91st Symposium – Awards and Prizes Winners

Gaming Cyber and Information Operations Short Course

  Only U.S. Citizens and FVEY can attend the 91st Symposium.

The 91st MORS Symposium
"Analytics as a Force Multiplier"
Monday-Thursday, 12-15 June 2023
0830 to 1700 EST
U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY
606 Thayer Rd, West Point, NY 10996

Mr. Walt DeGrange

Mr. Walt DeGrangeMr. Walt DeGrange boasts extensive experience in application, teaching, and research of operations research that spans across academia, business, and public service. He spent 21 years in the Navy as a Supply Corps Officer. His last half-decade in the military was dedicated to using analytics to solve logistical challenges. His last tour was at Naval Postgraduate School, where he served as a Military Professor in the Operations Research Department. He is currently the Director of Analytics Capabilities for CANA LLC, where he recruits, develops, and enables a team of analytics professionals to produce high-level analytics products across federal and commercial domains. He is also a faculty member at the University of Arkansas and an MBA Executive Advisor at the NC State University Poole School of Management. He recently coauthored the book Field Guide to Compelling Analytics with Ms. Lucia Darrow.


Dr. Sheldon H. Jacobson

Dr. Sheldon H. JacobsonDr. Sheldon H. Jacobson is a Founder Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on data-driven risk-based decision-making applied to problems in homeland security, public health, and public policy. He provided the technical justification for risk-based security, which led to the development of TSA PreCheck. He has received numerous awards for this research, including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the IISE David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award, the INFORMS Saul Gass Expository Writing award, and the INFORMS Impact Prize. He is an elected Fellow of INFORMS, IISE, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dr. Daniel A. Eisenberg

Dr. Daniel A. EisenbergDr. Daniel Eisenberg is an Assistant Professor of Operations Research at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and Deputy Director of the NPS Center for Infrastructure Defense. Dan’s teaching and research focuses on the design, operation, and adaptation of resilient infrastructure systems with emphasis on applying resilience engineering theory to improve system design and emergency operations. He uses tools from operations research, engineering, and public administration to link built and social systems together and identify fragilities in existing practices. He currently leads projects on the design and management of resilient island and military installation infrastructure systems in the US Virgin Islands and Hawaii. 


Dr. Kenneth Grosselin and Mr. Zachary Hughes

“Sick-Bird Syndrome: The Operational Imperative for pLEO Debris Mitigation”

(Military Operations Research Journal Volume 27, Issue 2, pp: 83-98)

Executive Summary: The U.S. military is investigating the utility of proliferated low Earth orbit (pLEO) satellite architectures. Because pLEO achieves global coverage through hundreds or thousands of small satellites, it promises many important military advantages. But the relationship between military pLEO applications and orbital debris is largely unresearched. To this end, the authors examine how orbital debris will impact pLEO operations and how pLEO architectures will contribute to debris growth across the space domain. This analysis shows that military pLEO architectures will likely need to adhere to debris mitigation practices that are stricter than the minimum specifications in U.S. Government Orbital Debris Mitigation Standard Practices. 

Dr. Kenny Grosselin is a U.S. Space Force orbital warfare officer with operational certifications on six different satellite systems. His current research interests focus on the military utility of proliferated low Earth orbit satellite constellations. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and the Secretary of Defense Strategic Thinkers Program. Kenny and his wife are on a quest to find the world’s best breakfast taco.

Mr. Zach Hughes is a U.S. Air Force senior pilot with over 2,300 hours in the A-10C, including 1,100 combat hours in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq. His current research interests involve artificial intelligence and defense policy. Zach is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and the Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting. His most recent accomplishment is convincing his toddler to prefer Foo Fighters over Baby Shark.

