My maths research is having an impact on patient care

Elizabeth Williams_Maths student

Lizzie Williams is a MMaths Mathematics student at USW.


“Mathematics is a subject I’ve always enjoyed with so many different applications of it to the real world. Studying mathematics opens up many opportunities as most employers, regardless of the field of work, are looking for an analytical and curious mind, which are key qualities of a mathematician.

“When I started University, I was unsure about where I wanted to pursue my career, however after studying a wide range of modules, I knew I wanted a career where I could apply what I have studied to a job where I could make a difference.

“During the third year of my MMath Mathematics degree, I completed a summer placement with the University of South Wales and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) analysing critical care beds for the Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran which is due to open in 2021.

“As part of this placement, I had regular meetings and direct access with ABUHB and visited the critical care unit at the Royal Gwent Hospital. The placement allowed me to use the skills and knowledge I have learnt during my university education and apply this to a real-world scenario.

“I developed a mathematical simulation model of the proposed critical care unit which was used to determine the correct number of critical care beds and staffing requirements required for the unit to operate both safely and efficiently.

“My work is now being used within ABUHB and the NHS and I am proud of the positive impact this is having on patient care.

“I also had the opportunity to present my work to a wide range of healthcare and modelling professionals at the National Welsh Modelling Collaborate event.

“I learnt so many new skills during this placement and the experience confirmed my decision to continue my education further and I now plan to go on and study a PhD within operational research and healthcare modelling.”