Melbourne Chapter

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Recent Advances in Operations Research
December 1, 2006

2006 Program

Note: AMSI = Australian Mathematical Sciences institute,The University of Melbourne (111 Barry Street, Carlton Victoria)

Date Day Time Where Event Speaker Title
March 1 Wed 4PM AMSI Lecture Stefan Voß Container Terminals as an Integral Part of Global Supply Chains - A survey of Operations Research Approaches
March 23 Thursday 5:30PM AMSI AGM   AGM
March 23 Thursday 6PM AMSI Lecture Andrew Stewat Developing a Lean Supply Chain
April 20 Thursday 6PM AMSI Lecture Dudley Forster My Encounter With OR
May 18 Thursday 6PM AMSI Lecture Ian Sadler Lean Value Chain Mapping for Food Processing
June 28 Wednesday 6PM AMSI Lecture Harry Gielewski OR Working with 6-Sigma
July 19 Wednesday 6PM AMSI Lecture Catherine Nance "Team Australia" is getting old!
Ausust 30 Wednesday Full Day VUT conference The Wider Parameters of Effective Consulting
Ausust 30 Wednesday Full Day VUT conference The Wider Parameters of Effective Consulting
December 1 Friday Full Day AMSI Mini Conference ???? The Recent Advances in Operations Research

TITLE Container Terminals as an Integral Part of Global Supply Chains - A survey of Operations Research Approaches
SPEAKERStefan Voß, The University of Hamburg
WHEN4PM, Wednesday, March 1, 2006
WHERETheatre 2, Ground floor of the ICT Building (111 Barry Street, Carlton)

Transporting goods and respective logistics are amongst the most crucial success factors of current supply chains. In the last four decades the container as an essential part of a unit-load-concept has achieved undoubted importance in international sea freight transportation. With ever increasing containerization, the number of seaport container terminals and the competition among them have become quite remarkable. Operations are nowadays unthinkable without effective and efficient use of information technology as well as appropriate optimization (operations research) methods.

Containers came into the market for international conveyance of sea freight almost five decades ago. The breakthrough was achieved with large investments in specially designed ships, adapted seaport terminals with suitable equipment, and availability of containers. Today over 60% of the world's deep-sea general cargo is transported in containers, whereas some routes are even containerized up to 100%. International containerization market analysis still shows high increasing rates for container freight transportation in the future based on an increased importance of globalization in supply chain management. This leads to higher demands on seaport container terminals, container logistics and management as well as on technical equipment, resulting in an increased competition between seaports. The seaports mainly compete for ocean carrier patronage and short sea operators as well as for the land-based truck and railroad services. The competitiveness of a container seaport is marked by different success factors, particularly the time in port for ships, combined with low rates for loading and discharging. Therefore, a crucial competitive advantage is the rapid turnover of the containers, which corresponds to a reduction of a ship's time in port and of the costs of the transshipment process itself.

In recent years the number of publications and the methodological advances regarding container terminal operations have considerably increased. In this presentation we describe and classify the main logistics processes and operations in container terminals and provide a survey on related methods.

Professor Dr. Stefan Voß is chair and director of the Institute of Information Systems of the University of Hamburg (Germany) since 2002. Prof. Voß holds degrees in Mathematics (diploma) and Economics from the University of Hamburg and a Ph.D. and the habilitation from the University of Technology Darmstadt. Previous positions include full professor and head of the department of Business Administration, Information Systems and Information Management at the University of Technology Braunschweig (Germany), 1995-2002.

The main areas of expertise of Professor Voß relate to the fields Information Systems, Supply Chain Management, Telecommunications, Public Mass Transit, and Logistics as well as Intelligent Search. He has an international reputation as a result of numerous publications in these fields. Current research projects are, among others, considering problem formulations in the field of Information Systems in Transport, Supply Chain Management as well as Meta- Heuristics and Intelligent Search Algorithms in practical applications.

Prof. Voß is member of several national and international scientific associations and participates in advisory boards and editorships for academic journals such as INFORMS Journal on Computing and Journal of Heuristics. His list of publications includes more than 200 scientific papers and books. Among numerous guest professorships, e.g. in Graz (Austria) and Valenciennes (France) he is also regularly engaged in executive training and consulting projects.

CONTACTMoshe Sniedovich, E-mail:

TITLE Developing a Lean Supply Chain -- It's More Than Supplier Collaboration
SPEAKERAndrew Stewart, InteLog
WHEN6PM, Thursday, March 23, 2006
WHEREAMSI Seminar Room, Ground floor of the ICT Building (111 Barry Street, Carlton)

When is it that collaboration is just not good enough? The relationship an organisation has with its key suppliers must be more than collaborative if it is to deliver the best value offer to consumers and the key retailers in Australia.

