Valerie Belton gained degrees in mathematics and operational research (OR) from Durham and Lancaster Universities respectively. She then took up a post with the Civil Aviation Authority, before completing a Doctorate at Cambridge. Prior to joining Strathclyde in 1988 she held a lectureship in the OR Department at the University of Kent.
Val's principal focus of research interest is Multicriteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). This research, which has focused on the theoretically and practically well founded use of MCDA methodologies, has been primarily practice-led. Integration, across MCDA methods and of MCDA with other management science methods and methodologies, is an important theme and underpins her book Multicriteria Decision Analysis: an Integrated Approach (2002), co-authored with Theo Stewart.
Val has been very active in the national and international OR communities throughout her career. In 1980 she was the first woman to be elected to the Council of the UK OR Society and since then has served in many roles, including President of EURO (The European Federation of OR Societies) from 2009-10, President of the UK OR Society (2004-2006) and President of the International Society for MCDM from 2000- 2004.