan and Cameron Walker both work in projects and partnerships with Precision Driven Health, a public/private research partnership with the goal of stimulating and supporting research and development of digital tools to help people better manage their own health or the health of patients.

SimCon

ORUA researchers have joined with their Construction Management colleagues to form SimCon and provide innovative research and solutions to improve construction planning and productivity.

ORCA

ORUA is part of the wider research group ORCA within the Department of Engineering Science.

Dr Mohammed Adel Abdelmegid

Mohammed Adel is a Professional Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Engineering, mainly involved in engineering management-related courses. In addition to teaching and supervision of masters students, part of his role is to manage industry collaboration with the Graduate School of Engineering with a focus on maximising engagement through taught masters projects. Before moving to New Zealand, and while doing a master’s degree part-time, he worked for seven years as a structural and construction engineer in a number of major projects in the Middle-East such as the Hilton King’s Ranch Hotel in Egypt and the Holy Mosque of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed Adel finished his PhD in Construction Management in July 2020 at the University of Auckland. Through his PhD research, he developed a construction-specific framework to facilitate the formulation of conceptual models for construction simulation studies. The proposed framework was inspired by the Hierarchical Control Conceptual Modelling (HCCM) framework, developed by ORUA in 2015, integrated with other well-recognised frameworks and construction methodologies to suit the nature of construction systems. The framework was implemented in three major local and international construction projects to test its applicability for the construction industry.

Currently, Mohammed Adel is leading the Master of Engineering Project Management Programme at the University of Auckland. He is an active member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Find out more

Dr Caroline Jagtenberg

Caroline is an assistant professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her research focuses on Operations Research applied to health care logistics: from optimizing ambulance operations to transporting medical isotopes by drone, and from volunteer alert systems for cardiac arrest to pharmaceutical supply chains. She wrote a PhD thesis titled “Efficiency and fairness in ambulance planning”, and her algorithms are currently operational in emergency call center software. In 2018, Caroline received an NWO Rubicon grant which she used to spend two years as a senior research fellow at the University of Auckland. During that time, Caroline co-founded the ORSNZ special interest group on Healthcare Analytics (OSHA). The collaboration with her colleagues at the University of Auckland is ongoing, and Caroline hopes to visit the University of Auckland again as soon as Jacinda lets her back into the country.

Find out more

Professor Matthew Parsons PhD MSc BSc (Hons) RGN NZRN

Matthew holds the position of clinical chair in gerontology, a joint appointment between Waikato District Health Board and the University of Waikato. His role focusses on service development around older person health and the training of health professionals in the Midlands region. He has spent his career researching, implementing and evaluating new health services to improve the lives of older people and people with disabilities.
His particular area of interest concerns the creation of new evidence around health services in order to change health service behaviour and improve quality of service delivery.

Find out more

Dr.-Ing. Melanie Reuter-Oppermann

Dr.-Ing. Melanie Reuter-Oppermann completed her diploma in Economathematics at the Technical University Kaiserslautern, Germany, with a semester abroad at the University of Auckland. She received a PhD in Operations Research from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, where she co-founded and lead the Health Care Lab. As manager of the ReAL PrimES project, she helped establishing an academic collaboration between the Health Care Lab at KIT and researchers from several departments of the University of Auckland.
Melanie now works as a senior researcher and postdoc at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. Her research focuses on Operations Research, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Design Science for practically relevant and challenging problems, mainly in the areas of healthcare and e-mobility. Within healthcare, research projects include EMS logistics, primary care logistics, blood supply chain management and hospital logistics, for example hospital layout planning, emergency department design, patient pathways, elevator control, sterilisation processes, inventory management, operating room planning, outpatient appointment planning or radiotherapy logistics.

Besides the strong research collaboration with the University of Auckland, she works on joint research projects with colleagues from several German and international universities. Her research clients include German hospitals, GP practices and rescue coordination centres / EMS providers.

Find out more

Professor Paul Rouse PhD, MCom Accounting (1st Class Hons), BCom Accounting, CA

Paul Rouse’s research area is performance and productivity measurement with specialist applications to transport, education and health. Current research includes productivity modelling, case mix funding models, complexity, cost and performance in hospitals and revenue and cost management systems.

Find out more

Professor Tava Olsen

Dr Tava Olsen is Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management, Director of the Centre for Supply Chain Management, and Deputy Dean at the University of Auckland Business School. Prior to joining Auckland, she was Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management in the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, which she joined after serving as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Tava received her B.Sc. (honours) in Mathematics from the University of Auckland and her PhD in Operations Research from Stanford University. Tava’s research interests include supply chain management and stochastic modelling of manufacturing, service, and healthcare systems.

Tava has taught a wide variety of courses, including operations management, service operations, healthcare management, simulation, critical thinking, and project management, to a range of audiences from bachelors to executives. Tava is currently an Area Editor for Operations Research and a senior editor of Production and Operations Management. She has previous served as an Associate Editor for both Management Science and Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. She is a past president of the Manufacturing and Service Operations society and has twice been awarded the Auckland Business School’s research excellence award.

Find out more