This presentation will explore this issue using the Golden Circle "Perfect Pineapple" Supply Chain Program as an example of the development of Strategic Relationships with key suppliers. It will outline the establishment and formation of a Lean Supply Chain Association from pineapple grower to major retailer.

There are eight entities involved in the program that have been working together from November 2003.

The presentation will outline the following aspects of the Supply Chain Association:

  1. The principles of Lean Thinking that form the basis of the Supply Chain program and the development of strategic relationships with suppliers
  2. The Supply Chain formation and development process and methodology
  3. The issues and outcomes (some of the war stories)
  4. The outcomes to date and the benefit to Golden Circle, the retailer and the suppliers
  5. The alignment to the key retailers and the supplier roll out of lean thinking -- removing waste and reducing cycle time
  6. The next step -- Lean Supplier Association -- taking the program to a wider group of suppliers.

Andrew Stewart is the Managing Director of InteLog, an independent consulting group of experienced company managers. Andrew has over thirty years experience pioneering solutions in the supply chain, materials handling, manufacturing and logistics industry.

He is one of the supply chain and change innovation leaders in Australia, a Lean Champion and a Lean Consultant. He has presented many papers at conferences such as AME Pacific Rim Conference, SMART 2005 Supply Chain Conference, LAA Knowledge Excellence, Pharmalog Supply Chain Conference as well as being a feature presenter for business development groups such as The Executive Connection (TEC) and the CEO Group.

InteLog specialises in the whole supply chain, from supplier to customer, and in defining how value is delivered to the customer and created for the business.

CONTACTMoshe Sniedovich, E-mail:

TITLE My Encounter with OR
SPEAKERDudley Foster, DNF Decision Sciences
WHEN6PM, Thursday, April 20, 2006
WHEREAMSI Seminar Room, Ground floor of the ICT Building (111 Barry Street, Carlton)

The genesis of this talk comes from an idea from Santosh Kumar, who suggested that those of us with a lifetime of experience in Operations Research should seek to share some of our lessons from our experience, especially lessons pertaining to those aspects of our work which are given the least attention in academic courses. Thus, Dudley focuses on projects and incidents in his career which have had an important influence on his development as an OR practitioner, starting with his early experiences with the National Coal Board, where there was a strong problem-oriented culture.

Reference is made to three projects from that era, in all of which the key to success was thoroughly researching the problem before going on to develop a solution. Next, Dudley reviews two projects from his interregnum as an academic, where the key to success was nothing technical, but finding the right way to deal with people issues.

Returning to industry with Shell in mid career, Dudley became the focal point for expertise on Financial Modelling and conceptual issues pertaining to the economic evaluation of investment proposals, from which experience, he will share some of the things he learned about good modelling practice, also citing cases where a deep mathematical understanding was not just useful, but essential. Issues concerning the practical use of LP in the oil industry are also discussed, including some observations on why oil companies use hierarchies of models working at different timescales.

Finally, Dudley will discuss a consulting project with an airline -- an experience which reinforced the lessons from his early career about researching a problem thoroughly before starting to develop a solution.

CONTACTMoshe Sniedovich, E-mail:

TITLE Lean Value Chain Mapping for Food Processing
SPEAKERIan Sadler, Victoria University
WHEN6PM, Thursday, May 18, 2006
WHEREAMSI Seminar Room, Ground floor of the ICT Building (111 Barry Street, Carlton)

This talk is based on work which Ian carried out for a leading UK supermarket chain during a period of a few months spent visiting the Centre for Lean Manufacturing at Cardiff University. The project concerns the supply of vegetables grown in Lincolnshire to supermarkets throughout the UK. The vegetables concerned have traditionally been supplied in an as harvested form, but the supermarket concerned has been able to obtain a significant price premium by presenting them to customers in a washed and trimmed, ready-to-cook format. The project encompassed a review of the complete supply chain, all the way from the living plants in the farmers' fields to the packaged product on the supermarket shelf. and resulted in an 8% reduction in the total cost borne by the supermarket, whose current position as clear market leader is substantially due to a relentless pursuit of supply chain excellence.

