A student presents to a seminar group

Student Stories

MRes Testimonials

Emily Graham

"The STOR-i programme is an excellent opportunity as it allows you to develop far more than academic skills. I have recently completed the MRes year and found it both challenging and extremely rewarding. The MRes year has not only built upon my knowledge and understanding of statistics and operational research, but it has also allowed me to explore my own research interests. In my opinion, the most valuable part of the MRes year was the additional training and experience in a range of different areas such as programming, presenting, website development and blogging. The engagement with industry is especially rewarding since it allows you to see the impact that STOR has in the “real world”. Finally, one of my favourite things about STOR-i is the community. Whether you’re exchanging ideas at the STOR-i forums or participating in the STOR-i Bake Off, you feel like you’re part of something special and exciting."

Jake Clarkson

"The STOR-i MRes year contains a wide range of activities, some of which I expected as preparation for life as a PhD student, for example, being introduced to a vast number of exciting research areas than writing miniature reports on topics of my choice. Others were less expected, such as writing a blog on my experiences within the programme, creating a model to produce live odds during the Euros, climbing mountains in the Lake District and having the opportunity to take part in the annual STOR-i Bake-off! There is also a large focus on teamwork, with several group posters, presentations and problem-solving days. The staff couldn’t be more supportive and approachable, all in all, I found it both an enjoyable and challenging year! Plus, my PhD project now gives me the opportunity to travel to Monterey, California next year!"

Kathryn Turnbull

"‌‌Prior to joining STOR-i my background was mostly in statistics. The MRes programme gave me valuable exposure to OR and broadened my knowledge of current areas of research, both of which helped me choose a PhD topic. The first term is comprised of taught courses to provide a solid foundation for the subsequent terms, where the focus is more towards research. Throughout the year there are numerous opportunities for group work in the form of group projects and industrial problem-solving days. Whilst I have found the MRes to be challenging, I do feel that it has prepared me well for my PhD."

PhD Testimonials

James Grant

"I’m currently entering the second year of my PhD, and so far my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. From the outset I’ve had a great balance of support, challenging questions and freedom to choose my own direction. Working with supervisors from both Statistics and OR, I get to see my problem from both perspectives. My project is carried out in collaboration with the Naval Postgraduate School. I’ve recently had the opportunity to travel to America and work with my collaborators - an experience that really increased my confidence in my abilities as a researcher. The most valuable aspect of studying in a CDT is the support from a large network of like-minded students - there is always someone to discuss your latest idea or issue with. STOR-i also attracts many interesting visitors; through STOR-i’s annual conference and subject-specific workshops I’ve been able to meet with many reputable international academics and industry experts."

Lucy Morgan

"I was drawn to the idea of doing a PhD because I wanted more autonomy in my work. Being a part of STOR-i makes this possible. It also gives me the chance to work in a stimulating environment where we are encouraged to broaden our knowledge of Statistics and Operational Research through participation in Master Classes and Problem Solving days, amongst other activities/ training. As I progress through my PhD I have learnt to take more control over my research, I now lead meetings; confidently put forward my ideas and ultimately decide on the direction of my research. The main achievement of my first year was having a paper accepted into The Winter Simulation Conference, a leading conference in the field of simulation. This involves attending the conference in Washington, USA to present my work, which will be a great opportunity to see what else is happening in my field and meet other researchers."

Emma Simpson

"What I most enjoy about doing a PhD is being able to devote so much of my time to an area of research that really interests me, and STOR-i provides an excellent environment in which to do this. As well as the great support I have from my PhD supervisors, the fact that we begin the MRes year as part of a cohort of students is conducive to a strong support network, which is essential in overcoming the challenges of a PhD. We have a variety of opportunities to learn about a range of research areas in statistics and OR outside of our own PhDs, whether this is through our weekly forums given by PhD students, masterclasses from external experts, or the annual STOR-i conference. The problem-solving days we attend throughout the four-year programme are also a great opportunity to gain insight into various industrial applications of statistics and OR, as well as developing skills like teamwork and communication."

Alumni Testimonials

Ben Pickering

"After studying mathematics at undergraduate, I wanted to embark on a career where I used advanced analytical techniques to solve real-world problems on a daily basis. Being a part of the STOR-i CDT has allowed for personal development of the high-level academic and technical skills critical for progression on this career path. In addition, the STOR-i programme provides a huge amount of exposure to industry-leading companies across the four years. Networking opportunities at problem-solving days, training events and the annual STOR-i Conference provided contacts and illustrated how statistics and OR methods are used within industry. Furthermore, throughout my PhD research, I worked in collaboration with Shell's Statistics and Chemometrics group. This experience provided an enjoyable and rewarding insight into working in an industrial R&D environment. Since finishing the STOR-i programme I have been working as a Data Scientist at Dunnhumby. This is a customer science company which helps build brand loyalty and optimises retail pricing strategy. The skills and knowledge which I built during my time at STOR-i were a huge advantage during the application process, and they continue to be utilised extensively throughout my day-to-day work."

Shreena Patel

"After leaving STOR-i, I joined the customer science company Dunnhumby as a data scientist. The company works with retailers to provide insights into the behaviour of customers and designs marketing efforts to promote loyalty. Having worked closely with sales data during my PhD, I felt well-equipped to handle the kind of data Dunnhumby works with, albeit on a much smaller scale! A large part of the job involves making model improvements based on intuition about shopper behaviour. For example, we know that customers generally purchase a steak more frequently than an electric toothbrush. However, less active customers may not have purchased either of these in the past. How can we ensure that we are more likely to recommend a steak over an electric toothbrush to a new customer? The opportunities at STOR-i to work on industrial research problems are excellent preparation for dealing with questions like these. I find I am able to discuss the technical aspects of my work more effectively than I could have done a few years ago, to a wide variety of people. The result is that I can get a fresh perspective on my work and make better progress, thanks to the sharing of ideas."

Chris Nemeth

"The training I received during my PhD far exceeded the expectations I had prior to joining STOR-i. The STOR-i programme not only provided excellent supervision during my PhD but also taught me how to write academic papers, apply for funding, communicate my research to broader audiences and engage with industrial stakeholders. The CDT environment was particularly important to me as this harnessed a collaborative environment where students could support one another and organise student-led seminars and training events. Since leaving STOR-i, I have started an academic career as a lecturer at Lancaster University. The training I received from STOR-i has a direct impact on my daily research and my approach to problem-solving strategies. The opportunities STOR-i provided for me to present my research at international conferences has helped extend my network of collaborators and the impact of my work. I also feel that my teaching style has greatly improved as a result of the communication skills workshops offered by STOR-i."