Dr. Roy E. Rice, FS

“Calculating the Probability of Successfully Executing the Kill Chain to Analyze Hypersonics”

(Phalanx Volume 55, Number 1, pp: 22-26)

DDr. Roy E. Rice, FSDr. Roy E. Rice graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1975 with a BS in mathematics. Roy retired from the Air Force in 1995. In 2018, he retired as the chief engineer at Teledyne Brown Engineering in Huntsville, Alabama. Roy has been involved with MORS at all levels. He has been the chair and co-chair of the Reliability, Maintainability and Logistics working group, co-chair of the COEA working group, a composite group chair, tutorials coordinator for the 64th MORS Symposium, and he participated as a panelist for the Junior/Senior Analyst program at the 64th MORS Symposium. Roy has presented papers and led various working groups at many mini symposia and workshops and has also conducted tutorial presentations at several MORS Symposiums. He has also won the Barchi Prize twice and the Rist Prize once. Roy was elected to the MORS Board of Directors in 1996, was elected as Vice President for Meeting Operations in 1998–1999, and was MORS President in 2000–2001 and presided over the 69th MORS Symposiums. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in 2003. Roy was awarded the Vance R. Wanner Award in 2006 and the John K. Walker Award in 2008. In 2006, Roy was presented with the Air Force’s Analyst Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015, Roy was inducted by INFORMS as an Edelman Laureate.

Mr. Michael Woudenberg

“The Enemy’s Gate Is Down: Counterintuitive Insights from the War on Terror”

(Phalanx Volume 55, Number 3, pp: 20-27)

Mr. Michael WoudenbergMr. Michael Woudenberg is the founder of Polymathic Disciplines providing Systems Innovation to unlock the full potential across multiple domains and disciplines. Michael is the MORS Cyber Working Group Advisor and has a background in Systems Analysis, Program Management, and Organizational Optimization. He has led advanced technology research in Cyber, Autonomy AI Aerospace, and more at Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Honeywell Aerospace. Michael holds an M.S. in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Information Systems from Michigan Technological University. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served as an Airborne and Ranger qualified Field Artillery officer.

Mr. Tevari Barker, Dr. Gregory S. Parnell, Dr. Edward A. Pohl, Dr. Eric A. Specking, Dr. Simon R. Goerger, and Dr. Randy K. Buchanan

“Impact of Reliability in Conceptual Design—An Illustrative Trade-Off Analysis”

Abstract: System reliability is treated as a parameter and not modeled in the early concept design stages. We illustrate a reliability model for system reliability in early concept design using knowledge from similar systems, technology readiness levels (TRL), and functional analysis methods using an unmanned ground vehicle. We integrate the reliability model with performance and cost models to demonstrate the impact of reliability in early concept design. The resultant tradespace comparison with and without early reliability assessment illustrates that reliability modeling can identify infeasible solutions in early system design. This will allow system designers to focus development on the most promising concept designs.

Mr. Tevari BarkerMr. Tevari Barker served as a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Arkansas. Barker received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering along with a data analytics minor in May 2020 and graduated with a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas in May 2022. Near the end of his undergrad, Barker worked as a research intern at Heartland Forward based in Bentonville, Arkansas where his research focused on improving the economic performance in the Heartland region (center of the US). In Spring 2020, Barker worked at Marshalltown Company where his focus was on reducing inbound LTL shipment costs by implementing a balanced LTL- FTL freight consolidation strategy.

Dr. Gregory S. ParnellDr. Gregory S. Parnell is Director, System Design and Analytics Laboratory (SyDL), Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Arkansas and is Director of the M.S. in Operations Management and the M.S. in Engineering Management programs. His research focuses on decision and risk analysis. He is editor of Trade-off Analytics: Creating and Exploring the System Tradespace (2016), lead editor of Decision Making for Systems Engineering and Management, (2nd Ed, 2011), and lead author of the Handbook of Decision Analysis (2013). He is a fellow of the International Committee for Systems Engineering, the Institute for Operations Research/Management Science, and the Military Operations Research Society. He served as Editor of Military Operations Research. He is past president of the Military Operations Research Society and the Decision Analysis Society. He has a Ph.D. from Stanford University, is a Certified Systems Engineering Professional, and is a retired Air Force Colonel. 

