Associate Professor Andrew James Mason


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Associate Professor


Andrew has a PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a Bachelor of Engineering (in Engineering Science) from the University of Auckland.

Andrew was, until 2014, the President of the Operations Research Society of NZ, and is on the Steering Committee of the NZ Analytics Forum. He is a co-founder of The Optima Corporation, a University spin-off company specialising in Emergency Services Logistics. Along with Shane Henderson, Andrew developed the first versions of the Optima ambulance simulation software, and is actively involved in research in ambulance logistics. He has created and maintains OpenSolver (, an open-source Excel add-in for solving large spreadsheet optimisation models, that won the 2011 COIN-OR Cup. He has also developed SolverStudio (, another Excel add-in that allows models to be built and solved using AMPL, GAMS, PuLP, GMPL, and the NEOS cloud service for optimisation. He has for many years been developing solutions for staff scheduling problems that use advanced column generation approaches.


Research | Current

  • Staff rostering
  • Personnel scheduling
  • Emergency services
  • Sailing

Research groups

Teaching | Current

  • ENGSCI 255 - Modelling in Operations Research
  • ENGSCI 311 - Mathematical Modelling 3
  • ENGSCI 760 - Algorithms for Optimisation
  • ENGSCI 761 - Integer and Multi-objective Optimisation
  • ENGSCI 762 - Advanced Topics in Operations Research
  • STATS 255 - Introduction to Operations Research



  • Chair, Faculty of Engineering Academic Programmes Committee
  • Engineering Representative, Academic Programmes Committee
  • Engineering Representative, IT Faculty Forum
  • Deputy Head of Department (Operations Research/Analytics), Department of Engineering Science

Areas of expertise

  • Optimisation,
  • Analytics,
  • Spreadsheet Modelling,
  • Integer Programming,
  • Column Generation,
  • Ambulance Logistics,
  • Simulation,
  • OpenSolver,
  • SolverStudio.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Professional affiliations

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Lindahl, M., Mason, A. J., Stidsen, T., & Sørensen M (2018). A strategic view of University timetabling. European Journal of Operational Research, 266 (1), 35-45. 10.1016/j.ejor.2017.09.022
  • Mason, A. J. (2016). SolverStudio for Excel [Computer software]. Related URL.
  • Cabrera, G., Ehrgott, M., Mason, A. J., & Philpott, A. B. (2014). Multi-objective optimisation of positively homogeneous functions and an application in radiation therapy. Operations Research Letters, 42 (4), 268-272. 10.1016/j.orl.2014.04.007
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andy Philpott
  • Mason, A. J. (2013). SolverStudio: A new tool for better optimisation and simulation modelling in Excel. INFORMS Transactions on Education, 14 (1), 45-52. 10.1287/ited.2013.0112
  • Mason, A. J. (2013). Simulation and Real-time Optimised Relocation for Improving Ambulance Operations. In B. Denton (Ed.) Handbook of Healthcare Operations Management: Methods and Applications (pp. 289-317). New York: Springer. 10.1007/978-1-4614-5885-2
  • Dohn, A., & Mason, A. J. (2013). Branch-and-price for staff rostering: An efficient implementation using generic programming and nested column generation. European Journal of Operational Research, 230 (1), 157-169. 10.1016/j.ejor.2013.03.018
  • Mason, A. J. (2012). OpenSolver - An open source add-in to solve linear and integer progammes in Excel. In D. Klatte, Lüthi H-J, K. Schmedders (Eds.) Operations Research Proceedings 2011: Selected Papers of the International Conference on Operations Research (OR 2011), 401-406. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. 10.1007/978-3-642-29210-1_64

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 319
New Zealand

Web links