Meet The Expert: Dr Kathy Kotiadis

By Emily Collins

Having to make a critical decision which involves multiple stakeholders can be a huge challenge for businesses, charities, and public sector organisations alike. Thankfully, Kent Business School has the expertise to assist with such decision-making. In the first of our Meet the Expert series, we caught up with Dr Kathy Kotiadis, Reader in Operational Research and co-founder of PartiSim, to discuss her work in supporting groups through the decision-making process.

What is your area of academic expertise, and why are you passionate about it?

I have over 20 years of experience in developing quantitative and qualitative modelling approaches to support stakeholder engagement. I learned from my experience in using quantitative modelling for decision-making processes that it is often misunderstood by the stakeholders involved or does not account for the other factors which influence decision-making, such as politics and culture. This drove me to develop a new service which combines soft (qualitative) and hard (quantitative) approaches to guide groups through the decision-making process from start to finish, helping them to gain valuable understanding and be more confident in taking action that will lead to improvements..

What makes this service stand out?

Unlike traditional modelling, which usually involves a single stakeholder, the service I offer through PartiSim incorporates direct input from several stakeholders at almost every stage of the decision-making process, to develop bespoke models that are truly relevant and beneficial to those involved. This is only possible thanks to my unique expertise and collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of researchers at Kent Business School and external academic collaborators.

Who can benefit from working with you?

In short, anyone who wants to make, and act on, a critical decision involving multiple stakeholders. I have primarily worked in health care but I work  with a wide range of organisations.

What can organisations expect from working with you?

Our unique service takes stakeholders through the decision-making process using a step-by-step facilitated approach. Each ‘step’ is informed by the latest scientific research and can be tailor-made to the problematic situation at hand. This may be condensed into one session or take place over several in-person or virtual meetings, depending on its complexity.

Are there any recent collaborations you are particularly proud of?

I recently supported an Associate on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Eurostar to develop a a computer simulation model which mimicked platforms in London and Paris. This model was used to help Eurostar identify key triggers which create queues for trains, which in turn informed the decision-making around the positioning of new border control stations at London St Pancreas. I also supported the Kent Resilience Forum through the challenge of online decision-making at silver and gold command meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

How can we get in touch with you?

You can contact me directly at 

Dr Kathy Kotiadis is a Reader in Management Science/Operational Research at Kent Business School and is an expert in developing quantitative and qualitative modelling approaches to support stakeholder engagement, primarily in Health Care.

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