Staff Directory

Dr penny holborn 25348

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PgCDPPHE (Distinction), University of South Wales, 2017.
PhD Mathematics, Cardiff University, 2013.
BSc (Hons) in Mathematics, Operational Research and Statistics, Cardiff University, 2009.


I have developed a passion for applying analytical methods to real-life problems. I am keen to build relationships with professional bodies and public sector organisations to both inform teaching, collaboration and enhance employability of our students.


Lecturer in Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research, University of South Wales (Dec 2014 – )
Research Associate, Cardiff University and Anuerin Bevan University Health Board (May 2013 – Dec 2014)
PhD, Cardiff University (Oct 2009 – May 2013)
Statistical Analyst, Welsh Government (July 07-June 08 & June 09-Sep 09)


Currently preparing for validation of an MSc in Data Science.

Current teaching responsibilities:

MS1S07 – Probability and Statistics
MS2S08 – Management Science
MS3S30 – Introduction to SAS and Statistical Forecasting
MS3S09 – Operational Research
MS4S05- SAS Data Mining And Forecasting

Administration roles:
Second year tutor
Employability champion


• Spernaes, I., Holborn, P., Whent, A. and Griffiths, K., 2017. A caseload management tool for community mental health teams. British Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 6(2), pp.81-86.
• Lewis, R. and Holborn, P., 2016. How to Pack Trapezoids: Exact and Evolutionary Algorithms. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation.
• Holborn, P. L. 2013. Heuristics for dynamic vehicle routing problems with pickups and deliveries and time windows. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
• Holborn, P. L., J. M. Thompson, and R. Lewis (2012). ‘Combining Heuristic and Exact Methods to Solve the Vehicle Routing Problem with Pickups, Deliveries and Time Windows’. In Evolutionary Computation in Combinatorial Optimisation (Lecture Notes in Computer Science vol. 7245), J.-K. Hao and M. iddendorf (Eds.), Berlin:Springer-Verlag, pp.63-74.


Co-Chair of School of Computing & Mathematics Athena Swan Self Assessment Team
Member of USW Learner Analytics Group
Member of USW Gender Equality Sub-group.
Member of Women in Academia@USW Network.


Fellow HEA, 2017
Associate Fellow HEA, 2012.

Member of General Council of the UK OR Society (Sep 2016-).
Secretary of the South Wales OR Discussion Society (March 17-).
Associate of the Operational Research Society, 2015.
Candidate Associate of the Operational Research Society, 2012.


Main Research areas and current projects:
Big data analytics in particular predictive modelling. Currently supervising a KESS 2 project with Tata Steel looking at predictive maintenance.

Solving combinatorial optimisation problems using heuristic and metaheuristic methods. Current research involves looking at Scheduling problems for Cardiff Airport.

Applying OR techniques to Health care, building collaboration with NWIS.

Areas of Expertise

I have expertise in using a range of analytical methods applied to real-world problems. This includes classical OR techniques such as optimsation and simulation but also more recent big data tools in predictive modelling.



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