Dr. Edward A. PohlDr. Edward A. Pohl is Co-Director, System Design and Analytics Laboratory (SyDL), and Professor and Head of the Industrial Engineering Department and holder of the 21st Century Professorship at the University of Arkansas. He has led reliability, risk and supply chain related research efforts at the University of Arkansas. Before coming to Arkansas, Ed spent twenty-one years in the United States Air Force where he served in a variety of engineering, operations analysis and academic positions during his career. Ed received his Ph.D. in Systems and Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona. He holds a M.S. in Systems Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and M.S. in Reliability Engineering from the University of Arizona, an M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Dayton, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Boston University. Ed is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Engineering Management, on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transaction on Technology and Engineering Management, and Systems. Ed is a Fellow of IISE, a Fellow of the Society of Reliability Engineers, a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Management, a Senior Member of IEEE and ASQ, a member of INCOSE, INFORMS, ASEE, MORS and AHRMM.

Dr. Eric A. SpeckingDr. Eric A. Specking serves as the Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management and Retention for the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas. Specking received a B.S. in Computer Engineering, a M.S. in Industrial Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Arkansas. His research interests include decision quality, resilient design, set-based design, engineering and project management, and engineering education. During his time at the University of Arkansas, Eric has served as Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator, or Senior Personnel on over 40 research projects totaling over $6.6 Million, which produced over 50 publications (journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, newsletters, and technical reports). He is an active member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) where he has served in various leadership positions.

Dr. Simon GoergerDr. Simon Goerger is a Senior Solutions Architect at Trideum. He is the former Director of the Institute for Systems Engineering Research (ISER) at the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) of the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS. From 2012 until 2022, he was an Operations Research Analyst with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Prior to working for the Corps of Engineers, he was a Colonel in the U.S. Army serving as the Director of the Department of Defense Readiness Reporting System (DRRS) Implementation Office (DIO). Simultaneously, he served as Senior Defense Readiness Analyst in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness). Simon has served as an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Operations Research Center of Excellence in the Department of Systems Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York before deploying to serve as the Joint Multinational Networks Division Chief, Coalition Forces Land Combatant Command/U.S. Army Central Command, Kuwait. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy, his Master of Science (M.S.) in National Security Strategy from the National War College, and his M.S. in Computer Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Modeling and Simulations from the Naval Postgraduate School. He was the 2019-2020 President for the Military Operations Research Society (MORS) and is a member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). His research and development interests include decision analysis, systems modeling, combat modeling and simulations, agent-based modeling, human factors, and training in virtual environments.

Dr. Randy K. BuchananDr. Randy K. Buchanan is a Senior Research Analyst for the Computational Science and Engineering Division of the Information Technology Laboratory for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). He has a Ph.D. in Engineering, and an M.S in Physics and B.S. in Electronic Engineering, and previously served as professor and administrator at Kansas State University and the University of Southern MS. Industrial experience includes biomedical engineer, engineering physicist, and research fellow at multiple NASA centers. Recent research areas include systems engineering, modeling and simulation, resilience, reliability, and AI/ML weather and climate decision analytics for smart installations.


Maj Joseph C. Hoecherl, PhD, Dr. Matthew J. Robbins, Dr. Brett J. Borghetti, Dr. Raymond R. Hill

“Partially autoregressive machine learning: Development and testing of methods to predict United States Air Force retention”

Abstract: Establishing effective personnel management policies in the United States Air Force (USAF) requires methods to predict the number of personnel remaining in the USAF for different lengths of time in the future. Defined as the Personnel Retention Problem (PRP), determining this type of aggregate survival rate is a time series regression problem that shares many characteristics with binary classification problems. The limitations of this particular structure are particularly difficult to overcome for problems with limited data like the USAF PRP. We develop and test several machine learning models to produce improved retention predictions compared to the USAF’s current Kaplan Meier model. In addition to traditional random forest models and feedforward neural networks, we propose the inclusion of a partially autoregressive feature to extend the benefits of low-capacity autoregressive techniques to higher-capacity machine learning techniques. We present a Partially Autoregressive Neural Network (PARNet) and a Partially Autoregressive Random Forest (PARFor) and test the performance of each technique across a range of hyperparameter values. We select the superlative model using a validation dataset, compare results to the existing benchmark model, and find a 62.8% reduction in aggregate prediction error for the baseline neural network and 34.8% reduction for the PARNet.

