Natasha Page, who collaborated with Royal Mail for her MSc thesis, is runner up for the 2019 May Hicks Award from the Operational Research Society.
Natasha Page, who graduated in 2018 with an MSc in Computing (Specialism: Management & Finance), is runner up for the 2019 May Hicks Award from the Operational Research Society. This recognition honours not only Natasha's research excellence, but also her significant contributions to a client organisation, in this case the Royal Mail Data Science Group.
Natasha's MSc thesis studied the possibility of reducing the number of delivery vans that Royal Mail needs to purchase and maintain. Her theoretical contribution formulated a mixed-integer optimisation problem and explored the consequences for optimisation under uncertainty.
Dr Jeremy Bradley, who mentored Natasha's work from the Royal Mail side, says that her thesis "delivered impactful results that have enabled us to progress with a project that could save us £2-4 million p.a. in the next two years". In particular, Jeremy says that Natasha's approach, which incorporated decision-making under uncertainty, "has given the company confidence to progress the project to the next stage".
Natasha says: "My project was in collaboration with Royal Mail and applied integer programming to the problem of optimising the number of vans needed in delivery offices across the country. The project used a robust approach in order to account for uncertainty that is realised at the time of delivery. I produced promising results with regard to the possibility of reducing the size of the fleet as well as analysis on how the optimal values vary throughout the week. I found this project particularly enjoyable because of the commitment on the part of Royal Mail to make use of my work upon completion of the project."
On the Imperial side, Natasha was mentored by Dr Dimitrios Letsios and Dr Ruth Misener. Dimitrios and Ruth's collaboration was supported by a grant from the EPSRC titled "Uncertainty-Aware Planning and Scheduling in the Process Industries" (EP/M028240/1).
Big congratulations to Natasha!
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