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The University of Southampton

Southern Water praises Management student's emergency planning project

Published: 15 March 2004

A student project to model ways of coping with an emergency in the water supply has proved so successful it is now being used in reality by Southern Water.

MSc Management Sciences student Beate Jungblut used computer simulation software to work out how tankers carrying water from nearby reservoirs could efficiently supply a waterworks threatened by pollution which served tens of thousands of households. A real-life test using 40 tankers 24 hours a day would have cost Southern Water around £500,000 per week.

Beate undertook the project when on a three month work placement at Southern Water. "Beate got the hang of the water industry very quickly," said Southern Water Emergency and Security Manager Paul Fenton. "It was a very successful project and well worth doing it. Management science was just what we needed to see whether this complex operation would be feasible in real life."

The model has been used to test the feasibility of operations at Andover and Brighton. In the Sussex example, Southern Water went ahead to build the facilities and run test operations which confirmed the model's predictions. Beate Jungblut and Paul Fenton presented the model and the proposed operation to the Institute of Water Officers where it generated considerable interest. It has also been demonstrated to the Water (UK) Emergency Planning group

University of Southampton Industrial Liaison Manager Dr Ian Rowley commented: "Our Management students bring a fresh pair of eyes and the latest techniques into host organisations during the three month placements. Projects can include increasing efficiency, reducing costs, developing strategy, managing demand or improving standards of service."

In all, students carried out 45 projects in 2003. Dr Rowley is now seeking companies and organisations to host MSc students for three month projects this summer. The University requests a contribution from the hosts to support students during the placement.

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Notes for editors

The University of Southampton's School of Management has an international reputation for academic and teaching excellence, offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Accounting, Banking, Corporate Risk, Finance, Information Systems, Management, Management Sciences and Risk Management. In October 2000 the national Quality Assurance Agency graded the School as 'excellent' in the assessment of its teaching quality for Higher Education. The School achieved a score of 23 out of a possible 24. Its PhD programme was awarded mode 'A' recognition by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The School now has over 700 students representing over 50 countries enrolled on its programmes, and over 40 full-time staff to teach them.

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