Maj Joey Hoecherl, PhD, USAFMaj Joey Hoecherl, PhD, USAF began his analytic career with analysis in the space domain at 14AF/A9 and the Joint Space Operations Center, then began his work on human capital while working on a master’s degree in the OR program at the AF Institute of Technology. He was selected to implement his thesis research for his next assignment on the Air Staff, working on the sustainment, career field health, and retention models underlying personnel policy at AF/A1. During this time, he was also elected to serve on the MORS Board of Directors, including as Chair of Continuing Education. He next returned to AFIT for a PhD in OR to further research how to improve models developed while in AF/A1, specializing in computational stochastic optimization and minoring in artificial intelligence. After completing his PhD, Joey is now Chief of the Data Science Branch at the AF Manpower Analysis Agency, leading work to analytically connect the AF manpower system’s human capital resourcing decisions to future personnel outcomes, including manning and readiness. He is married to Emily Hoecherl and has two children, Claira and Theo.

Dr. Matthew JD RobbinsDr. Matthew JD Robbins is an Associate Professor of Operations Research in the Department of Operational Sciences, Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). His research focuses on the advancement of operations research and artificial intelligence techniques for solving computational stochastic optimization problems. In particular, Dr. Robbins is interested in the design, development, and testing of approximate dynamic programming and reinforcement learning algorithms that utilize simulation, mathematical programming, statistical machine learning, and design of experiment techniques to solve large-scale sequential decision-making problems under uncertainty. His applied research interests involve problems related to defense, to include the dispatch of medical evacuation assets, the routing of military distribution assets, the control of autonomous mobile sensors and weapons systems, and the management of workforce systems. He currently serves as an associate editor for the journals Military Operations Research and Naval Research Logistics. He also serves as an elected council member of the INFORMS Military and Security Society. 

Dr. Brett J. BorghettiDr. Brett J. Borghetti is a Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology with expertise in artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning. Currently, he teaches graduate-level courses in machine learning, deep learning, discrete mathematics, data security, artificial intelligence, and algorithm design. Dr. Borghetti directs and advises Masters and Ph.D.-level research for sensor exploitation, cybersecurity, and human machine-teaming in operational environments. He provides technical consultation to Air Force, Department of Defense, and national organizations. His current research focus is on machine learning for physical science sensors (hyperspectral, seismic), cybersecurity and improving performance of teams of humans and machines.

Dr. Raymond HillDr. Raymond Hill is a retired Air Force Lt Col and a retired Professor of Operations Research. He is the former Editor in Chief of Military Operations Research and still teaches classes for the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Maj Victoria R.C. Sieck, Dr. Justin Krometis, Dr. Steven Thorsen

“A Framework for Using Priors in a Continuum of Testing”

Abstract: A strength of the Bayesian paradigm for testing is that can leverage all available information—to include subject matter expert (SME) opinion and previous (possibly dissimilar) data. Bayesian analysis is not constrained to just observed data (that is to say, only including information that has been observed); rather Bayesian analysis. This is accomplished through the development and use of prior probabilities (priors). By quantifying the uncertainty surrounding a model parameter through the construct of a prior, Bayesians capture the uncertainty across a test space of consideration and can analyze its effects. This paper develops a framework for thinking about how differently characterized priors (i.e., types) can be appropriately used throughout the continuum of testing. In addition to the application of various types of priors, the smart application of evolution of priors also contributes greatly to analytical understanding across the continuum of testing—especially when a system’s state significantly changes (e.g., is modified or adjusted) during phases of testing—will be addressed. The evolution of priors through testing can start with priors attempting to provide no information (reference priors) and evolve towards priors that capture the (newly) available information (informative priors). This paper further discusses both informative priors based on institutional knowledge or summaries from databases, as well as those based on previous testing data, with a focus on how to consider previous, in some ways dissimilar, data, relative to a current test event. Further discussion on which priors might be more common in various phases of testing, types of information that can be used in priors, and how priors evolve as information accumulates is included. A real-world example using the Stryker family of vehicles will demonstrate how priors can be employed in a continuum-of-testing construct.

