Staff Profiles

Chris PoldenManaging Director

Chris Polden became Managing Director of ORH in January 2014. He is responsible for overseeing all of ORH’s projects, ensuring that they run to schedule and are completed to a consistently high standard. Chris also continues to play a hands-on project management role, as well as developing ORH’s simulation models for emergency medical and police services.

Chris joined ORH full-time in 2005 after graduating with first-class honours in maths and physics. His academic background gave him a strong foundation in data analysis and mathematical modelling, and he has since been involved in many projects for emergency service organisations in the UK, Australia and Canada.

In his spare time, Chris enjoys travelling, cooking and playing cards and board games, and is also a member of the ORH ten-pin bowling team.

Recent projects

Mike VicaryDirector

Mike Vicary is one of the founders of ORH, with over 30 years’ experience in public sector consultancy and particularly emergency service planning. Now a Director of the company, Mike’s current role involves managing larger ORH projects and keeping abreast of worldwide developments in this fast-moving field. He also performs a valuable quality assurance function across the company.

Mike’s academic background in mathematics and operational research led naturally to a consultancy career in analysis and modelling. Since establishing ORH in 1986, he has carried out more than 300 separate resource planning and modelling studies for a range of organisations across the UK and in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the Gulf states. He continues to play an active part in ORH’s work and enjoys working directly with clients to ensure that their needs are met. Mike is also involved in the development and implementation of ORH’s Dynamic Cover Tool.

In his spare time, Mike likes cooking curries and chutneys, swimming and walking – though he increasingly favours towpaths over challenging coastal ones.

Recent projects

Dr Charlotte GurneyConsultant

Dr Charlotte Gurney works with ORH’s emergency service clients, and has been closely involved in more than 50 studies of emergency ambulance cover. She also manages ORH’s facility planning work for Sport England and sportscotland.

Charlotte has been engaged in developing practical applications for theoretical research throughout her career, and has extensive experience within both academic and commercial organisations in the UK and the US. Prior to joining ORH in 1998, she specialised in spatial data analysis, with particular emphasis on satellite-based remotely sensed data and the development of automated data interpretation software. She has been able to build on and apply this expertise while at ORH, using her experience of software design to enhance ORH’s suite of modelling tools.

In her spare time, Charlotte is an obsessive reader, mainly of fiction. She also spent ten years as an advisor for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, while still holding down her day job.

Recent projects

Graham HollandConsultant

Graham is responsible for managing ORH’s projects for fire and rescue services, and he plays a key role in the development of our software solutions.

Graham joined the company in 2004, after graduating from the University of Southampton with an honours degree in geography, initially to focus on the application of GIS software. He has since undertaken data analysis and modelling projects for a range of clients and developed substantial expertise in emergency service planning. Graham has also been instrumental in enhancing ORH’s optimisation and simulation models, and in the development of the Dynamic Cover Tool.

Graham enjoys taking a logical approach to problem-solving and being able to use his academic background to address real-world issues. When not working, he likes to spend his time travelling, skiing and watching live sport.

Recent projects

Jon MobbsConsultant

Jon Mobbs undertakes analysis, modelling, consultancy and project management for ORH’s emergency medical service clients. He is also involved in the development of our specialist software solutions, particularly the AmbSim simulation model.

Jon joined ORH in 2006 with an honours degree in mathematics from the University of Warwick, which included data analysis, mathematical modelling and optimisation. Since then, he has built up considerable experience of emergency service planning, working with a range of services in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East and helping to design bespoke tools to meet their specific requirements.

Outside of work, Jon enjoys reading crime fiction, circuit training and solving logic puzzles, and used to be a keen skydiver.

Recent projects

Rebecca SimonsConsultant

Rebecca Simons specialises in managing projects for fire and rescue services and in carrying out location optimisation studies. She is experienced in applying ORH’s fire simulation and optimisation models to solve a range of estate strategy and appliance deployment challenges.

Rebecca graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2004 with an honours degree in cartography and geographical information systems. She was previously a project coordinator at Oxford Retail Consultants, carrying out modelling studies for major retail firms. Since joining ORH in 2009, Rebecca has applied her skills to developing ORH’s use of road networks and routing software in the formation of travel time matrices for the UK and abroad.

Rebecca has travelled extensively, and is involved with several local theatre groups, designing the lighting for productions. On her holidays, she enjoys sea kayaking and exploring on foot.

Recent projects

Andrew CooperConsultant

Andrew Cooper works with ORH’s emergency service clients, carrying out data analysis and optimisation and simulation modelling, as well as project management and client liaison.

Andrew has been with ORH since 2008, joining as a data analyst and subsequently taking on a consultancy role. With an honours degree in mathematics and accounting from the University of Sheffield, he brought a strong foundation in data analysis and modelling. He has developed particular expertise in working with fire and rescue services during his time with the company, and now plays a key role in building and enhancing ORH’s simulation models for fire services and the Dynamic Cover Tool (DCT) for both fire and ambulance services.

When he’s not working, Andrew is likely to be found running, hiking or watching or playing football. He is also ORH’s reigning karting champion.

Recent projects

  • Reviewing stations and deployments for London Fire Brigade
  • Implementing a National Asset Model for specialist fire appliances at the UK’s National Fire Coordination Centre
  • Providing ongoing modelling support to Surrey Fire and Rescue Service during the development of an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) and subsequent consultation process
James BatchelorConsultant

James Batchelor works with ORH’s emergency service clients, including emergency medical services and fire and rescue services, both in the UK and overseas in Australia, Canada and the United States.

James joined ORH in 2012 after graduating from Lancaster University with a distinction in his master’s degree in operational research. Since joining ORH, James has been involved in conducting data analysis, along with optimisation and simulation modelling for a range of projects, and has also assisted with the development of ORH’s Dynamic Cover Tool.

Outside of work, James has travelled to six continents and is determined to make it to the seventh. Closer to home, James enjoys kayaking, climbing and mountain biking and has recently acquired his speedboat license.

Recent projects

Hannah MayesConsultant

Hannah Mayes works with ORH’s emergency service clients, undertaking detailed workload and resource analysis, together with simulation modelling and client liaison.

Hannah joined ORH in 2013 after graduating from Cardiff University with a first-class honours degree in mathematics, operational research and statistics. During her time at ORH, she has been involved in a number of studies for emergency services in the UK, Canada and Australia, carrying out a range of data analysis and modelling tasks.

Outside of work, Hannah enjoys reading crime thrillers and attending gigs and festivals. She also enjoys classical music and played the cello for over ten years.

Recent Projects

  • Aeromedical modelling for the Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • 10-year resources and facilities master plan for Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services
  • Ambulance service review for Wellington Free Ambulance
  • Applying a rurality indicator to explain cost and performance variation for South Western Ambulance Service
ORH is the trading name of Operational Research in Health Limited, a company registered in England with company number 2676859.

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