Outstanding Innovation in Service Systems Engineering Award

The Outstanding Innovation in Service Systems Engineering Award is sponsored by IISE in partnership with the Service Enterprise Engineering program in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Pennsylvania State University.

We welcome submissions from individuals, teams and organizations in the service sector from industry, non-profit organization, government agencies and academia from across the world.

The 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 (ISE) principles and practices in real service systems.

The award will be bestowed to the top three teams and be presented at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo May 20-23, 2023 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Each of the selected finalists will receive two complimentary conference registrations.

Finalists are required to provide follow-up webinars sponsored by the Council on Industrial and Systems Engineering (CISE) for members and customers of IISE for supporting world-wide dissemination of such innovations across the ISE profession.


The individual/team must demonstrate innovative use of ISE principles, tools and techniques that link to measurable positive and sustainable outcomes for industries within the service sector.

  • Any individual or team is encouraged to apply
  • There is no limit on the number of submissions from an organization
  • Submissions emphasizing an application should show the measurable improvements of the proposed innovation in real-world service systems
  • Submissions emphasizing ISE applications to a new class of under-engineered service industries should quantify the impact of their innovation
  • Submissions emphasizing a research contribution should show methodological innovation along with potential applications to real-world service systems 


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

  • Innovative application of ISE to engineer a new or existing service system
  • Measurable benefits of the innovation in terms of process improvements that are relevant to the specific service system
  • Business impact as substantiated by organizational leadership and other stakeholders.
  • Advancing the application of ISE in a service system that represents a new best-in-class
  • Clarity in communicating the innovation and results.

Submission process

Applicants must submit a power point presentation that clearly communicates their motivation, approach, reasoning, trials and successes that resulted in the innovation. Requirements for this presentation are detailed in the submission form. Applicants may also include support letters from 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

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2023


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

2022 Winners

1st Place:
Jakob Heins, Steffen Heider, Jan Schoenfelder, Axel Heller and Jens Brunner
University of Augsburg/Bavarian State Ministry
"A Scalable Forecasting Framework to Predict COVID-19 Hospital Bed Occupancy"

2nd Place:
Turgay Ayer, Can Zhang, Chelsea (Chip) White, Zeynep Ozkaynak, Kevin Lee and Mary Deck
Georgia Institute of Technology/American Red Cross
"American Red Cross Uses Analytics-based Methods to Improve Blood - Collection Operations"

3rd Place:
Robert Inman, Michael Harbaugh and Jonathan Owen
General Motors
"Increasing Automotive Dealership Service Retention"

2021 Winners

1st Place:
Saravanan Venkatachalam, Wayne State University
Suresh Acharya, University of Maryland
Kenji Oba, ANA Airways
"Prescriptive Analytics for Swapping Aircraft Assignments at All Nippon Airways"

2nd Place:
Caroline Kent, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto
Josh Smertz, The Poirier Group
"Innovative Value Stream Improvement to close BIG Performance Gaps with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto"

3rd Place:
Amit Upadhyay, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
"Improving Operations and Pricing of Container Trains in Indian Railways"

2020 Winners

David Reid
"From Lean Modules to Lean Mindset"

Aly Megahed and Mark Smith
IBM Corporation
"Analytics for IBM’s IT Services Tendering Processes"

Kathryn Zavaleta
Mayo Clinic
"Service Innovation, Opioid Stewardship & the Value of Systems Engineering"

Xiaolei Xie
Tsinghua University
"Continuous Improvement on Ophthalmology Outpatient Department Service"

2019 Winners

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

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

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