IISE Lean Systems Track Best Student Paper Competition presented by the Operational Excellence (OpEx) Division

This competition is held to honor outstanding papers in the field of lean research and practices. The papers should demonstrate or describe the use of techniques such as simulation, lean principle implementation, alternative designs, kaizen implementation, etc. Both undergraduate and graduate students and design teams are invited to submit papers. The award will be given each year at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo, if there is a suitable recipient.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The applicant (first author) MUST be a full time undergraduate or graduate level student at the time of submission
  • Research must have been conducted while the applicant was a student and the paper must present original results.
  • The paper must not have won or been considered for an award in another competition.

Application/Submission Guidelines

  • All student papers submitted to the Lean Systems track will automatically be considered for this award.
  • To be considered for the award review process, the paper MUST be accepted for publication in the annual conference proceedings, and publication requirements MUST be met.
  • Authors will be asked to sign an ethics statement stating they are full time students and the research and writing are their own work.
  • The paper may have co-authors that are not students. But the first author and the presenter MUST be the student. Although the paper may have faculty authors, it must be predominantly the work of a student or student team. A FORMAL STATEMENT by the student's advisor must be submitted to the committee via email affirming that the majority of the original results presented in the paper are due to the student's efforts.


  • Recognition at the OpEx Town Hall Meeting at Annual Conference
  • Certificate provided by IISE (either mailed or given at the town hall meeting) for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners.
  • Recognition in ISE magazine
  • Recognition on OpEx webpage and in the newsletter

Important Dates

  • Call for abstracts open October 6, 2023
  • Abtract Submission Dealine is Dec. 1, 2023
  • Abstract Decisions made by Dec. 22, 2023.
  • Full paper submissions due by:  Feb. 18, 2024.
  • Competition Winners notified by Mar. 24, 2024.

Committee Chairs

Please contact Bill Edwards with any questions or concerns you may have.

2023 Winners

1st Place
Mariam Ali Ramadan, Maha Khalifa Al Dhaheri, Mecit Can Emre Simsekler, Andrei Sleptchenko, Jiju Antony, and Saed Talib Amer
Abu Dhabi, UAE
"Utilizing Agent-based Simulation in a Lean Six Sigma Application to Reduce Patient Discharge Cycle Time: A Case Study in the UAE"

2nd Place
Hecyaliz Rubero, Leslie Ann Feliciano, Abneris Ayala, Jonathan Cabrera, Yesenia Cruz Cantillo
Universidad Ana G. Méndez
"Cost Reduction Analysis for PR-803 Reconstruction from Corozal to Naranjito"

3rd Place
Yarieli Dávila Flores, Héctor A. García Santos, Abel O. De Jesús Rodriguez, Juan E. Rosa Serrano, Yesenia Y. Cruz Cantillo
Universidad Ana G. Méndez
"Customer Service Improvements in Call Center Fraud Division at a Financial Institution"

Past Winners

Operational Excellence Division page