Department of Engineering Science

Operations Research and Computational Analytics

The Operation Research and Computational Analytics (ORCA) groups is a team of academics within the Department of Engineering Science who specialise in data-driven decision making. They utilise a variety of theory, algorithms, and computational methods to solve real-world problems with real-world data.

What is OR?

Operations Research (OR) is the science of utilising advanced mathematical theory/computational methods to help make better decisions. Also known as the “science of better”, OR utilises ideas from area including as mathematical modelling, optimisation, simulation statistical modelling, decisions analysis, and artificial intelligence to solve real-world problems.


What is CA?

Analytics is the capture, management, organisation, and visualisation of data to inform better decision making. Computational Analytics embeds this data into a mathematical/statistical model that enables the decisions making process to be automated and/or optimised. Computational Analytics is the science behind data-driven decision making in the real-world.

Our people


Our expertise

Research areas

Stochastic Programming

Our stochastic programming research is motivated by practical problems in industry in which some optimal decision is sought subject to uncertainty on the problem data. These problems often originate from planning models in which the future is uncertain. Stochastic programming problems can often be formulated as equivalent mathematical programming problems with many variables and constraints, and techniques to solve them usually incorporate some form of decomposition. The development an improvement of these techniques is one focus of our research. Introductory material on stochastic programming can be found at the Stochastic Programming Society website.

  • Software tools
  • Research Projects


Watch Dr Mike O'Sullivan's presentation on using analytics to improve healthcare delivery services here.


Our connections

  • EPOC: Electric Power Optimization Centre
  • ORUA: Combining Operations Research and Analytics
  • ORSNZ: Operations Research Society of New Zealand