Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 4pm

Operations Research Center at Sauder Wins Award: MBA News

Operations research at Sauder School of Business

A research center at Vancouver’s Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia has picked up an award for its work in preparing students for careers in operations research, a field in which advanced analytical methods are used in the decision-making process (sometimes referred to as management, or decision, science).

The Centre for Operations Excellence (COE) is one of a number of research centers at Sauder and runs a specialized master’s program in operations research management in addition to conducting industry-focused research in areas into which the discipline can be applied - from manufacturing and shipping to healthcare and telecommunications.

However, it is for the career preparation students receive that the COE at Sauder School of Business has become the 2015 recipient of the UPS George D. Smith Prize, awarded by the operations research practitioners association, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Last year, the award was taken by MIT – and specifically, for its Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program that aims to bring together the university’s strengths in engineering and in business. Sauder was a finalist in 2014, but was named ahead of Carnegie Mellon University and Lehigh University this time round. 

“This award reflects the significant impact the center is having bridging industry and academia to help organizations improve how they do business and deliver value to their clients,” said Robert Helsley, dean at Sauder School of Business, in a press release.

Industry-orientated master’s at Sauder School of Business

The bridge between industry and the center’s academic teaching is most clearly visible in its specialized master’s program – a 16-month program for those interested in business analytics and operations research that places emphasis on experiential projects carried out with industry partners. Since the center’s establishment at Sauder School of Business in 1998, the school says that over 100 projects have been completed in almost every conceivable industry.

It is also from these projects that graduates from the program often secure employment post-graduation – according to the school, the program enjoys a 100% employment record for students six months on from graduation. One regular company partner has been Boeing Canada, which now has a whole team for advanced analytics and is said to have taken on a number of the program’s graduates. The aviation company has been involved in nine COE projects – one recent example of which saw students working on ways to reduce flight delays related to maintenance issues.

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Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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