My first degree was in Mathematics, and this was supplemented by a postgraduate course in Statistics, and then followed by a PhD in Stochastic Processes. I entered the University at Cardiff as a student in 1958, and on graduation in 1961 decided to gain some experience of the use of mathematics and statistics in the outside world. To this end I joined the Operational Research Department of the Steel Company of Wales, and remained there from 1961 to 1964. I then entered academic life in Cardiff, and have been employed there ever since. I was appointed Professor and Head of Mathematics in 1983, and Dean of the Science Faculty in 1991.
My research interests are mainly in the areas of Queueing Theory and Simulation applied to Epidemiology, Healthcare, and Transport. I became interested in health issues in the late 1960s, when the World Health Organisation was undertaking a programme to eradicate smallpox throughout the world. In my time at the Steel Company, I had been working on queueing problems, and during my early years in academia developed this interest further. This resulted in my obtaining grants from Department of Transport and Transport Research Laboratory, over a continuous period from 1975 to 1995, investigating a range of congestion-orientated problems. Also during this period I undertook a study for the Suez Canal Authority on shipping operations in the Canal. This involved the use of linear programming, queueing theory, and simulation, and this work is now used as a case study in many universities throughout the world. In more recent years, my research interests have reverted to healthcare problems. I have been involved in the study of the HIV/AIDS epidemic from in inception in the early 1980s, and was the UK representative in the Concerted Action funded by the European Union from 1987 to 1997. I have given a large number of presentations on this topic at venues worldwide. I also hold current and recent consultancies with a variety of pharmaceutical, NHS Trusts, and health-service establishments.
I was honoured to have been elected as President of the UK Operational Research Society for the two-year period starting January 2006, having previously occupied the position of Vice-President from 1998 – 2001. I was delighted to accept the award of Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in June 2005, and as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in January 2007 for my contributions to research in medicine and healthcare, and also the award of Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in September 2005 for my research work in transport, epidemiology and healthcare, and in the public understanding of science. I was also delighted to receive the award of the 2009 Beale Medal of the Operational Research Society, which is awarded “to give formal recognition to a sustained contribution over many years to the theory, practice, or philosophy of OR in the UK.
I am the UK representative on the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS), and Chair of the OR Society’s Publications Committee. I am the OR Society representative on the Council for Mathematical Sciences (CMS).
On the more personal side, my interests are in sport, particularly cricket and rugby. I am a keen gardener and DIY enthusiast, and also enjoy motoring. I travel extensively, mainly in connection with my work, particularly in USA.