INFORMS Awards 2015 UPS George D. Smith Prize to UBC Sauder School’s Centre for Operations Excellence


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

Bridging Analytics Gap between Academia and Industry

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, April 14, 2015 – The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®), the leading association for professionals in advanced analytics and operations research, has awarded its prestigious UPS George D. Smith Prize to the Centre for Operations Excellence at the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business.

The competition for the prize took place yesterday at the 2015 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, which was held at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa in Huntington Beach, California.

The UPS George D. Smith Prize is awarded to an academic department or program for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research. It is accompanied by a $10,000 cash award. 

INFORMS, the INFORMS College for the Practice of Management Science (CPMS), and UPS collaborated to establish this award to emphasize the importance of operations research practice and to encourage operations research/analytics programs around the world to focus on preparing students for operations research practice. In the four years since its inception, the prize has gained international stature, and has been attracting applications from highly recognized academic programs in the U.S. and Canada.

The Centre for Operations Excellence at the University of British Columbia Sauder School Of Business administers the Masters of Management in Operations Research program, which provides rigorous practical training in the quantitative analysis of business problems. The goal of this 16-month professional master’s program is competency in operations research practice. After eight months of coursework, student are immersed in fulltime work on a five-month industry project in which they act as consultants to a company facing a significant operational challenge.

The other finalists for 2015 were:

  • The Lehigh University Enterprise System Center and Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Carnegie Mellon University H. John Heinz III College

The UPS George D. Smith Prize is named in honor of the late UPS Chief Executive Officer who was a patron of operations researchers at this leading Fortune 500 Corporation. George D. Smith was the second CEO of UPS, holding the position from 1962-1972. He joined UPS as an accountant in 1925 and at some point in his long and illustrious career held almost every functional title within the company. He believed operations research was vital to the sustained growth of the company and championed its practice. UPS is generously underwriting the expenses for this prize to recognize the contribution of operations research discipline in transforming a small messenger company to a global logistics company.

More information about the prize can be found here.


INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in analytics and operations research (O.R.). INFORMS advances research, and develops and promotes best practices in analytics and O.R. through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and professional development. INFORMS helps business, government, and other organization professionals make better decisions to drive value to their organizations and society. Our certification program (CAP®), highly cited publications, educational meetings and conferences, continuing education, industry and process-focused networking communities, competitions, and recognition provide professionals with the knowledge and connections they need to achieve ever greater value for their organizations. Further information about INFORMS, analytics, and operations research is at or @informs.