ASOR Rising Star Award

Nominations for the ASOR Rising Star Award 2023 will open 12 July 2023 and close 17 November 2023. Once open, queries and nominations should by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The awards committee of ASOR will make its decision regarding this award by end January 2024.

The Australian Society for Operations Research (ASOR) has established an annual Rising Star Award (RSA). The objectives of RSA are to:

  • acknowledge and encourage promising early career researchers in Operations Research
  • help promote the advances to Operations Research due to early career researcher
  • improve the competitiveness of starting Operations Researchers in their career paths both in industry and academia

Researchers may be eligible to be nominated if they are:

  1. a current ASOR member;
  2. have been awarded a PhD within five years, or if they have submitted their PhD thesis and are awaiting examination;
  3. have been making significant contributions to the field in an academic and/or professional sense.

Exceptions to the five year limit can be made to allow for significant interruptions to research development, for example, parental duties, illness or career change.

Nominations for the award can be made by any member of ASOR other than the nominee. Letters of nomination should not exceed two A4 pages and should be accompanied by the nominee’s list of publications and a brief CV. In addition, documented contributions to the practice of OR in industry (e.g., testimonials from end users as to the nominated candidate’s specific contributions, evidence of impact, etc) may also be attached.

The 2015 recipient of the RSA was Dr Hassan Hijazi from Data61/ANU, the 2016 recipient was Dr Sondoss El-Sawah from UNSW, the 2017 recipient was Dr Ali Eshragh, the 2018 recipient was Dr Sanjoy Paul, the 2019 recipient was Dr Zahra HosseiniFard, and the 2020 recipient was Asghar Moeini.

Citations for Previous ASOR Rising Star Award Winners

Dr Kyle Harrison - 2022 Recipient

Kyle Harrison received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2018. Kyle is an internationally recognised researcher in the field of computational intelligence, with a primary focus on the development of meta-heuristic optimisation approaches for complex decision-making problems. Kyle has published over 30 research articles in top-tier journals and conferences, in addition to 3 book chapters, a co-edited book, and a public dataset. Kyle’s PhD research, entitled “An Analysis of Parameter Control Mechanisms for the Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm” provided key findings and observations regarding the behaviours of self-adaptive PSO algorithms and led to three of Kyle’s top four most cited articles. In 2018, Kyle was involved in the novel formulation of a bi-objective variant of the critical node detection problem (BOCNDP). This research was published in the European Journal of Operational Research and has led to developments in the fields of cyber-physical systems, poultry production, critical post-disaster scenarios for complex systems, and communication networks, among others. During his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Ontario Tech University, Canada in 2019, Kyle was involved in an applied industry project where he focused on the optimisation of hyper-parameters for machine learning models. These models were integrated into a smart pillow technology, Smart Nora, which can detect and prevent snoring in users. Smart Nora received the 2019 IEEE Toronto Technology Award. Between September 2019 and October 2022, Kyle was a Research Associate at UNSW Canberra developing of portfolio optimisation heuristics in collaboration with the Australian Department of Defence through the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG). The techniques developed through this research are planned to be used in the 2023 Force Structure Planning task and may be used to assist with major capital investment decisions regarding the implementation of capability projects.

Dr Asghar Moeini - 2020 Recipient

In 2012, Asghar was awarded a full scholarship to start his PhD majoring in Combinatorial Optimization under supervision of Prof. Jerzy filar at Flinders University. He developed the first mixed integer linear programming model for the travelling salesman problem designed for sparse graphs which exploits the graph structure to refine the feasible space. The excellence of his PhD has been recognised by several awards including a best paper award at the 2015 international conference of computers and industrial engineering (CIE 45) and the Vice-Chancellor's prize for doctoral thesis excellence, Flinders University, 2016. Asghar has over 20 publications in leading operations research journals and conferences. Since October 2019 Asghar has been with the ARC Training Centre for Transforming Maintenance through Data Science at Curtin University.

Dr Zahra HosseiniFard - 2019 Recipient

Zahra HosseiniFard obtained her PhD in Statistics and Operations Research from RMIT University. During her PhD research, she developed an innovative approach using neural network to monitor linear regression profiles for fault diagnosis as well as estimating the parameters of Burr XII distribution. She also developed techniques to evaluate process capability of linear and non-linear profiles. Zahra was awarded the International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and Australian postgraduate Awards (APA) to pursue her PhD at RMIT University. She was selected as a finalist in Anita Borg Memorial Australia & New Zealand in 2012. After graduation from PhD, Zahra has worked in both industry and academia. She used various operations research techniques such as simulation-optimisation, Markov decision process, queuing theory and integer programming to improve decision-makings in intensive care units (ICUs), blood supply chain and healthcare operations. Her research has been published in leading operations research/management journals, including Decision Sciences, Omega, Annuals of Operations Research and Computers & Operations Research. She holds an h-index of 10 and her research has been cited over 320 times by Nov 2019. She is currently a Lecturer of Operations Management in the Department of Management and Marketing at The University of Melbourne.

