Since 1984 the annual MISG workshop has brought together leading applied mathematicians, statisticians, physical scientists and engineers from universities, the public and the private sector from across Australia, New Zealand and around the world to tackle complex technical problems facing Australian and New Zealand businesses and industry.
The MISG workshop aims to provide practical, working solutions to real-life problems using methods from the mathematical sciences. Since its inception the MISG has worked with a diverse range of more than 90 Australian and New Zealand business and industry partners, ranging from large multinational conglomerates to small-to-medium enterprises, on more than 160 different projects spanning a broad spectrum of industry sectors – including mining, car manufacturing, railways and freight, manufacturing, metal processing, food and beverages, oil and gas, utilities, biomedical science, and technology.
The diversity of problems considered at the MISG is evident by considering even a small sample of past projects, namely:
- Strategic planning and optimisation in an open cut coal mine
- Pinpointing principal moments of inertia in a automotive engine assembly
- Modelling of open vat red wine fermenters
- Modelling the cooking process of a single grain of cereal
- Blending of lubricants in petroleum production
- Modelling the flow of pesticides through bunches of grapes
- Analysing the impact of weather on power supply disruptions in an electricity network
The MISG is a special interest group of the Australian New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM) a division of the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS). The MISG is also an activity of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI). ANZIAM houses information about past MISG Workshops.
How does it work?
The MISG follows the Oxford model of such workshops, whereby companies are invited to submit practical projects of a technical nature that they wish investigated. Normally, 4 to 6 projects are chosen for inclusion in the MISG (these companies are required to pay a fee for the opportunity to have their project discussed as part of the MISG). In addition to this, companies are required to send representatives to present their problems to the workshop on the first day and to remain on-hand throughout the week long workshop.
During the workshop, mathematicians, statisticians, physical scientists and engineers from Australian and international tertiary institutions, the CSIRO and other government organisations, as well as the private sector gather together to work on these problems. The workshop delegates volunteer their expertise and time, in return for the opportunity to work on industrially relevant and exciting problems and to develop industry contacts in their area of expertise, and as such no registration fee is levied for delegates.
In addition to the ordinary delegates, (at least ) 2 suitably qualified (academic) moderators are assigned to each problem in order to coordinate and facilitate the activities associated with each problem during the workshop and assist with the reporting requirements following the workshop.
The solutions (full or partial) to the problems are presented in a series of seminars on the last day and a full technical report (and an associated non-technical summary) is also produced for each problem. A version of the technical report is also published as a journal article, in ANZIAM J. (E), following the conclusion of the workshop. The work done during MISG often leads to further collaboration between academics, researchers and the industry partners in the form of ongoing publications in peer reviewed journals, grant applications and/or collaborative research projects.
MISG is hosted by various institutions around Australia and New Zealand, typically for three years at at time. From 2016 – 2019, MISG was hosted by the University of South Australia, and from 2020 moves to CARMA at the University of Newcastle.
Apart from the host institution, MISG is sponsored by Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM) and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. In 2020, MISG is also sponsored by the NSW Government.