Professor Edmund Burke joined the University of Leicester as Deputy Vice-Chancellor in July 2018. Before that, he had been the Vice-Principal for Science and Engineering at Queen Mary University of London since 2015. He joined Queen Mary from the University of Stirling where he held the posts of 'Senior Deputy Principal & Deputy Vice-Chancellor' and 'Deputy Principal for Research'. Before joining Stirling in 2011, he was Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Nottingham. He had been a member of staff at Nottingham for 21 years. 

Prof Burke is Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Scheduling, Area Editor of the Journal of Heuristics and Associate Editor of the INFORMS Journal on Computing. Since 1995, he has led the organisation of the international series of conferences on the Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling (PATAT). He has edited/authored 14 books and has published over 250 refereed papers. His Google Scholar publication profile can be seen at

Prof Burke has been awarded 57 externally funded grants worth over £17M from a variety of sources including EPSRC, ESRC, BBSRC, EU, Research Council of Norway and industrial organisations. This funding portfolio includes a leading managerial role on several significant multi-site and multi-institutional EPSRC projects and initiatives. It also includes EPSRC Platform and Programme Grant awards.

Research interests

Professor Burke carries out leading edge multi-disciplinary research into the investigation of computational search methodologies to underpin the engineering of powerful adaptive decision support systems.  His research lies at the interface of Operational Research and Artificial Intelligence and it cuts across a broad range of interdisciplinary application areas including Bioinformatics, Computational Chemistry and Management.  Moreover, it engages closely with industry and service sector organisations across a diverse range of businesses and activities.

Professor Burke’s strategic research vision aims to flexibly respond to emerging research opportunities in order to build upon his transformative research agenda and to extend his activity into a wide range of inter-disciplinary and industrially relevant application areas. Professor Burke’s long-term research mission is to address three key scientific challenges in Data Science and Operational Research. This will underpin the exploration and development of computational search methodologies and models that emerge from studying the complexity and uncertainty of real world scheduling, optimisation and decision support problems.  Key strategic goals include:

Automating the heuristic design process to build adaptive search engines: Over the last few years, Professor Burke’s research team has set the international agenda in the development of hyper-heuristics.  This work is motivated by the goal of underpinning the development of computational methodologies that can automatically build decision support systems

Closing the gap between industrial/real world practice and academic decision support research in complex and uncertain environments:  Professor Burke aims to establish new computational modelling approaches and automated search methodologies that push the boundaries of the capability of decision support systems and the levels of complexity that they are able to handle.


Achievements and awards

2012: FIMA: Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

2008: FORS: Fellow of the Operational Research Society

2005: FBCS: Fellow of the British Computer Society

2005: CITP: Chartered IT Professional (British Computer Society)

2017: Companion of Operational Research, awarded by the Operational Research Society. This is one of the Society’s premier awards and is given “for sustained support and encouragement for the development of Operational Research or for those in influential positions who are in broad sympathy with the subject area”.

Honorary Appointments

2018 – present Queen Mary University of London, Honorary Professor

2015 – present University of Stirling Honorary Professor

2013 – present: Lancaster University, Honorary Professor