ASOR Rising Star Award

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 have been awarded a PhD within five years, or if they have submitted their PhD thesis and are awaiting examination. 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, and the 2016 recipient of the RSA was Dr Sondoss El-Sawah from UNSW.

Nominations for 2017 are open from now until 15 November 2017. Nominations should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The winner of the 2017 RSA will be presented with an ASOR medal, and receive a prize from ASOR of A$1000.

Citations for Previous ASOR Rising Star Award Winners

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.