Operations

The Operations group at WBS comprises operations management, and operational research and analytics. Operations management empirically investigates how resources and processes are managed to create and support products and services. Operational research and analytics focus on the theoretical foundations and methodological advances to support management decisions. There are unique opportunities that sit at the nexus of these areas and the Operations group seeks to deliver excellence in both teaching and research through relevance and rigour. 

Current research areas

We have a thriving and supportive research community, focusing on the generation of new insights. Our research covers a broad range of topics such as process improvement, search and relational dynamics within supply chains and networks, strategic alignment, performance measurement and management, service operations and design thinking and innovation.  

We apply and advance a variety of methods including network analysis, heuristic and exact optimisation, robust and stochastic optimisation, multi-objective optimisation, simulation, game theory, and case research. Our research spans many application areas, in particular healthcare, transportation and revenue management.  

We welcome and foster close collaboration with industry and have attracted substantial amounts of research funding through the EPSRC, EU, ERC, the British Academy, InnovateUK and directly from industry. 

We run a highly ranked MSc in Business Analytics (12th in the world, QS World University Ranking 2021) and teach across all of the WBS programmes, delivering core and elective modules in analytical, quantitative and Operations-related subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our teaching has been recognised as excellent by national and international associations and our Emeritus Professors Robert Dyson and Nigel Slack have been at the forefront of teaching and research in operations for decades. 

Editorial positions held by our faculty currently include an Editor of the European Journal of Operational Research, an Area Editor of the Journal of Heuristics, Consulting Editor for the International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Associate Editors of IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, the Evolutionary Computation Journal, the Journal of Operations Management and International Journal of Operations and Production Management, and editorial board members of the Journal of Product Innovation Management and the Journal of Supply Chain Management among others. 

Head of group: Dr. Mark Johnson.

Latest research news

Sustainability
Five reads you need to measure social impact

Measuring the impact an organisation has on society is increasingly called for as part of annual reporting. Haley Beer details the papers and books to help firms develop the best method.

Research
Haley Beer awarded AHRC Fellowship

Dr Haley Beer, Assistant Professor in the Operations group, has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship