Optimization: How industry can learn from the German and Australian Experience


Wednesday, 6th April 2005

Breakfast seminar, Feb 8 2005

A breakfast seminar with leading speakers was held for industry experts in optimization. It was co-hosted by the New South Wales Department of State and Regional Development and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematics and Statistics of Complex Systems (MASCOS).

Optimization techniques are used around the world to improve processes, products, performance and profits. Optimization succeeds by working smarter with existing resources. Wherever a complex system - a rail network, a manufacturing process, a business system - can be described precisely, optimization can find rearrangements of the parts to improve the bottom line. Port unloading can be made efficient, mines can plan better operations, trains can run on time through improvements in signalling and driver allocation, airline scheduling can be made precise, cheaper components can be manufactured. Waste and dead time are minimised, uptime and throughput are maximised.

The seminar is part of a series of events to celebrate the signing of the collaborative partnership agreement between research centres in Germany and Australia: Matheon, the DFG-Research Center, 'Mathematics for Key Technologies' in Berlin, and MASCOS, the ARC Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Statistics of Complex Systems, Australia. Professor Martin Groetschel, the Director of Matheon, visited Australia for the signing celebrations of this unique partnership and conducted the first technical session. Professor Groetschel is a globally renowned expert in the field of optimization and has wide experience in industrial problem solving including container unloading, Port of Hamburg, Siemens and rail and road planning.

Other speakers from Australian industry, research centres and MASCOS included Prof Hugh Durrant-Whyte, Research Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems, and Dr Jay Horton, Managing Director of Strategis Partners.

8.00 Introduction by Bronte Price, Director, Innovation and Technology, DSRD
8.05 Prof Ian Sloan introduced Martin Groetschel
8.15 Prof Martin Groetschel, The German Experience: Industrial Impact of Optimization, some examples
9.15 break
9.30 The Australian Experience: Making the Right Decisions - Optimizing your Strategic Plans for Profit. Dr Gary Froyland, MASCOS, spoke briefly and introduced Dr Jay Horton, Managing Director, Strategis Partners
10.15 Improving Efficiency and Responsiveness - supply chains and container unloading. A/Prof Natashia Boland, MASCOS, spoke briefly and introduced Prof Hugh Durrant-Whyte, Research Director of the Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems

Venue: NSW Trade and Investment Centre, Level 44, Grosvenor Place, 225 George St, Sydney

For Technical details please contact: Dr Gary Froyland, MASCOS, School of Mathematics, University of New South Wales, T: 02)9385 7050, E: g.froyland@unsw.edu.au

Administrative: Please contact Marina Rambaldini, School of Mathematics, University of New South Wales on: T: (02) 9385 7111, E: optimization@maths.unsw.edu.au

Pictured, Martin Groetschel speaking at DSRD; Martin Groetschel and Ian Sloan at UNSW.