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)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Jagtenberg, C. J., Maclaren, O. J., Mason, A. J., Raith, A., Shen, K., & Sundvick, M. (2020). Columnwise neighborhood search: A novel set partitioning matheuristic and its application to theVeRoLogSolver Challenge 2019. NETWORKS, 76 (2), 273-293. 10.1002/net.21961
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Oliver Maclaren, Andrea Raith
  • Jagtenberg, C. J., & Mason, A. J. (2020). Improving fairness in ambulance planning by time sharing. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF OPERATIONAL RESEARCH, 280 (3), 1095-1107. 10.1016/j.ejor.2019.08.003
  • Aref, S., Mason, A. J., & Wilson, M. C. (2020). A modeling and computational study of the frustration index in signed networks. Networks, 75, 95-110.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mark Wilson
  • Dowson, O., Philpott, A., Mason, A., & Downward, A. (2019). A multi-stage stochastic optimization model of a pastoral dairy farm. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF OPERATIONAL RESEARCH, 274 (3), 1077-1089. 10.1016/j.ejor.2018.10.033
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andy Philpott, Tony Downward
  • Cabrera-Guerrero, G., Mason, A. J., Raith, A., & Ehrgott, M. (2018). Pareto local search algorithms for the multi-objective beam angle optimisation problem. Journal of Heuristics, 24 (2), 205-238. 10.1007/s10732-018-9365-1
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrea Raith
  • 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
  • Hinder, O., & Mason, A. J. (2017). A novel integer programing formulation for scheduling with family setup times on a single machine to minimize maximum lateness. European Journal of Operational Research, 262 (2), 411-423. 10.1016/j.ejor.2017.03.003
  • Mason, A. J. (2016). SolverStudio for Excel [Computer software]. Related URL.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 319
New Zealand

Web links