After graduating in physics from Durham University, Ian's first job was as a scientist at the British Antarctic Base, following which he moved into OR with United Steel in Sheffield, where he had the good fortune to work alongside luminaries such as Stafford Beer and Keith Tocher. Staying with the steel industry, Ian returned to the southern hemisphere, to join BHP in NSW, where he also became active in ASOR - and he was National President at the time of the 1981 ASOR Conference held at AGSM - one of the best ever, in the humble opinion of your correspondent. In 1982, Ian moved to Melbourne to join ANL, his first step to becoming a logistician, a specialization within which he has consolidated his expertise over the past 12 years as a practitioner/ researcher/ educator, in a word [his word] as a 'pracademic'. Ian is now a highly qualified pracademic with a PhD in Logistics, based on a study of the meat industry supply chain, from bullocks in the paddock to meat on the plate. The research was funded by a grant from the meat industry. Dudley Foster (for Ian Sadler)

CONTACTMoshe Sniedovich, E-mail:

TITLE OR Working with 6-Sigma
SPEAKERHarry Gielewski
WHEN6PM, Wednesday, June 28, 2006
WHEREAMSI Seminar Room, Ground floor of the ICT Building (111 Barry Street, Carlton)

The methodology of Operations Research has not changed in the last 30 years. It has at its the core the notion of a detached researcher working for a client using the tools and techniques of quantitative methods.

The methodology of 6-Sigma, on the other hand, whilst sharing a common heritage in the ''Scientific Method'', deviates from the consulting model of client work to a Team approach. The Black Belt Consultant's role is as a methodology and techniques coach to a client team. In addition, 6-sigma projects are selected, solved and implemented within a wider 6-Sigma Deployment Plan.

Management commitment to the 6-Sigma process is extremely important and is reflected by the formal Deployment Plan. Team members are drawn from the areas being investigated. As there is no guarantee that either team members or management will have had exposure to the 6-Sigma process or even standard analytical tools, the deployment plan also includes workshops and training for both of these groups.

Many of the projects that are tackled within the 6-Sigma framework will be familiar to OR practitioners. The main differences between the two approaches seem to be:

  • the ''Big Bang'' approach of 6-Sigma versus the incremental OR approach,
  • the emphasis on ''Team'' dynamics and training
  • the emphasis on tight project management
  • the consequential linearity of the 6-Sigma methodology
  • the backgrounds of Black Belts versus OR analysts

There is much that OR can learn from 6-Sigma. But, there are also extraordinary knowledge gaps that can be filled by OR. This is particularly so as 6-Sigma moves from highly structured manufacturing to chaotic service environments. The aim of this talk is to encourage Maths/ Stats /OR courses to build links to 6-Sigma practitioners.

The talk draws very much from the speaker's recent experience of Lean 6-Sigma projects undertaken at a multinational carrier. His main contribution to the projects was in the area of statistical modelling of 'touch times', queues and resource allocation models.

CONTACTMoshe Sniedovich, E-mail:

TITLE "Team Australia" is getting old!
SPEAKERCatherine Nance
WHEN6PM, Wednesday, July 19, 2006
WHEREAMSI Seminar Room, Ground floor of the ICT Building (111 Barry Street, Carlton)

Australia is getting substantially older, but how old and how do we compare with other major countries? What are the causes of the ageing phenomena? Are the baby boomers to blame -- or are there other reasons? To what extent will our ageing country impact us, the economy, our workplaces and our finances? What approach is the government taking to address some of these issues? Is there anything we need to do now or later?

It is not all doom and gloom -- so what is the good news about our ageing team?

About the Speaker

Cathy is a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and heads up the Retirement Incomes and Asset Consulting group within PricewaterhouseCoopers. As an actuary with 15 years' experience advising superannuation funds, companies and State Governments on superannuation and investment related issues, Cathy's areas of expertise include:

  • Ageing Australia and in particular, financing the ageing and product development
  • Actuarial valuations of, and advice, on employee benefit liabilities including superannuation and long service leave provisions
  • Actuarial valuations of other age based financial products such as aged care villages and reverse mortgage models
  • Institutional investment consulting and asset liability studies
  • Financial and statistical models

Cathy is director and audit committee chair of the West Australian Treasury Corporation and deputy chair of United Credit Union Limited. Cathy also chairs the Institute of Actuaries Retirement Incomes Taskforce and is a member of the International Accounting Standards Taskforce.

CONTACTMoshe Sniedovich, E-mail:


Chairperson: Baikunth Nath E-mail:
Phone: (w) +(+61 3 8344 1400
Vice Chairperson: Dudley Foster E-mail:
Phone: (w) +613 9894 0355
Fax: +613 9894 0244
Mobile: 0417 342 272
Secretary: Patrick Tobin E-mail:
Phone: (w) +613 9214 8013
Fax: +613 9819 0821
Treasurer: Paul Lochert E-mail:
Phone: (w) +613 9903 2647
Fax: +613 9903 2227
Student Representative: Md Rafiul Hassan E-mail:
Committee: Moshe Sniedovich E-mail:
Peter Taylor E-mail:
Harry Burley E-mail:
Santosh Kumar E-mail:
Harry Gielewski
Mohan Krishnamoorthy E-mail:
Editor: Harry Gielewski
Office Manager: Kaye E. Marion E-mail:
Phone: (w) +613 9925 3162
Fax: +613 9925 2454
Ex-Officio:: Kaye E. Marion


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