Dr. Barry McCollum Profile Photo

About Me

My main professional academic interest is in the area of Scheduling and Optimization using Artificial Intelligence and Hyper-Heuristic Search Techniques.

Research Interests
As a Lecturer at Queen's University Belfast, I am particularly interested in the complex fields of optimization, scheduling and timetabling. Related real world environments encompass many characteristics which continue to challenge researchers, users and software providers alike. The areas to which this work is applied include Course and Examination Scheduling, Production and Manufacturing, Commercial Advertisement Programming, Vehicle Routing and Logistics, Space Planning and Allocation.

Industry/Knowledge Transfer
I am CTO and a co-founder of QUB spinout company EventMAP Solutions. EventMAP’s core business is in providing tools and expertise to our clients worldwide to solve even their most complex planning, scheduling and resource management problems.

I lead the Software Architecture and development of the company's OPTIME product suite of tools. EventMAP's research-informed range of services and product suite are making huge impact within several key areas e.g. Education, Defence, Policing, Health and Aerospace.

Please contact me to learn more on how our research can help deliver efficiency within your organisation


Research Overview

My main research interest is in investigating why practical implementations of leading edge research techniques are often fraught with difficulty. Within the area of optimisation, the reasons for this are numerous. Understanding the nature of this 'gap' requires application of techniques proven within the research arena to real practical problems drawn from real world and/or industrial settings. In these settings, although implementing optimisation techniques offer much potential, the products currently offered by research often appear to be inadequate. Placing the related issues within a business context provides a driving force which acts as a backdrop to the research.

I believe that technology transfer between Universities and industry is best served by the delivery of leading edge research methods within a dynamic and effective business model. Although this section is devoted to academic publications, please refer to the knowledge transfer section for details of the 'product' of this research.


Research Profiles

Details of my publications, projects, grants are available on my QUB Research Profile.

  • QUB Research profile


Teaching Overview

IT Enterprise Project (CSC3047)
This group based project involves the development of a web-based IT Solution to a user focussed IT problem.

Please follow This Link for the more information and resources for this module.

This module is to provide the following:

  1. Select and assess user, task and technical requirements and tests for a given application.
  2. Design and develop appropriate user interfaces tailored to a domain specific application for a specific user population.
  3. Demonstrate elementary IT enterprise, system and data architectural design skills.
  4. Design and develop a web-based front-end and a databases back-end in fulfilment of user requirements.
  5. Design and develop an inter-system exchange including the transfer and acceptance of information.
  6. Demonstrate a range of project management skills including those relating to the management of cost, quality, human-resource, communication and risk through the development of a project plan and the use of strategic planning.


Knowledge Transfer

Dr McMullan is a major contributor in Knowledge Transfer within the University. As director of Queen's University and University of Nottingham spinout company EventMap Limited, he is interested in providing links between research activities and industrial needs. He also has ongoing involvement with companies both North and South of the border through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Fusion Partnerships, Department of Trade and Industry, UK and Intertrade Ireland initiatives. These schemes provide opprtunities for graduates to avail of industrial experience, academic research facilities, and form a vehicle for the transfer of skills and resources between Commercial and Academic Institutions.

EventMAP Solutions
CTO of EventMAP Solutions, a software company whose equity investors include Queen's University of Belfast (QUBIS) and University of Nottingham. EventMAP’s core business is in providing tools and expertise to help our clients solve even their most complex problems. We are planning, resource and management specialists. With 13 years of practical experience and over 20 years at the leading edge of scheduling and optimisation research, we can provide software solutions for scheduling and optimisation that are years ahead of anything else currently available. Our expert consultancy and integration skills provide institutions worldwide with a tailored solution that delivers operational efficiencies.

We've partnered with higher and further education institutions for 20 years to create a suite of products that have the most robust scheduling engine available. The OPTIME product suite delivers dramatic reductions in operation time and enables needs-based timetables, surveys, reports and models – no matter how complex your requirements.

Software Solutions
OPTIME software suite is an automated course timetabling system allowing for modeling, measurement of flexibility and central management of all aspects of the event allocation process. The events can be curriculum based such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories, demonstrations or simply room and conference bookings. Optime provides research-informed automation features to reduce the amount of time involved in the timetabling process, and provide 'what if' scenario planning. It can either be used to manage the entire timetabling process within an institution or form part of a wider solution.

Get In Touch

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