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Awards - K. D Tocher Medal

This award is named in memory of K.D. Tocher, who made a significant contribution to the field of discrete-event simulation by developing the basis on which much modern software is built via his General Simulation Program. He is the author of “The Art of Simulation” (1963), a formative book in the field.

The K.D. Tocher Medal is awarded in recognition of the most outstanding contribution to the philosophy, theory or practice of simulation published in the Journal of Simulation within the relevant two year period.

Previous Winners

Citation for Tocher Medal 2013-2014

K-H Chang, A-L Chang and C-Y Kuo

A Simulation-Based Framework for Multi-Objective Vehicle Fleet Sizing of Automated Material Handling Systems: an Empirical Study
Journal of Simulation 8, 271-280

We congratulate Professor Kuo-Hao Chang of the National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan and his co-authors whose paper  "A simulation-based framework for multi-objective vehicle fleet sizing of automated material handling systems: an empirical study" has been selected for the KD Tocher award for the best paper in the Journal of Simulation 2013-14.

 Vehicle fleet sizing in automated material handling systems is a long-standing area of application for simulation. This paper outlines an interesting systematic framework pursuing fleet size decisions in the midst of the combinatorial complexity of design options and the varied stakeholder interests. Beyond basic first steps in model creation, the approach adopts a purposeful combination of an optimisation algorithm and data envelopment analysis. This approach is designed to address the drawback that can come with the adoption of a simulation based optimisation approach, which is the thorough evaluation of a huge number of potential solutions.  The paper includes the successful demonstration of the methodology in a semi-conductor plant presented as a case study to prove the value in the real world.

Citation for Tocher Medal 2011-2012

Dr Csaba Boer and Dr Yvo Saanen

Improving container terminal efficiency through emulation
Journal of Simulation, 6: 267-278

We are delighted to award the Tocher medal to Dr Boer and Dr Saanan of TBA BV Netherlands for the best paper in the Journal of Simulation 2011-12. Their paper “Improving container terminal efficiency through emulation” describes the very effective combination of simulation with the actual container terminal control system to improve terminal efficiency. The Tocher Medal is awarded in recognition of the most outstanding contribution to the philosophy, theory or practice of simulation published in Journal of Simulation. Their approach is well proven in practice and avoids the difficulties of having to replicate the essentials of the control system within the actual simulation software and all the difficulties that brings in terms of knowledge transfer and validation. The paper is clearly presented and engages the reader at many levels.

Citation for Tocher Medal 2009-2010

Dr Trika Pitana and Professor Eiichi Kobayashi

Optimization of ship evacuation procedures as part of tsunami preparation
Journal of Simulation (2009) 3, 235-247

We congratulate Dr Trika Pitana and Professor Eiichi Kobayashi of Kobe University, Japan whose paper “Optimization of ship evacuation procedures as part of tsunami preparation” is awarded the Tocher prize for the best paper in the Journal of Simulation 2009-10. Discrete event simulation has been used numerous times in the past in planning and managing port activity, going back to studies in the 1960s or earlier. Such studies focused on normal port operations.  This work is distinctive in addressing exceptional, indeed disastrous, circumstances where the value of simulation’s application is potentially not only financial but also in saving lives. The study uses Osaka Bay and Port as a Case and, after considering the particular value of simulation in this context, goes on to use it to systematically assess alternative ship evaluation procedures against a range of scenarios. The paper is clearly presented and well organised, discussing data collection, model parameters and structure, and results.

Citation for Tocher Medal 2007-2008

K Kotiadis

Using Soft Systems Methodology to determine the simulation study objectives
Journal of Simulation, 1 (3), 215-222.

Kathy Kotiadis accepting the award from The OR Society President, Sue Merchant (right)

This paper has been chosen as the first winner of the Tocher prize for the best paper in the Journal of Simulation 2007-2008. The paper tackles a very important aspect of simulation project work, namely how to get the objectives correctly set and clearly elicited. This stage is fundamental in virtually all projects and contributes in a major way to the overall impact and value of a project. The paper looks towards Soft Systems Methodology for help in this area, and progresses earlier ideas using a real life situation as a test case. It provides potentially valuable creative thinking in this area which could be exploited in the future. It was a feature of Tocher’s own work that he sought not only competence and integrity but also applicability. The work is systematic and the paper is well organised and clearly communicates the research and the conclusions of the author. We are pleased to award this prize to Kathy and congratulate her as the first winner of the Tocher prize.