2016 Wagner Prize recognizes research to improve safety of driving routes for drivers of heavy trucks


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

2016 Wagner Prize recognizes research to improve safety of driving routes for heavy trucks

CATONSVILLE, MD, December 12, 2016 – Every day millions of people rely on GPS to navigate to and from locations around the world. But what happens if you must frequently travel through an area that is accessed primarily by private roads, or you drive a vehicle that cannot safely navigate on certain routes? For their work in identifying a solution to this problem, Mikael Rönnqvist of the Université Laval, Canada; Gert Andersson, Gunnar Svenson, and Patrik Flisberg of the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden; and Lars-Erik Jönsson of the SDC, Sundsvall, Sweden, were presented the Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice by INFORMS, the leading professional association for analytics and operations research.

The prize winning paper, "Calibrated Route Finder - Social, Safe, Environmental and Cost-Effective Truck Routing," was recognized not only for its success in real-world application, but for a strong mathematical foundation that was clearly and concisely communicated in both the writing and presentation. The award was presented during the 2016 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., which attracted more than 5,600 students, academics, professionals, and industry leaders from around the world.

The research was based on the need for drivers of heavy trucks, particularly those working in the forestry industry, to have a route finder that goes beyond the typical GPS tool parameters of shortest and/or fastest route. In Sweden, where nearly two-thirds of the roads are private, a percentage that is even higher in forested areas, GPS tools are limited by the lack of publicly available data for these private roads. As a result, GPS tools may suggest routes that are ill-suited for trucks, leading to high fuel consumption, long driving hours, and driving on dangerous roads, or the GPS tool may be unable to find any route at all.

The researchers used operations research (OR) methodologies to create a calibrated route finder that collects and analyzes a broader range of data to better identify optimal driving routes for drivers of heavy trucks in Sweden.

The additional finalists for the 2016 award were:

  • Vungle Inc. Improves Monetization Using Data Analytics by Ioannis Fragkos, Erasmus University, Netherlands; Bert De Reyck, University College London; Yael S. Grushka-Cockayne, Casey Lichtendahl, University of Virginia; Hammond Guerin, Vungle Inc.
  • Data-driven Optimization For Multi-disciplinary Staffing In Mayo Clinic Improves Patient Experience by Mustafa Sir, David Nestler, Thomas Hellmich, Devashish Das, Michael J. Laughlin, Michon Dohlman, Kalyan Pasupathy, Mayo Clinic
  • Optimizing New Vehicle Inventory at General Motors by Robert Inman, Michael Frick, Thomas Hitchman, Robert Muiter, Jonathan Owen, Gerald Takasaki, General Motors
  • Implementation of the Genetic Gain Performance Metric Accelerates Agricultural Productivity by Joseph Byrum, Craig Davis, Greg Doonan, Tracy Doubler, Syngenta; Bill Beavis, Iowa State University; Von Kaster, Sam Parry, Ronald Mowers, Arizona State University
  • IBM Cognitive Technology Helps Aqualia Reduce Costs and Save Resources in Wastewater Treatment by Alexander Zadorojniy, Segev Wasserkrug, Sergey Zeltyn, Vladimir Lipets, IBM Research, Haifa


With more than 12,000 members from across the globe, INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics. More information about INFORMS is available at www.informs.org or @informs.