Improving water quality with operations research: Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District and Tetra Tech awarded the 2019 INFORMS Edelman Award

AUSTIN, TX, April 15, 2019 – INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals, announced it has awarded Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District and Tetra Tech its 2019 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research, and Management Science for its use of operations research (O.R.) to maximize all aspects of its wastewater collection and treatment facilities to better protect the environment and realize hundreds of millions in savings. 

To combat increasingly frequent and intense rainfall that can overwhelm urban wastewater collection and treatment systems and threaten local water environments, Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) partnered with engineering services firm Tetra Tech to implement Csoft®. Csoft® is a software solution that enables MSD to respond to rainfall and actual system conditions by maximizing all available storage, conveyance, and treatment capacities. Excess wastewater is diverted and temporarily stored until it can be redirected toward the appropriate treatment plant. The system has saved Louisville MSD more than $200 million in infrastructure costs, improved community waterways, and decreased the risk to water environments and public health from sewage contamination. 

First awarded in 1972, the Franz Edelman Award recognizes and rewards outstanding contributions of analytics and O.R. in the for- and nonprofit sectors around the globe. Each year, INFORMS honors finalist teams that have improved organizational efficiency, increased profits, brought better products to consumers, helped foster peace negotiations, and saved lives. Since its inception, the cumulative dollar benefits from Edelman finalist projects have surpassed $292 billion.   

“Real time control with Csoft was the first application of its kind within the U.S. sewer management industry using model-predictive control for system-wide flow optimization. It is an important component of [Louisville] MSD’s long-term plan to mitigate untreated combined sewer overflows into Beargrass Creek and the Ohio River,” said Angela Akridge, Chief Engineer of the Louisville MSD. “It is an innovative, cost-effective and sustainable management strategy that uses operations research and data analytics for the ultimate purpose of providing safe, clean waterways for our community and our shareholders in the Louisville Metro area.” 

Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District and Tetra Tech received the Edelman Award this evening at the 2019 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, held in Austin, TX. The annual event drew over 1,000 attendees composed of the world’s leading professionals in analytics and operations research.

Franz Edelman Award Finalists

In addition to Louisville MSD and Tetra Tech, five other organizations were finalists for this year’s Franz Edelman Award:

  • Boston Public Schools for “Optimized School Bus Routing Helps School Districts Design Better Policies”
  • IBM for “Analytics and O.R. for IBM’s IT Service Deals”
  • Microsoft for “Prospective Dynamic Fraud Control for Optimal Profitability in E-commerce”
  • Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency (AESA) for “RIMAS–Safer Skies in Spain” 
  • Vattenfall for “Operational Research Optimizes Offshore Wind Farm Design and Enables a Fossil-Free Future”

Additional information about the 2019 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award finalists and competition can be found at:



With 12,500 members from nearly 90 countries, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individual professionals, and organizations of all types and sizes, to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to transform strategic visions and achieve better outcomes. 

Visit or @informs.


Improving water quality with operations research: Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District and Tetra Tech awarded the 2019 INFORMS Edelman Award

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