WBS research translates into practical success

Archived Article • 28 January 2010 • Feature

Research by Vladimir Deineko, WBS Associate Professor of Operational Research, has recently provided two examples of academic research translating successfully into practice.

He has been leading research into designing optimal routes for commercial waste collection services in Coventry City Council over recent months. This research by WBS faculty together with members from the Computer Science department has been supported by the EPSRC and Warwick's Centre for Discrete Mathematics and its Applications (DIMAP). Now completed, initial results show that applying new algorithms developed as a result of the research project can bring about up to 20 percent savings in transportation costs such as fuel consumption, servicing costs and wear and tear on vehicles.

In addition, Vladimir has been building on and developing a tool using combinatorial type algorithms, together with Doctoral student Thomas Ridd, to allocate cohorts of students into equitable teams, taking into account the need for an even spread across the cohort of different backgrounds, skills, and cultural origins. Their work has been picked up by Warwick Ventures, where experts are currently looking into the commercialisation of this tool.

Vladimir comments, "As scholars, we are always happy when our papers are published in top research journals and are highly referenced by our colleagues. Over the past two years I have been working with practitioners, implementing my theoretical results into practical tools, for example, software prototypes. I have found this highly exciting and enjoyable, and it is rewarding to see how the tools you have created make a real change in everyday work, and how people who use these tools are so impressed with the results they can get by...just clicking a button."

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