Professor Maria Paola Scaparra and her collaborators have recently been awarded an EPSRC grant for their research project.
Professor Maria Paola Scaparra and her collaborators have recently been awarded an EPSRC grant to work on a project titled “Improving Community Resilience and Sustainability Through Operational Research Capacity Building in Southeast Asia” (CREST-OR).
The project involves 16 investigators from 10 institutions in the UK, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and Vietnam and is supported by the UK Operational Research (OR) Society. CREST-OR’s aim is to help South-East Asia (SEA) countries build research capacity in mathematical OR tools to improve community resilience to natural disasters and achieve sustainable development objectives. Specifically, CREST-OR will help SEA Countries address challenges in the areas of disaster management, resilient transport infrastructure, food supply security or smart cities.
This project will build a network of OR researchers across the UK and SEA countries to help this last group develop the skills necessary to become self-sustaining OR researchers. This will be achieved through the mentoring of researchers at various career stages, by developing a portfolio of co-designed research proposals, forming OR research units and creating an active and independent OR community in SEA. This will lay the groundwork for the establishment of a new SEA OR Society that will link directly with the Association of Asia-Pacific OR Societies to advance the practice of OR for sustainable development.
Professor Scaparra said “I am really thrilled to lead this multi-institutional project and keep working with South-East Asian researchers and practitioners. I have previously worked on a project using OR methodologies to optimise flood mitigation investments in Vietnam. This project was a demonstrated success and clearly proved that OR has a lot to offer for addressing global challenges in developing countries. CREST-OR will go one step further and help SEA countries build their own OR expertise and establish a vibrant community of OR researchers working together to address urgent development needs”.