May Hicks Award

The OR Society funds its annual awards for student projects from a generous bequest from the estate of Mrs May Hicks, wife of Donald Hicks OBE, a major contributor to operational research and the first treasurer of The OR Society. Projects entered are OR projects carried out for a client organisation rather than within the university.

Citation for the May Hicks Awards 2020

The OR Society is delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 May Hicks prize for Best Post-graduate Project. The winner, Joseph Bampton from University of Southampton, received £1000. The runners up were Dickie Scott (University of Strathclyde), and Jan Kreuter (University of Warwick), each of whom received £250 each.

Thanks go to the Universities who submitted their student projects. It was pleasing to read about such a range of practical problems and how well they are being addressed by OR techniques.


Joseph Bampton (University of Southampton) 

Training Optimisation and Learner Assessment through Data Exploitation at Babcocks Ltd

The OR Society is delighted to award the May Hicks Prize to Joseph Bampton. This is given, in the view of the Awards Panel, for the best university nominated UK MSc project in OR. Joseph’s solution used a wide variety of Machine Learning methods to analyse the training programme being provided by Babcock for the British Army.  The project enabled the company to identify students who were performing above or below expectations and thus provide targeted support which will reduce dropouts.


Joseph Bampton May Hicks Project Award WINNER 2019.jpg


Scott Dickie.JPG

Scott Dickie (University of Strathclyde)
Enhancing the STV Player User Experience using Machine Learning

Scott’s project who used machine learning techniques to inform the decision making process with respect to advertisements on a major media company.

Jan Kreuter May Hicks 2019 Project Award Runner UP (002).jpg

Jan Kreuter (University of Warwick)
Customer Clustering Analysis and Recommendation System to Improve Marketing Strategy of an E-Commerce Company.

Jan’s  project helped improve the marketing strategy  for an electronics e-commerce company in both their B2B and B2C customers.

Previous Awards

Read More


Read More