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Meissner Research Group — Operations Strategy and Pricing Management Blog

Kingsman Prize awarded to Arne Strauss

December 9th, 2010 by Joern Meissner

The Kingsman Prize for 2010 has been awarded to Management Science PhD graduate Arne Strauss. The prize was established in memory of the long-standing scholar of Management Science, Professor Brian Kingsman.

Arne has completed his PhD in three years after obtaining a MSc in Mathematics at Virgina Tech and a Diploma in Mathematics from the University of Trier in Germany. His supervisor, Dr Joern Meissner, identifies him as the most capable PhD student he has worked with so far.

Arne Strauss Kingsman Prize

Arne Strauss receiving his Kingman Prize award from Mike Pidd (Head of the Department of Management Science)

Arne’s thesis advances state-of-the-art models in revenue management (RM), an application area concerned with maximising expected revenue from the sale of products that use perishable resources. For example, products might refer to flight tickets and resources to flight legs in an airline network. RM approaches also arise in many other practical industries such as train, hotel, car rental, etc. For any application, a decision maker needs to formulate a decision rule (policy) that determines which products to offer at any point in time throughout the selling horizon. In recent years, increasing effort has been devoted to incorporating the choice behaviour of customers into network RM since demand for a particular product is often observed to be dependent on the offered alternatives. In this context, Arne’s thesis addresses important optimization questions that lead to improved policies by taking the dependence of the offered products into account. His research is of great practical importance and has already attracted the interest of revenue management professionals, leading to a project with Lufthansa Systems.

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Lancaster PhD Graduate in Management Science wins Doctoral Prize of The OR Society

September 15th, 2010 by Joern Meissner

At the recent OR 52 Conference at the Royal Holloway University of London, the Operational Research Society prize “for the most distinguished body of research leading to the award of a doctorate in the field of OR in the UK” for 2009 was awarded to LUMS Management Science PhD Graduate Arne Strauss, who has since been appointed at LUMS under a PhD Plus Fellowship and will soon start a position as Research Associate under the LANCS Initiative. Arne was supervised by Joern Meissner.

Arne Strauss OR Society Doctoral Prize

Arne Strauss (right) receiving his OR Society award from Richard Egelese (President of the OR Society) at the Royal Holloway, University of London

In his dissertation, Arne pursues various research objectives within revenue management of a network of resources where customers choose between available product alternatives. Accounting for customer choice behaviour is necessary to accurately represent demand in markets where customers choose between several product alternatives, as it is particular the case if fare products have been simplified so that fare restrictions cannot properly segment customers any more. Such situations occur in many industries that use revenue management, for example airlines, trains, car rentals or hotels. It is therefore important to incorporate customer choice into the optimisation models, however, it also causes the resulting optimisation problems to be highly complex and difficult to solve. Arne develops in his dissertation approximate methods to tackle such problems.

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Lancaster University launches STOR-i Doctoral Training Centre in Statistics and Operational Research

March 10th, 2010 by Joern Meissner

With a vision to create a four-year doctoral program in statistics and operations that was based in practical knowledge and real-world implementations for managerial science, Lancaster University has opened its newest Doctoral Training Centre in Statistic and Operations. Named STOR-i, for “Statistics and Operational Research – excellence with impact”, the new 4 year program is focused on creating a new generation of advanced problem-solvers with high technical knowledge and the ability to create significant methodological contributions to STOR.

The program’s history started in December 2009 when the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) announced a new investment of 13 million pounds to create Doctoral Training Centres at Lancaster, Cambridge, and Warwick universities. Lancaster’s program, with the combined 6.7 million pound award shared jointly between the Departments of Mathematics and of Statistics and Management Science, will build on its leading reputation in these fields. Recent accomplishments in these programs have included the success of the EPSRC Science and Innovation award in Operational Research (the LANCS Initiative) and the HEFCE-funded Centre for Excellence in Teach and Learning in Postgraduate Statistics. STOR-i will quickly add its real-world focus to the programs’ accomplishments.

STOR-i has partnered with industrial multinational companies, like Unilever Research and Shell Research, who will be directly involved with the students’ training. They will provide real-world experience throughout the program. After the student completes the first year coursework to provide a practical grounding in STOR’s mathematical core and an overview of current methodology, the student will work towards the PhD under the guidance of supervisory teams. Half of these projects will include actual industrial involvement and the added guidance of an industrial collaborator.

The Centre, led by Chairman Kevin Glazebook, Director Jonathan Tawn, and Deputy Director Idris Eckley, will train at least 40 students over seven years, and will begin to admit the first of these students in October 2010. More information about the program and how to apply can be found at www.stor-i.lancs.ac.uk.

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