Meet the ORSNZ 2023 Council members

Kia ora koutou.

Our new Communications member of Council, Karl Zhu, has been gathering some brief profiles of your Council members. Here are the first eight:

Mike O’Sullivan – President: Dr Mike O’Sullivan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Auckland. His main research interests are the application of Operations Research to complex systems, in particular the formulation of optimisation and simulation models and the development of advanced techniques for solving these models. His research portfolio includes: improving health delivery services; modelling to inform government policy; building intelligent (computing and storage) clouds; conceptual modelling for simulation; developing innovative optimisation software; and simulating construction projects. He co-founded the Operations Research Union Analytics (ORUA) research group. He works with industrial partners and have either collaborated with and/or consulted for: The Ministry of Health, NZ; The Ministry of Social Development, NZ; Auckland, Waitemata, Counties Manukau, Waikato and Mid-Central District Health Boards, NZ; Steel and Tube, NZ; Hewlett Packard Labs, Palo Alto, USA; ICS Consulting, UK; M & G Investments, London, UK; Intergen, NZ; OneNet, NZ; The Ministry of Education, NZ; and Hose Manufacturers Ltd, NZ. He is also a leader in the research sector as the Deputy Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, the President of the Operations Research Society of New Zealand and the project lead for the Pandemic Resilience project within the Global Partnership for Artificial Intelligence.

Andrea Raith – Vice President: Dr Andrea Raith is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Engineering Science and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Auckland, which she joined in 2010. Her research areas include algorithms for biobjective and multiobjective optimisation problems, problem decomposition, and network optimisation. Andrea is particularly interested in applying Operations Research and multicriteria decision making in the context of transport modelling and optimisation, sustainable transport, airline optimisation, as well as applications in healthcare such as radiotherapy treatment planning. Andrea is a member of INFORMS, GOR, and the International Society on Multi-criteria Decision Making, and Vice-President of ORSNZ.

Tony Downward – Secretary: Dr Tony Downward is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Science and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Auckland, and also a member of the He is a member of the Electric Power Optimization Centre. His main research interests are electricity market modelling, stochastic optimization, decomposition methods and decision support systems.

Andy Philpott – APORS/IFORS Representative: Andy Philpott is Professor of Operations Research in the Department of Engineering Science, and Director of the Electric Power Optimization Centre (EPOC) at the University of Auckland. His research interests are in stochastic optimization and game theory and its application in electricity systems.  He is a past president of ORSNZ, and was awarded the Hans Daellenbach Award from ORSNZ in 2006. His other awards include Edelman laureate in 2009, INFORMS Fellow in 2017, and Simons Fellow in 2019. He has given plenary and keynote addresses to major international conferences including ICSP 2001, ICCOPT 2007, ICSP 2010, SIOPT 2014, CMS 2018, ISMP 2018, and the IFORS Distinguished Lecture in 2019. He was on the editorial board of Mathematical Programming from 2004-2017, and has been an Associate Editor of Operations Research since 2007.

Andrew Mason – Council: Andrew Mason is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Science, University of Auckland. Andrew has a BE with Honours from the University of Auckland and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. His research has a strong practical focus which includes developing and maintaining OpenSolver ( and SolverStudio (, two packages that allow complex optimisation models to be built and solved within Excel. Andrew has held multiple roles in the ORSNZ, including Treasurer, Webmaster, Vice President and President. He co-founded The Optima Corporation which delivers ambulance simulation software to clients around the world. He is actively involved in the NZ Data Science + Analytics Forum (, and has acted as a consultant for organisations such as Stats NZ, Ecrotek, Scarlatti and NZ Customs. Andrew was awarded the ORSNZ Hans Daellenbach Prize in 2022.

Sarah Marshall – Council: Dr Sarah Marshall is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Sarah joined AUT in February 2014. Sarah completed her undergraduate studies in Economics, Psychology and Operations Research at Victoria University of Wellington. After graduating, she worked in the Australian stockbroking industry before returning to New Zealand to complete a Master of Science in Statistics and Operations Research at Victoria University of Wellington. Sarah completed her PhD in Management Science on the application of deterministic and stochastic models to product recovery systems at the University of Edinburgh in 2012. Her current research focuses on the use of geometric-like processes to warranty claims for repairable systems.

Karl Zhu – Council (Communications): Karl Zhu is a PhD student in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland. Karl completed his Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree in Engineering Science from the same university in 2021. His PhD project is currently focusing on solving a large collective entity resolution problem with machine learning and optimisation models.

Paul Rouse – Auckland Region Contact: Dr Paul Rouse is a Professor of Management Accounting at The University of Auckland. His research areas include performance and productivity measurement (with a focus on Data Envelopment Analysis), revenue and cost management, cost-benefit and evaluation methods. Application areas include health, banking, and highway and aircraft maintenance. He is a member of CAANZ and the Operations Research Society of New Zealand.

Grant Read – Christchurch Region Contact: Dr Grant Read is a former ORSNZ president and Daellenbach award recipient, who has been closely involved with the electricity sector for over 40 years, both as a researcher and a consultant. He developed the operational and planning models used by both the Ministry of Energy and ECNZ, and was responsible for electricity sector planning in the Ministry’s Planning Division. He then joined the Operations Research/Management Science Department at Canterbury University. There, he founded the Energy Modelling Research Group, focused on the theory and practice of optimisation-based electricity markets, and played a major role in designing electricity and gas markets for several countries, introducing innovations that have since been widely adopted. For the last 20 years he has been a semi-retired Adjunct Professor with broader interests, including the application of similar concepts to improve management of water, and water related environmental impacts.

Noho ora mai, Mike (ORSNZ President)

ORSNZ Annual Conference

Kia ora koutou!

November 28 & 29 saw the return of the ORSNZ Annual Conference, very well organised by Tony Downward (ORSNZ Secretary) and Tom Adams (ORSNZ Treasurer). It was very nice to see people kanohe ki te kanohe (eye to eye), both those I know and those I met at the conference.

The conference began with a ½ day Healthcare Modelling cluster organised by the ORSNZ SIG on Healthcare Analytics (OSHA) with talks bookended by an excellent plenary address by Dr Melanie Reuter-Oppermann and a discussion panel with experts from academia and industry (Melanie, Ms Pieta Brown, Dr Isaac Cleland, Dr Tom Adams, Assoc Prof Ilze Ziedins, Assoc Prof Cameron Walker).

The sessions that followed included talks by both young and experienced practitioners covering topics from finding missing people with integer programming to teaching the next generation of OR students.

There were two prize highlights during the conference. First, Associate Professor Andrew Mason was awarded the Hans Daellenbach Prize, the ORSNZ prize awarded for a body of work in OR/MS that combines strong innovative methodology with a practical impact which has made a significant contribution and received international recognition. Second, the Young Practitioners’ Prize – sponsored by Optimity and the Supply Chain Company – was awarded for presentations and papers as follows:

  • Paper
    • 1st place: Christina Lin – Modelling housing feature impacts on sale price in newly developed suburbs relative to a standard house. (Department of Engineering Science and Biomedical Engineering, University of Auckland)
    • 2nd place: Dominic Keehan – Certainty equivalent model predictive control and distributionally robust stochastic dynamic programming. (Department of Engineering Science and Biomedical Engineering, University of Auckland)
  • Presentation
    • 1st place: Karl Zhu – Finding the missing with integer programming. (Department of Engineering Science and Biomedical Engineering, University of Auckland)
    • 2nd place: Uwe Langenmayr – Calculation of synthetic energy carrier production costs with high temporal and geographical resolution. (Institute for Industrial Production, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)

The AGM saw the addition of one of the YPP people, Karl Zhu, in the Communications role. Your ORSNZ Council is as follows:

Mike O’Sullivan

Vice President
Andrea Raith

Tony Downward

Tom Adams

Council (APORS/IFORS Representative)
Andy Philpott

Council (Communications)
Karl Zhu

Council (Industry Representative)
Cam Bradley

Sarah Marshall

Council (WebMaster)
Andrew Mason

Auckland Region Contact
Paul Rouse

Christchurch Region Contact
Grant Read
Wellington Region Contact
Robyn Moore / Yi Mei
Waikato/Bay of Plenty Contact

One of Karl’s first tasks might be introducing you to your Council members.

One of my colleagues remarked that this year’s conference was one of the best ORSNZ conferences he had been to. Ngā mihi nui to those who could attend the conference this year and a special thanks to those that presented. Ngā mihi to Optimity and the Supply Chain Company for sponsoring the YPP. I hope to see you some time soon at an ORSNZ event.

Noho ora mai, Mike (ORSNZ President)