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Nominations invited for the 2018 ORSSA Student Competition

Written by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 4 May 2018 14:41

As you may know, the Operations Research Society of South Africa each year awards two prestige medals to the winners of its national student competition.  These medals are

  • The Gerhard Geldenhuys Medal for the Best Fourth Year Project, and
  • The Theodor Stewart Medal for the Best Master’s Thesis.

Halls of Fame, featuring past winners of these medals, may be found at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Awards.StudentCompetition.

The medals are awarded at the annual conference which this year takes place from 16 to 19 September at the CSIR International Convention Centre, in Pretoria  (see the conference website at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Conf.ORSSA). Entries to the competition will be ranked by an independent Selection Committee of expert judges not affiliated with the tertiary institutions of nominees, based solely on the written project or thesis submissions, after which the top two entries in each of the underlined categories above will be designated as finalists.  There will be a special finalists' competition session at the conference during which these finalists (or representatives appointed by them) will be required to present their work in order to showcase the quality of the best operational research work by students in South Africa.  Should a finalist neither be able to present their work at the conference nor be able to send a representative to present their work on their behalf, such an entry will be disqualified, in which case the third ranked entry, then the fourth ranked entry and so forth will be designated as finalist, until two finalists in each category have been identified whose work can indeed be presented at the conference.

Nominations for written projects/theses in the above underlined categories are gathered by a Nomination Committee, which acts independently from the eventual Selection Committee. I have been tasked by the ORSSA President to convene the Nomination Committee for the 2018 ORSSA Annual Student Competition.  Supervising Lecturers are hereby invited to submit entries for the above competition categories to Jan van Vuuren, the convenor of the Nomination Committee, at vuuren@sun.ac.za by no later than Friday May 11th 2018.  Students are not allowed to nominate their own work. Each nomination should be accompanied by a completed nomination form (see attached), and include a short statement by the supervisor in question on the degree of independence with which the student conducted the research, as well as an electronic copy of the relevant project/thesis in pdf format on which the following information should appear clearly:

  • The name of the student,
  • The name of the supervisor,
  • The date of submission of the project/thesis, and
  • The name of the University at which the project/thesis was submitted.

It is a requirement that students whose projects or theses are submitted should have qualified for graduation at their respective universities late in 2016 or early in 2017 (i.e. no earlier than May 1st 2017 and no later than April 30th 2018). The finalists will be announced on Friday June 29th 2018 and will be required to register and submit an abstract on their submitted work online (at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Conf.SubmitAbstract) for presentation at the annual conference by July 22nd 2018.  A new set of competition rules, recently approved by the Executive Committee of the Operations Research Society of South Africa, is attached for your information.


Yours truly,


Prof Jan H van Vuuren  |  BSc(Hons) MSc (Stell); DPhil (Oxon)  |  PrSciNat FORSSA
Professor (Operasionele Navorsing)  |  Professor (Operations Research) 

Departement Bedryfsingenieurswese  |  Department of Industrial Engineering  

Last updated Wednesday, 29 May 2019 09:36