President's Medal

The President’s Medal is one of The OR Society’s most prestigious awards, and we’re inviting entries for the competition.

The President’s Medal is awarded for the best practical application of OR submitted to the competition (a wide definition of OR is used). Entries are welcomed from both industry based OR workers and consultants as well as from academics. One of the main qualifications for entry is that the work has been implemented before submission. If you’re thinking of giving a case study based paper at our annual conference, why not consider aiming a bit higher and going for the President’s Medal?

Criteria for judging include:

  • The level of demonstrable benefit
  • The intellectual and novel content of the solution
  • The likely longevity of the solution
  • The excellence of the OR process
President's Medal of The OR Society

Citation for President's Medal 2019

Martine Wauben, Ministry of Justice, Phil Macdent, Ministry of Justice and Adam Booker, Ministry of Justice

A Safety Diagnostic Tool for Harnessing Operational Data to Make Prisons Safer

The President’s Medal has been awarded for a project to develop and implement a safety diagnostic tool to support front-line prison staff in managing violence and self-harm in their institutions.

In a highly competitive field, this project impressed the judges in several ways.

Technically the project combined problem structuring, statistical methods, open-source coding, data wrangling, app design and data visualisation.  This included an innovative statistical approach to predicting prisoners’ likelihood of committing further violence.  The solution was then delivered via an app utilising R shiny alongside bespoke html, javascript and d3.js charts.

The tool has been rolled out across the prison estate and there are now about 45,000 users across 120 prisons with 250 daily unique users.  User feedback has included: ‘it is the go-to tool for incident management’, ‘I wouldn’t let it go’ and ‘it allows us to be proactive instead of reactive’.

Benefits have included more bespoke interventions, a big saving in staff time and far better data quality.

It is for the combination of technical challenge, innovation, effective embedding in prison operations and impact delivered that the judges (and the OR61 audience) agreed that the safety diagnostic tool was a worthy winner.


Martine Wauben, Phil Macdent, Ben Marshall and Adam Booker with The OR Society President, John Hopes

The President’s Medal 2019

Runner-up (1): Richard Wood, NHS, Ben Murch, Phil Clatworthy and Justin Pearson

Project Title: Centralisation of Stroke Services (concerning work done with NHS Bristol, North, Somerset and Gloucestershire CCG)

The President’s Medal 2019

Runner-up (2): Andreas Schaefer, Royal Bank of Scotland, Jen Houle, Royal Bank of Scotland and Daniel Clegg, Royal Bank of Scotland

Project Title: Fishing for Mules with Nets (concerning the problems associated with detecting such fraudulent activities)

Previous Awards

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