School Seminars and Colloquia

My Encounter with OR

ORSUM Seminar

by Dudley Foster

Institution: DNF Decision Sciences
Date: Fri 28th April 2006
Time: 1:05 PM
Location: Room 213, Richard Berry Building, The University of Melbourne

Abstract: The purpose of this talk is to pick out projects and incidents in my
career which have had an important influence on my development as an OR
practitioner, starting with my early experiences with the National Coal
Board, where there was a strong problem oriented culture. Reference is
made to three projects from that era, in all of which the key to success
was thoroughly researching the problem before going on to develop a
solution. Next, I look at two projects from my interregnum as an
academic, where the key to success was nothing technical, but finding the
right way to deal with people issues. Returning to industry with Shell in
mid career, I spent a lot of my time on Financial Modelling and, from this
experience, I shall share some of the things that I learned about good
modelling practice and cite some cases where a deep mathematical
understanding was not just useful, but essential. Other lessons from the
period concern the practical use of LP in the oil industry, in particular,
the reasons why oil companies use hierarchies of models working at
different timescales. Finally, I shall talk about a consulting project
with an airline Ë an experience which reinforced the lessons from my early
career about researching the problem thoroughly before starting to develop
a solution.

For More Information: Mark Fackrell tel. 8344 8053 email: