The conference will cover all practical and theoretical aspects of operations research (OR), analytics or management science.

Schedule overview

Monday December 2Workshop on Health Systems Modeling
 You must register for this workshop separately.
Tuesday December 3Plenary by Prof. Vicky Mabin
 Conference Sessions on Healthcare
 Plenary by Prof. Margaret Brandeau
Analytics Forum on Healthcare
 Networking / Drinks
  Conference Dinner (Ima Cuisine 7pm)
Wednesday December 4Keynote address by Dr James Tipping
  Conference Session on Energy / Emissions
  Panel discussion on Emissions Reductions
General Conference Sessions
 ORSNZ AGM / ORSNZ Council Meeting

You can register here. Registrations have closed.


The schedule is available here.

Book of Abstracts

You can download the book of abstracts in two formats: print or mobile.

Plenary Speakers

Tuesday December 3 

Use of Reframing in Evidence-Based Modelling to Support Policy Decisions

9:00am Prof. Vicky Mabin, Victoria University of Wellington.

Modelling to enable improved policy decisions requires the sound choice of models.  However no one model can adequately capture most real problems: every model has merits and shortcomings, and modellers need to beware of each model’s blindspots. Reframing using contrasting decision frames aims to overcome such shortcomings, by providing different perspectives, exposing flawed assumptions and providing new ideas for solutions. The use of reframing will be illustrated through multiple examples using various combinations of modelling approaches and problem structuring methods drawing on hard OR, soft OR and systems thinking methods including the theory of constraints. These examples will illustrate how the nature and success of problem-solving interventions can be frame dependent, and how using multiple frames helps cover more of the problem’s facets. Benefits of reframing include building frame awareness, overcoming frame blindness, and the development of different perspectives using complementary models which can contribute to more robust and acceptable policy ‘solutions’ and implementations.

What Should We Do About the Opioid Epidemic? Models to Support Good Decisions

2:40pm Prof. Margaret Brandeau, Stanford University.

The US is currently experiencing an epidemic of drug abuse caused by prescription opioids and illegal opioid use, including heroin. In addition to crime and social problems, rising levels of drug abuse have led to a sharp increase in overdose deaths in the US as well as significant outbreaks of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. How should we deploy limited public health resources to help solve this complex public health problem? This talk describes models to support decision making regarding the control of drug abuse – and associated diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C – in the US. We conclude with discussion of key areas for further research.

Margaret L. Brandeau is Coleman F. Fung Professor of Engineering and Professor of Medicine (by Courtesy) at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the development of applied mathematical and economic models to support health policy decisions. Her recent work has examined hospital operations management problems, HIV and drug abuse prevention and treatment programs, and programs to control the opioid epidemic. She is a Fellow of INFORMS and a member of the Omega Rho Honor Society for Operations Research and Management Science. From INFORMS, she has received the Philip McCord Morse Lectureship Award, the President’s Award, the Pierskalla Prize (in 2001 and 2017), and the Award for the Advancement of Women in Operations Research and the Management Sciences. She has also received the Award for Excellence in Application of Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes Research from the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research and a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, among other awards. Professor Brandeau earned a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Operations Research from MIT, and a PhD in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford.

Wednesday December 4

Key questions facing New Zealand’s future electricity sector – how can analytics help?

9:00am Dr James Tipping, Chief Strategy Officer, Electricity Authority

Electricity systems around the world are changing rapidly, largely as a result of the combination of environmental policy objectives and technology evolution. Internationally, having a well-functioning, low-carbon electricity system has been recognised as a critical component of the transition to a low-emissions energy sector, and a low-emissions economy.

These changes are occurring in New Zealand too, albeit with some subtly different manifestations. The transition is raising some interesting questions and challenges for the New Zealand electricity sector, many of which can be addressed and informed analytically. This presentation introduces the New Zealand electricity sector at a high level and uses material from recent industry research to illustrate some of the forecast trends and changes that may occur over the coming decades. It concludes by posing (but not necessarily answering) some of the key questions facing the sector from a policy and market design perspective.