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CORMSIS Centre for Operational Research, Management Sciences and Information Systems

Canadian software company Copperleaf benefits from OR analysis by a CORMSIS MSc student

Published: 19 July 2017
Ibrahim receives his award
Ibrahim receives his award certificate from Prof Sally Brailsford

Engineer-turned-analyst Ibrahim Tamimi has won the Maths Operational Research Impact Prize for his summer project with Copperleaf, a Canadian software company which aids investment firms to make the right decisions.

Ibrahim, a student on the MSc in Operational Research, used advanced mathematical techniques to show the benefits of optimising investment portfolios compared to traditional ranked-list prioritisation.  He said “I chose Southampton for my MSc in OR after studying engineering in the USA because OR combines technical skills with helping businesses make decisions and the University has a good reputation in the sector. The project with Copperleaf was great fun and I learned a lot. They also gave me a contract after it was over to carry on with the work.”

The results of his project have been published on Copperleaf’s website and are an integral part of the company’s messaging related to the business benefits of its solution. The analysis and results have also been presented at the joint Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) / Institute of Asset Management (IAM) conference in London and a paper published in accounts of the proceedings.

“Ibrahim’s research proves that asset intensive organisation using Copperleaf’s optimisation software can realise seven-20 per cent greater portfolio value compared to traditional Excel-based investment planning processes. This award is fitting because the project really has made an impact – I have been in meetings with new prospects and they have the research paper printed out in front of them! And coming from an Operational Research background myself, I’m really pleased we have been able to work with the University of Southampton on this exciting project. Congratulations to Ibrahim.” says Stefan Sadnicki, Managing Director, Europe for Copperleaf.

Dr Patrick Beullens, the academic supervisor for Ibrahim’s project adds: “It was a real pleasure to supervise this project. Copperleaf staff invited Ibrahim to visit their offices in Canada and London. It was a great opportunity for him to learn about an exciting real-life application of sophisticated Operational Research techniques, and to hone his skills in computer programming and experimental analysis. The topic fitted well with my own research interests into how smarter operations planning over time improves firm performance”.

The summer projects for postgraduate students are organised by Julie Hickman and Peter Becque of the University of Southampton’s Centre for Operational Research, Management Sciences and Information Systems (CORMSIS). The Centre, jointly based in the Business School and School of Mathematics, runs six MSc programmes featuring three month projects designed to prepare students for rewarding careers in analytics.  For further details  email Julie Hickman  or Peter Becque

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