Dr Sanjoy Paul - 2018 Recipient

Dr Sanjoy Paul was a PhD student from 2012-2015 at UNSW in Canberra. His PhD topic was Managing Disturbances in Supply Chain Systems, and for this work he was award the Stephen Fester Prize for the most outstanding thesis award by UNSW in 2015, as well as the High Impact Publications Award in the same year. Sanjoy's research is applicable to real-life problems in supply chain risk management, and this has been demonstrated by the adoption of his work by a Pharmaceuticals company in Bangladesh. He has been contributing significantly in the area of managing sudden risk in supply chain systems and quantitative decision making, through publication, applied projects, and research community contributions as a prolific reviewer. He is one of the pioneer researchers on supply chain recovery models under sudden risk, and in total he has published 36 journal articles, a book chapter and seven refereed conference papers. These had attracted over 500 citations in total by late 2018. Sanjoy completed a postdoc position at RMIT, and he is currently a lecturer in the Business School at University of Technology Sydney.

Dr Ali Eshragh - 2017 Recipient

Dr Ali Eshragh received his Bachelor degree in industrial engineering at Sharif University of Technology as the top ranked student in 2001. He continued his graduate studies at Sharif University and completed his Master degree majoring in 'Statistical Modelling and Stochastic Optimization' in 2004. In 2008, Ali was awarded the prestigious scholarship Endeavour-IPRS to start his PhD majoring in Probabilistic Operations Research at the University of South Australia. During his PhD research, he developed novel random walk algorithms for the Hamiltonian cycle problem and analysed the underlying stochastic processes. Ali's PhD thesis was nominated as one of the three finalists for the SA-Science Excellence Awards in the category of ‘PhD Research Excellence – Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering’ in 2011. For this, he was awarded an honourable mention by the South Australian Government.  Following submission of his PhD thesis, he was appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Adelaide. He worked on an ARC-funded research project in which he developed new statistical models to find an optimal experimental design of a continuous-time Markovian population model. In 2013, after successfully completing his postdoctoral research project, he was appointed as a Lecturer in Mathematical Sciences at the University of Adelaide. In 2014, Ali accepted a continuing lecturing position in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, the University of Newcastle where he has just been promoted to senior lecturer.

Ali has a passion for both teaching and research. Recently, he was ranked second and highly commended for the ‘Teaching Excellence and Contribution to Student Learning – Team’ award by the Faculty of Science and Technology at The University of Newcastle. Ali publishes regularly in leading OR journals and actively collaborates with several outstanding national and international researchers including Catherine Greenhill from UNSW,  Konstantin Avrachenkov from INRIA in France, Martin Dyer from the University of Leeds in UK and Michael Mahoney from the University of California-Berkeley in the US. Ali has been involved in several national and international industrial projects since 2000. More recently, in 2014, he has been invited as a Chief Investigator in the successful ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre on Food and Beverage Supply Chain Optimisation with the total value of $2,119,872. Currently, he is running a demand forecasting project with the Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company and a cheese supply chain-logistics project with CSIRO

Dr Sondoss Elsawah - 2016 Recipient

Sondoss Elsawah has had an academic career and passionate interest in OR which has progressed through a BSc, MSc and PhDin OR and Decision Science. Her PhD was recognized by the Australian Water Association (AWA) Award for best postgraduate water research. Sondoss' research focuses on the development of multi-method OR methodologies, and the application of these methodologies in new decision contexts where the potential of OR has not been fully exploited yet. For example, in her postdoc at the ANU, Sondoss has expanded on her PhD work in an ARC-funded project to develop a multi-method OR methodology which combines the use of cognitive mapping, software engineering tools, and agent-based modelling to incorporate stakeholder's views into planning water and groundwater systems. Sondoss was invited to present this work at a number of national events, such as the keynote speech at the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training Summer School. In her current post at the Capability Systems Centre at UNSW Canberra, Sondoss' work involves the integration of multiple modelling methods to provide robust, client-oriented decision support tools, and conducting experimental studies to examine ways to improve model-based learning and teaching. Sondoss is a chief investigator in an international research grant by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to identify core modelling practices to teach the next generation of modellers. Sondoss teaches various courses that are related to OR, such as simulation-based modelling, systems thinking, and system dynamics modelling. She has delivered training courses on systems thinking and complex problem solving for organisations such as the Australian Department of Defence. Since 2015, Sondoss has been a member of the executive committee of the ASOR-ACT Chapter. Sondoss introduced the ASOR-ACT Chapter Student Award, an annual tradition to promote research excellence in OR and provide a forum for students to share their research projects. She is a member of the executive committee of the Australian/NZ Modelling and Simulation Society (MSSANZ). Sondoss plays an active role in organizing MODSIM, including leading conference streams, managing conference finance, and registration.