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The University of Southampton
CORMSIS Centre for Operational Research, Management Sciences and Information Systems

Operational Research graduate is runner-up in prestigious award

Published: 20 October 2016Origin: Mathematical Sciences
MSc Operational Research graduate,
MSc Operational Research graduate, now working at British Airways

MSc Operational Research (OR) graduate Julie Stanzl has been named runner-up for The Operational Research Society’s May Hicks Award, just months after being awarded the Boeing Prize for Maths for her project dissertation.

Every year The Operational Research Society recognises the best masters projects that were carried out for a client organisation. Julie’s project focused on baggage reclaim at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Chris Potts, Professor of Operational Research at the University of Southampton, said: “Having supervised MSc projects for 30 years, Julie Stanzl's dissertation is probably the best that I have read.

“She gained an excellent understanding of the issues faced by Heathrow Airport in terms of the waiting times of passengers to reclaim their bags and of congestion around the baggage reclaims.

“This enabled her to create realistic models of the dynamics of arriving baggage and of passengers entering the baggage halls. The algorithms that she designed and evaluated during the project were well thought out and extremely effective."

Julie, who now works for British Airways, said: “It was a fantastic project and I enjoyed being based at the airport.

“I chose to study Operational Research at Southampton because I wanted to learn how to apply my undergraduate maths degree in the business world. The three month placement brought it all together.”

Statistics and Operational Research at the University of Southampton placed in the top 100 in the world, and top 10 in the UK, according to the 2016 QS World Rankings. To find out more about MSc courses in Mathematical Sciences at Southampton visit

CORMSIS – the University’s Centre of Operational Research, Management Sciences and Information Systems – has organised MSc Summer Project placements for more than 30 years. For more information, including how your organisation could host a placement, visit

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