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The OR Society launches 75th Anniversary campaign to celebrate the past, present, and future of OR and attract next generation of OR specialists

The OR Society, the UK member-led organisation supporting professional operational researchers across industries and academia globally, is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

To mark the event, it has launched a new campaign, “This is OR,” to raise awareness and understanding of the transformational impact of OR and systems thinking in business and society and to attract a new generation of graduates and professionals to OR careers.

The campaign will kick off at OR65, the OR Society’s annual conference, at the University of Bath on 12-14 September 2023. The conference will bring together hundreds of academic and professional operational researchers and other analysts to present the latest developments and showcase real-world applications. They will discuss key topics including how AI and machine learning is being used in business, how systems thinking and modelling can be applied to make predictions in business or to solve pressing issues such as emergency department congestion, ambulance priorities, scheduling and waiting lists or used in cancer diagnosis, as well as the role OR plays in driving effective strategic business decision making.

The OR Society’s President Gilbert Owusu said, “We are excited to launch our 75th anniversary campaign to increase the understanding of OR and how it is applied in industry to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.  With demand for people skilled in data analytics, maths and computer science rising rapidly, we want to showcase the many and varied interesting career opportunities in OR to attract students and graduates in business management and sciences, and those already working in data science and analytics. The OR Society can offer a wealth of resources, courses, scholarships, publications and networking opportunities to support them.”

According to Glassdoor[i], the average salary of an operational researcher in the UK is around 43K, but senior professionals can earn far more. Demand for OR specialists is also expected to grow rapidly. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of operations research analysts is projected to grow 23% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations[ii].

Seb Hargreaves, Executive Director, The OR Society said, “The OR Society wants to be a ‘vibrant, visible and valued’ membership organisation that appeals to the next generation. We need more OR specialists to address the complex challenges facing our world. Our 75th anniversary campaign is a chance to raise awareness of OR to encourage more people to pursue careers in this exciting field. Throughout the year, we will be highlighting how OR analysts apply their skills in mathematics, statistics, and computer science to solve real-world problems and help organisations make better decisions.”

The campaign will also shine a light on the origins of OR in World War II when scientists used mathematical and statistical methods to improve military operations, as well as how OR and systems thinking is applied today in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, sports, transportation, logistics, and manufacturing.

The campaign will feature a variety of activities, including:

  • A series of webinars and events to showcase the latest developments in OR
  • A MSc scholarship competition for students interested in pursuing a career in OR
  • The promotion of The OR Society’s Pro Bono work with leading charities
  • A dedicated OR in education programme to engage school children

The OR Society is confident that the “This is OR” campaign will help to attract a new generation of graduates to this exciting and rewarding field.

Learn more about The OR Society and its 75th anniversary campaign at: