Dave has been using AnyLogic simulation software for almost as long as it’s been in existence. Technology has advanced exponentially since he was building simulation models in Pascal as a student at the University of Sheffield.
After completing an MSc in Operations Management and working as an Operations and Supply Chain Analyst, Dave became a Research Fellow at Nottingham University Business School. There, his research role was focussed on investigating how simulation can be used for strategic decision making. He quickly learnt the importance of making sure that it’s clear how, where, and when modelling and simulation will deliver business value.
Four years later, David went on to pursue what he most enjoyed in his academic role: working on real-world business problems to find practical solutions. He left the university and started a micro-SME working as a freelance simulation consultant using AnyLogic.
Dave built simulation models for clients like Rolls Royce, Volvo, and Tesco, whilst also reselling the AnyLogic product and training others on how to use it. The fact that Dave had to re-sit the exam on simulation for his Master’s course didn’t stop him from becoming an expert in it and setting up two successful businesses: DSE Consulting in 2004 to provide software and support services, and decisionLab which he co-founded in 2011, to specialise in the development of decision-making support tools using artificial intelligence, mathematical modelling and optimisation, and simulation.
Ask Dave what he enjoys most about his Founder role and it’s not only the challenge of owning and growing micro SMEs, but the interaction with so many different people working in diverse disciplines, and with a range of backgrounds and nationalities.
Here he demonstrates how deep reinforcement learning works by trying (and failing) to balance a pencil on his hand.
With the emergence of the ‘digital twin’ and increased interest in AI, now is a great time to be working with new technology, although Dave is keen to dispel the hype and to prove the practical application of things like deep reinforcement learning. “There are a number of people and companies saying they do AI when they actually don’t,” he says.
A keen runner, Dave volunteers as a cross country coach for a nearby school and a local football team. He also loves to tour the countryside in his beloved T5 campervan, especially with his three children. Dave runs DSE as a virtual company which gives him the freedom to source an agile team with unrivalled simulation expertise. Not only this, but the commercial acumen to show when emerging technologies can be used to help grow your business.