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WHAT WE DO

We work with engineering, mathematics, statistics, computer science and management science to improve system modelling. 

 

ADVANCED DATA-DRIVEN RESULTS

ORUA specialises in combining Operations Research and Analytics to provide advanced, data-driven tools for decision makers.

The key concepts behind these decision support tools are:

  1. measure to generate new data and/or simulate to utilise existing data and visualise how systems behave/perform;
  2. leverage new/existing data to develop predictive models, e.g., using statistical modelling or machine learning, that determine what happens next in a system;
  3. employ real-time optimisation methods to change system behavior dynamically and improve performance; and
  4. combine simulation and optimisation to determine how to best reconfigure a system to improve performance.

Our work is translational across many application areas including:

  • Health
  • Logistics
  • Construction
  • Infrastructure planning
  • Cloud Computing
  • Finance
  • Government

INDUSTRY PARTNERS

ORUA works closely with industry partners in several sectors including Health, Construction, Infrastructure Planning and Government. We develop customised solutions that combine our cutting edge OR and Analytics knowledge with state-of-the-art tools such as the R Statistical Language, Python, SQL, SAS, Gurobi Optimization, and the JaamSim 3D Simulation Engine.

ORUA is part of the Operations Research and Computational Analytics (ORCA) group consisting of 8 academics, 15+ PhD students and over 30 Honours Year students each year. ORCA sits within the Department of Engineering Science (DES) which is part of the Faculty of Engineering. ORUA has active collaborations with other departments at the University of Auckland including Statistics (Faculty of Science), Civil Engineering, and Information Systems and Operations Management (Business School).

ORUA has worked with national and international companies including M & G Investments, ICS Consulting, and Hewlett Packard as well as international universities including Stanford University, Oxford University and St Andrews University.

WORKING WITH US

There are multiple different options for engaging with ORUA:

SUMMER PROJECTS
  • 10 weeks in Dec – Feb
  • Undergraduate-level student(s), generally second to fourth year
  • Approximately $6k
  • Student(s) submit a focused report/poster on a specific, well-defined small topic
  • Company funded

Summer Projects have been key in getting research started, for example the research for Auckland and North Shore Hospitals started out via a Summer Project.

INTERNSHIP
  • 10 weeks in Dec – Jan
  • Undergraduate student(s) with relevant theoretical knowledge
  • Internship salary (generally determined by company)
  • Smaller, low-risk project managed by your company
  • Company funded
FINAL YEAR PROJECTS
  • 7 months in March – Sept
  • Final/fourth year (Part IV) undergraduate student
  • Costs up to $10k depending on concept owner and IP terms, can be free
  • Small research project managed by the University, outputs are presentation and report
  • Company funded (if necessary)

See the Student Projects in the Case Studies.

MASTERS PROJECTS
  • Projects should start in March or July, and generally last for a year
  • Two options
  • Options
    1. Your staff
      This generally involves staff from your company undertaking research related to their work — we accept part-time enrolments in many of our masters programmes, and any further arrangements (time, cost) are between you and your employee.
    2.  Student
      • Dependent on availability of suitable student(s)
      • Academic and company supervision
      • Needs to be a project that meets our University’s degree requirements
  • Focused report on a specific research topic/area
  • Company provides fees and stipend, approx. $30k
MASTERS PROJECTS (CALLAGHAN FUNDED)
  • Projects should start in March or July, and generally last for a year
  • Two options
  • Options
    1. Your staff
      This generally involves staff from your company undertaking research related to their work — we accept part-time enrolments in many of our masters programmes, and any further arrangements (time, cost) are between you and your employee.
    2.  Student
      • Dependent on availability of suitable student(s)
      • Academic and company supervision
      • Needs to be a project that meets our University’s degree requirements
  • Focused report on a specific research topic/area
  • Company contribution to fees (usually around $8k); Callaghan Innovation funds a full stipend
PHD PROJECTS
  • Usually lasts 3 – 4 years, and can begin at any time of the year (typically March)
  • Dependent on availability of student
  • Academic and company supervision
  • Needs to meet University degree requirements for a PhD, so there will be additional justifications for technical/research depth and originality
  • Dissertation and focused report on a specific topic/area
  • Approx $100,000 without other funding

A PhD project formed a large part of ORUA’s research work with Auckland and Ningbo Hospitals.

PHD PROJECTS (CALLAGHAN FUNDED)
  • Usually lasts 3 – 4 years, and can begin at any time of the year (typically March)
  • Dependent on availability of student
  • Academic and company supervision
  • Needs to meet University degree requirements for a PhD, so there will be additional justifications for technical/research depth and originality
  • Dissertation and focused report on a specific topic/area
  • Company contribution to fees (usually around $8k per annum); Callaghan Innovation funds a full stipend (approx. $27k per annum)
ACADEMIC CONSULTANCIES
  • On demand
  • Academic staff as project manager and owner
  • Typically occurs for a fixed duration and dependent on academic’s availability and teaching workload
  • Technically challenging problems addressed; “you pay for it, you own it” model
  • Company funded

Examples include:

CONTRACT RESEARCH
  • On demand
  • Academic staff as project manager and owner
  • Access to students and technicians if required
  • Dedicated project resources
  • Unique IP; “you pay for it, you own it” model
  • Company funded

Examples include:

RESEARCH PROJECT (MBIE SMART IDEA)
  • 2-3 years
  • Academics as Principal and Associate Investigators
  • May include Postdoctoral Fellows, PhD and masters students as required
  • Industry as steering/challenge group members
  • IP sharing arrangement based on contribution
  • Funded by MBIE Endeavour Fund, Smart ideas (high risk high return)
RESEARCH PROGRAMME (MBIE)
  • 2 – 6 years in total, with concept and application occuring in November, and full applications in May (by invitation only)
  • Academics as Principal and Associate Investigators
  • May include Postdoctoral Fellows, PhD and masters students as required
  • Industry as implementation partners
  • Industry on governance boards
  • IP sharing arrangement based on contribution
  • Funded by MBIE Endeavour Fund, Research Programme (ability to transform New Zealand’s future)
COMPANY CO-LOCATIONS
  • On demand
  • Company staff co-located within the University’s multidisciplinary and industry clusters
  • Company integrated into our research environments, including the Newmarket Innovation Precinct
  • Environments to support company innovation
  • Company funded
R&D PARTNERSHIPS
  • Run as required, usually as a long-term collaboration (approximately 5–7 years), with starting period based on demand
  • Focuses on relationship building beyond the fees included for research services
  • Academic as project manager and owner
  • Involves a variety of individuals across multiple disciplines and departments
  • Dedicated UniServices management
  • Dedicated project resources
  • Overarching framework agreements to be made
  • Can include licencing and access to University IP and specific technologies
  • May include access to commercialisation support, stage-gate and invested committees
  • Unique IP can be made available: you own what you pay for
  • Access to free Open Innovation
  • Funding from MBIE Partnership fund, with companies expected to pay a minimum of $600k p.a.