Maj Victoria R.C. Sieck, PhDMaj Victoria R.C. Sieck, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Statistics at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), where her research interests include design of experiments, and developing innovate Bayesian approaches to DoD testing. She is also the Deputy Director of the Scientific Test & Analysis (STAT) Center of Excellence (COE), where she works with major acquisition programs within the Department of Defense (DoD) to apply rigor and efficiency to current and emerging test and evaluation (T&E) methodologies through the application of the STAT process. Her technical expertise directs and augments the workforce, leading innovative applications of Bayesian methods to digital engineering and adaptive T&E approaches for the DoD. As an Operations Research Analyst in the US Air Force (USAF), her previous experiences include being an executive officer, weapons and tactics analyst and an operational test analyst. Maj Sieck has a M.S. in Statistics from Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of New Mexico. 

Dr. Justin KrometisDr. Justin Krometis is a Research Assistant Professor with the Virginia Tech National Security Institute and holds an adjunct position in the Math Department at Virginia Tech. His research is mostly in development of theoretical and computational frameworks for Bayesian data analysis. These include approaches to incorporating and balancing data and expert opinion into decision-making, estimating model parameters, including high- or even infinite-dimensional quantities, from noisy data, and designing experiments to maximize the information gained. Prior to joining VTNSI, Dr. Krometis spent ten years as a Computational Scientist supporting high-performance computing with Advanced Research Computing at Virginia Tech and seven years in the public and private sectors doing transportation modeling for planning and evacuation applications and hurricane, pandemic, and other emergency preparedness. He holds Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Math and a B.S. degree in Physics, all from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Steven N. ThorsenDr. Steven N. Thorsen is a 22-year retired USAF officer with over 29 years of experience leading scientific and technical efforts, to include previously being the Director, Scientific Test and Analysis Techniques Center of Excellence (STAT COE) and an Adjunct Professor of Operations Research at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). Dr. Thorsen’s recent projects include leading the STAT COE effort to improve test rigor and capability for unmanned laboratory test studies to rapidly investigate on-board oxygen generating systems (OBOGS) using modern STAT and design of experiment (DOE) approaches. Additionally, he led the Simulation and Analysis Facility (SIMAF) Wright Patterson AFB contractor support effort in creating, analyzing, and defending an analytic framework to support Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance-based decisions. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Florida Atlantic University, a M.S. in Mathematics from East Carolina University, as well as a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from AFIT.


Lt Col David Bredesen, Mr. Cory Culver, CDR Clint Emrich, Mr. Patrick McLaughlin, LTC Micheal Meyers, and Mr. Mitch Reed

Preserving Freedom – Joint Planning Group 48-2 Partner Nation Analysis

Dr. Christopher Wishon, Dr. Jason Reiter, Ms. Rebecca S. Widrick, and Lt Col Ryan McGuire

SSDP Resiliency Team Rist Submission

Christopher J. Wishon, PhDChristopher J. Wishon, PhD has worked at The MITRE Corporation for 6 years as a Lead Operations Research Engineer. While at MITRE, Christopher has primarily focused on applying Operations Research to the space domain by analyzing the resiliency of future satellite constellations and leading the modeling of ground transmit and receive network analyses, both of which support strategic acquisitions and decision making. Christopher also serves as a lead architect for a new Spectrum Consumption Modeling IEEE standard by developing non-convex optimization solution techniques for calculating interference between a pair of electronic devices. Prior to joining The MITRE Corporation, Christopher earned his PhD from Arizona State University in Industrial Engineering where he developed and taught a Business Decision Models course for 4 years and also researched OR and decision making for mobile food retailers. Christopher’s other analytical passion is in healthcare where he has worked for both the Mayo Clinic and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center applying OR techniques within the hospital setting.

