Outstanding Innovation in Service Systems Engineering Award*

* Deadline for nominations for this award only has been extended to Jan. 31, 2020.

IISE in partnership with the Service Enterprise Engineering Advisory Board in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Pennsylvania State University is launching its Outstanding Innovation in Service Systems Engineering Award and welcomes applications from individuals, teams and organizations in the service sector from industry and academia.

The Outstanding Innovation in Service Systems Engineering Award recognizes organizations for the development of innovative techniques to improve the performance of service industries. A recipient of this award must show the innovative and effective implementation of industrial and systems engineering principles and practices on real applications in service institutions.

There are two different award categories: academia and industry. The award will be bestowed to the top three teams in each category and be presented at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana, Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2020. Each of the six (6) finalists will receive a complimentary Honors & Awards Banquet ticket (worth $99), complimentary conference registration (worth $859) and up to a $500 travel stipend.

Finalists are required to provide follow-on webinars, Council on Industrial and Systems Engineering (CISE) sponsored, for members and customers of IISE.


For both awards types, the individual/team must demonstrate innovative uses of ISE principles, tools and techniques that link to measurable positive and sustainable outcomes for industries within the service sector.

Outstanding Service Systems Innovation – Non-Academic (e.g. industry, non-profit, research lab, etc.)

  • Any individual (deployment leader, ISE/Process Improvement Leader, etc.) or team/organizational unit or organization is encouraged to apply;
  • Industry submissions should show the measurable improvements of the proposed innovation within a real-world application.

Outstanding Service Systems Innovation – Academia

  • Any individual or team that works for an academic institution is encouraged to apply;
  • An academic submission should show not only the practical applications of their approach, but also the theoretical/methodological advances of the innovation.

* For both categories there is no limit on the number of entries from an organization.


Nominees will be judged by their accomplishments in the following areas:

  • The Service Systems Engineering (SSE) implementation initiative is innovative
  • The SSE implementation initiative has met clear, measurable performance objectives
  • The SSE initiative has clear, significant impact on the growth and evolution of the application of ISE Principles and Methods to Service Providing Enterprises
  • The SSE implementation approach is logical, clear, and well communicated
  • The SSE implementation initiative used ISE (e.g. ISE BoK) tools and techniques
  • The SSE implementation initiative derived or has the potential for significant and measurable outcomes such as improved customer satisfaction, improved effectiveness, improved efficiency, improved productivity, improved quality of work life, improved profitability or budget optimization
  • (For academic submissions only) The SSE implementation initiative demonstrates theoretical and methodological advances to the field of service systems engineering. Innovative approaches to SSE curricula are also eligible for the academic award

Submission process

Applicants must submit a power point presentation that explains your intent, approach, reasoning and your successes and trials in achieving your goal. Requirements for this presentation are detailed in the submission form. Applicants may also include support letters from the top management or relevant stakeholders that highlight the scope and impact of the innovation.

Note: Members of the IISE Board of Trustees, the Honors Steering Committee, those involved in processing, such as the Director of Honors, or any headquarters staff member may not be used as a nominator or reference.

A complete submission includes:

  • A completed submission form (download form)
  • All relevant supporting materials
  • Credentials of team members
  • Support letters


An IISE Honors and Awards Committee will review the applications and make the finalists determination. This subcommittee is comprised of:

  • A member of the Society for Health Systems Board
  • A member of the Society for Engineering and Management Systems Board
  • A member of the Council on Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • A member of the Industry Advisory Board

2019 Winners

1st place:
Optamo LLC
Mohammad Shahabsafa, Anshul Sharma and Tamas Terlaky
"Optimized Population Management in Correctional Systems: Inmate Assignment, Program Scheduling and Transportation"

2nd place:
Penn State Health
Charles Davis and Eric Swenson
"Value Improvement in Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty - Improving Outcomes and Decreasing Costs"

3rd place:
Penn State's SEE 360 Initiative
Barbara Venegas Quintrileo
"ROARS - Real Time Optimization for Adaptive Removal of Snow"