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Kent Business School Management Science Group

Director of Group | Professor Maria Paola Scaparra

The Management Science Group at Kent Business School conducts world class research in the areas of operational research, data analytics, operations management, information systems and environmental management. The group works on a variety of funded projects in logistics, transport, healthcare, and sustainable development, among others.

Research of the Management Science Group focusses on developing advanced problem structuring and analytics tools to help organisations improve their performance, efficiency and sustainability. Group members work on a variety of impactful projects, ranging from the optimisation of logistics operations, to the enhancement of healthcare service provision, to the mitigation of disaster impacts in developing countries. To support decision making and transform business decision processes, the group applies its wide-ranging expertise in methodologies such as participatory approaches, problem structuring methods, predictive analytics, data envelopment analysis, optimisation and simulation.

The group’s research aligns with Kent Business School’s goals of promoting sustainable innovation. Its main focus is on developing research projects that can help organisations, from small businesses to big public bodies or multinational companies, grow sustainably. Examples of these include:

  • Professor Maria Paola Scaparra’s EPSRC-funded CREST-OR project which addresses issues of sustainable development in South East Asia.
  • Professor Said Salhi’s body of work in heuristic optimisation which has developed decision making tools to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint through the optimisation of their resources.
  • Dr Kathy Kotiadis’s PartiSim approach to help businesses involve stakeholders in business simulation modelling processes.
  • Professor Jesse O’Hanley’s work with government agencies and NGOs on the development and application of state-of-the-art optimisation based approaches for targeting river connectivity restoration actions.

World-Leading Experts

Researchers from the Management Science Group at Kent Business School regularly engage with organisations of all sizes to help them improve their business practices.

Research conducted by the Management Science Group falls broadly into the following categories:

  1. Operational Research
  2. Heuristic Search and Optimisation
  3. Data Analytics
  4. Operations and Supply Chain Management
  5. Information Systems
  6. Environmental System Management
  7. Healthcare Management

Specific world-class expertise of the group members includes: heuristic optimisation, location and routing, simulation modelling, multi-methodology and soft OR, disaster management and risk management.

Our researchers are highly regarded in their respective fields and have been the recipients of prestigious awards, including the EURO Excellence in Practice Award for outstanding accomplishments in the practice of Operational Research.

The Management Science group has published its work in top operational research journals, including Management Science, Transportation Research Part B, Transportation Science and the European Journal of Operational Research.

The group has been successful in attracting research funds from prestigious funding bodies, including ESRC, EPSRC, the British Academy and the European Commission. The group also has an excellent record of securing funding from industry through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) and industrial CASE studentships. Recent industry collaborations include projects with Eurostar, the Port of Dover, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Parker Steel, Priority Freight, South East Water and the NHS.

The group hosts the School’s Centre for Logistics and Heuristic Optimisation (CLHO) and contributes to the research of the Technology, Innovation, Management and Entrepreneurship centre (TIME) and the Africa-Asia Sustainable Development Centre.