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Prof Martin Utley
Prof Martin Utley profile picture
  • Professor of Operational Research
  • Clinical Operational Research Unit
  • Dept of Mathematics
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
I joined the UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit in 1996 on completion of my PhD in High Energy Physics, which was conducted at the University of Glasgow and at DESY in Hamburg. I have held a number of positions at CORU and was Director of the unit from 2007 to 2017. I was promoted to Professor of Operational Research in 2008. In addition to my research and teaching at UCL, I conduct consultancy exercises for the NHS, charities and others.
Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

After 20 years of working with health professionals to develop, adapt and apply Operational Research approaches to help solve the problems they face, I remain fascinated by the many ways in which OR can help improve health services. I am equally fascinated by the many ways in which Operational Researchers don’t quite manage to have the impact in health and social care that we feel we should have. My research activity reflects these twin interests.
I have developed clinical risk models in thoracic and paediatric cardiac surgery, and mathematical modelling approaches that can be used in forecasting demand for services. For 10 years I led a responsive facility that conducted mathematical modelling studies for the Department of Health to inform health protection policy.  In parallel to this technical work, I have contributed to thinking about how operational researchers can more effectively partner with health services, devising a Modellers-in-Residence scheme at Great Ormond Street Hospital and helping to set up an Embedded Research Team at UCLH.  Along the way, I have developed a keen interest in how data and model output can be presented in ways that engage and inform clinicians, managers and patients.

A related interest is in how the capabilities, status and influence of the analytical workforce within the NHS can be enhanced to improve the planning, design and operation of services, and what (if any) role academic Operational Researchers can play in that. 

Influences and privilege

I have been lucky to work with brilliant colleagues and collaborators throughout my time at UCL. Notable influences include Steve Gallivan, Christina Pagel and Sonya Crowe at UCL CORU and clinical collaborators Tom Treasure and Kate Brown.  As a middle aged white man working in a sector where race and gender inequality is rife, it would be naïve of me to think that the opportunities and success I’ve had stem solely from merit.

Teaching Summary
I teach on the module Principles of Health Data Analytics offered by the UCL Institute of Health Informatics.
Academic Background
1996   Doctor of Philosophy University of Glasgow
1993   Bachelor of Science (Honours) University of Manchester
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