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Loughborough contributes to a successful virtual Operational Research Society Simulation Workshop 2021

The week of 22-26 March 2021 saw many researchers and practitioners working in the field of simulation attend the first virtual Simulation Workshop (SW 2021).

The conference was chaired by Dr Antuela Tako, Reader in Operational Research in the School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University and Dr Anastasia Anagnostou, Lecturer in Computer Science, Brunel University London.

It had the largest audience to date with more than 130 delegates from across the globe including the USA, Europe, South Africa, India, Ethiopia, Brazil, China and Indonesia.

A key theme was celebration as it was the 10th anniversary of the conference and 20 years since the planning began by its founders,  Professor Stewart Robinson and Professor Simon Taylor.

The programme featured a packed schedule of high quality practitioner and academic papers detailing applied case studies and theoretical developments in the field of computer simulation.

Experts in the field led a range of tutorials with topics varying from basic simulation skills such as verification and validation to more specialist topics such as facilitated simulation, text analytics for simulation and more. Three were given by Loughborough academics, Professor Stewart Robinson, Dr Duncan Robertson and Dr Antuela Tako.

Two distinguished keynote speakers, Professor Susan M. Sanchez (Naval Postgraduate School, US) and Professor Young-Jun Son (The University of Arizona, US), inspired the audience with their outstanding work on data farming and dynamic-data-driven, adaptive multi-scale simulation, respectively.

In a plenary dedicated to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Professor Sally Brailsford from Southampton University discussed the state of diversity and inclusion of women in the simulation field and celebrated their achievements thus far.

There was also a session on Sport at Loughborough, given by Matt Leonard on behalf of the Sport Outreach team in the Sports Development Centre. Matt spoke about Loughborough’s expertise in sports research and technology, as well as the outstanding facilities for training and sports activities available to competing athletes, students, staff at Loughborough as well as the public.

Dr Antuela Tako said: “I thoroughly enjoyed leading the planning and organisation of the Simulation Workshop 2021, in collaboration with Dr Anastasia Anagnostou. We had an amazing week of virtual events. This reminded me of the friendly community that this conference attracts every time. Leading a conference in these challenging times has been a demanding but highly rewarding experience. It is evidence of the value and contribution that women can make in the simulation community and STEM subjects more generally, which have been traditionally more male-dominated communities.”

More information on the programme can be found here.

The Simulation Workshop is a biennial conference, offered by the UK’s Operational Research Society (ORS) in association with the INFORMS Simulation Society.