IISE Operational Excellence (Opex) Division Teaching Award

Annual award for excellence in the teaching of operational excellence concepts

IISE's Operational Excellence Division offers a number of awards to recognize the contribution of individuals to advancing the knowledge and practice of operational excellence (process improvement) concepts. The division's teaching award is given out annually to honor the services of a person/group of people who have developed curriculum and disseminated courses in the subject area. The division now invites nominations for the Operational Excellence Teaching Award. The award will be presented at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo, May 18-21, 2024 in Montreal, Canada.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The candidate must be a member of IISE.
  • The course for which they are being recognized must be an operational excellence (process improvement) course within an industrial engineering department or a closely related program (examples of closely related programs include systems engineering and engineering management, examples of course titles might be lean manufacturing systems, lean system modeling and simulation, lean logistics, lean supply networks, lean practice and management, just-in-time production system, lean Six Sigma, total quality management, process improvement, etc.).
  • Course materials for which they are being recognized must have been developed and taught by the candidate for at least two times or more.
  • The awardees for the past five years are not eligible to apply for this award.

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria will be used by the judges in evaluating the applications submitted. Applicants are encouraged to provide supporting documentation to demonstrate their contributions in these areas.

  • Leadership: demonstration of creating or fostering leadership and excellence in the teaching of operational excellence (process improvement) techniques and tools
  • Design and Content Quality: the appropriateness/relevance of the course content to educating the target audience
  • Applied Learning: the development and use of materials to empower students to apply and implement operational excellence (process improvement) techniques through the use of games, hands-on simulations and assignments/projects, etc.
  • Innovation: use of innovative approaches to teach the principles and practices of operational excellence (process improvement) systems
  • Student Satisfaction: evidence that teaching of operational excellence (process improvement) concepts are of value to department, student and community as shown in the course evaluations and statements from students

Nominations may be made by a faculty colleague or a student who has taken the course from the candidate. The nomination package must consist of the following:

  • Letters of support from the nominator and two other individuals; at least one of the three letters must be from a faculty member in the same department and one from a student who enrolled and completed the course
  • Course syllabus and supporting items such as samples of different instructional materials used
  • Summary copies of teaching evaluations
  • Curriculum vitae of the candidate
  • A one-page reflective statement by the individual being nominated

All supporting documents in the nomination package should be submitted in one PDF file via email.

Deadline for nominations is Feb. 9, 2024. Please email the entire package to Farnaz Ghazi Nezami Associate Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Kettering University. The winner will be notified Mar. 24, 2024.

Conflict of Interest Policy

Societies and divisions must follow standard conflict of interest guidelines. Those guidelines include, but are not limited to:

  • Officers and Board members of the Division should be ineligible for awards during the period of their service, without approval by the Senior VP for Technical Operations (SVP). Exceptions may only be made by the SVP when awards are time sensitive, and the impacted board member(s) or officer(s) must recuse themselves from the award process. For awards that are not time-sensitive, the nominee should wait until their Officer or Board service is complete to be nominated.
  • The awards committee (or judging committee) should not include members who have either a personal or professional relationship with the nominees. For example, a faculty member should not be judging a paper competition where a participant from the same university is a nominee for best paper award.
  • The awards committee (or judging committee) should actively change its membership on a rotating basis from year to year to ensure fairness, equity, and diversity. That is, some members of the judging committee should roll off the committee and new members should roll on.


  • First prize winner(s) will receive a certificate with a hardback cover at the OpEx townhall meeting at the 2024 Annual Conference.
  • Second and Third prize winners will receive a digital certificate and be recognized at the OpEx townhall meeting at the 2024 Annual Conference
  • First, second, and third prize winners will be recognized on the OpEx webpage and in the OpEx newsletter
  • First, second, and third prize winners will be recognized in ISE magazine.


  • Full Paper Submissions due by Feb. 9, 2024
  • Winner(s) Notification due by Mar. 24, 2024

2023 Winner

Nicholas Loyd
University of Alabama, Huntsville

Past Winners

Operational Excellence Division page