IISE Operational Excellence (OpEx) Division Best Student Paper Competition

The 13th annual IISE Operational Excellence Division Best Student Paper Competition will be 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.

Three awards may be given upon recommendation of the selection committee. All authors will receive a certificate stating place awarded. There will be reserved seating at the Honors & Awards Banquet for the lead author first place winner. The names will be announced before the Tuesday morning keynote address. Their names will be on the scrolling PowerPoint Monday and Tuesday mornings as people enter the ballroom for the keynote speakers. The first place winner paper will be included in the Honors & Awards Banquet Program.

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.
  • The paper must present original research results.
  • The paper must not have won or been considered for an award in another competition.
  • At least one author must be an IISE member and present the paper at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo.
  • 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, SIGNED STATEMENT by the student's advisor must be submitted to the committee affirming that the majority of the original results presented in the paper are due to the student's efforts.
  • 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.

Papers that will be considered for the Best Student Paper Competition should be submitted through the regular abstract and full paper submission site. Submit your abstract now and join us in Orlando! The abstract submission deadline is Nov. 9.

Winning papers will appear on the IISE lean division website.

Important Dates

The application process follows the timeline of the proceedings paper submissions:

Abstract submission deadline: Nov. 9

Full paper submission deadline: Jan. 20

Three finalists will be notified: March 16


Once applicants receive the initial acceptance notes of their full papers, they must also email a pdf copy of their paper to the Operational Excellence Division Best Paper Award Committee Co-chairs: Farnaz Ghazi-Nezami, Sushil Shetty and Jennifer Cross, requesting their paper be considered for the award.

The Best Student Paper Award Committee will review the nominations, and the winner(s) WILL BE NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL to ensure their attendance and presentation at the conference.

Submission Form/Ethical Statement

2019 Winners

1st Place:
Rafid Janahi
University of Texas at San Antonio
"Implementing Kaizen through a Lean RACE Model: A Case Study"

2nd Place:
Jeremy Heyward
North Carolina A&T State University
"Analysis of Lean Scheduling Practices in a Re-manufacturing Environment"

3rd Place:
Maziar Lotfizadeh
The University of Akron
"Improving Revenue Cycle at Cardiovascular Units using Lean Six Sigma"

Past Winners

Operational Excellence Division page