Ms. Rebecca S. WidrickMs. Rebecca S. Widrick is a Principal Operations Research Analyst at MITRE and U.S. Air Force Veteran. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.S. in Operations Research from the Air Force Institute of Technology. She specializes in stochastic modeling, applied statistics, and optimization. In her ten years as an Operations Research Analyst, she has worked across several industries including the Department of Defense, healthcare, and transportation. 

Dr. Jason ReiterDr. Jason Reiter received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo followed by a Master of Science and PhD from Penn State focused on Astrodynamics. Jason began his government career with the Space Security and Defense Program in 2020, serving as the Chief of the Enterprise Division’s Mission Analysis Branch. After two years managing SSDP’s resiliency, cross-domain mission modeling, and space campaign modeling efforts, Jason transitioned to the Space Warfighting Analysis Center’s Force Design Integration Office, where he now serves as the Analysis Integration Division Chief. In this role, he functions as the primary external interface for SWAC on modeling, analysis, and scenario development, manages the organization’s digital library, and analytically integrates the SWAC’s force design architectures.

Lt Col Ryan M. McGuireLt Col Ryan M. McGuire is an Instructor of Mathematical Sciences with the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The USAFA mission is to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become leaders of character, motivated to lead the Department of the Air Force in service to our Nation.

Lt Col McGuire graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He also holds a Master’s degree in Operations Research from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He has held positions on the AFSPC Staff, Air Staff, and Joint Staff. Prior to his current tour, he was the Enterprise Division Chief at the Space Security and Defense Program. He has one deployment to the CENTCOM CAOC.


Mr. Thomson W. McFarland, Mr. Michael Farrey, Mr. Andrew Pinto, Mr. Richard Stinson (CTR), and Capt Pat Kelly, USAF

Ukraine Crisis Airbase Defense Analysis: HQ USAFE-AFAFRICA Modeling, Simulation, & Analysis (MSA) Team

USAFE-AFAFRICA Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis Team (L-R: Andrew Pinto, Michael Farrey, Thomson McFarland, Richard Stinson, Capt Pat Kelly)The USAFE-AFAFRICA Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis Team (L-R: Andrew Pinto, Michael Farrey, Thomson McFarland, Richard Stinson, Capt Pat Kelly)

Mr. Thomson W. McFarland is currently Chief of Studies & Analysis at United States Air Forces Europe - Air Forces Africa in Ramstein, Germany. His career in the Department of Defense has included positions at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, USMC Deputy Commandant for Combat Development & Integration, and USAFE-AFAFRICA. His most valuable skill is getting out of the way of his great team.

Mr. Michael Farrey has extensive experience in operations research analysis. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a Master's degree in Systems Engineering from MIT. With over 20 years of professional experience, he has specialized in modeling surface-to-air missile systems and electronic warfare.

Mr. Andrew Pinto has been working with the Department of Defense (DoD) for 9 years as an Operations Research Analyst. Since November of 2021, Mr. Pinto has been performing Data Science and Engineering work with the HQ USAFE-AFAFRICA A9 team at Ramstein AFB. During this time, his focus has been in leveraging the DoD's analytical tools to improve data engineering, enhance visualization methods on large complex multidimensional data from theater, and to apply ML algorithms to in-theater data and processes to allow for easier and optimal decision making for leadership and operators. Prior to joining the USAFE-AFAFRICA team, Mr. Pinto worked at the Naval Fleet Readiness Center in Jacksonville FL, where he supported the MQ-4C Triton and P8-Poseidon Fleet Readiness and program office team. He performed network analytics on sensor data to improve readiness of the platform, developed an automated maintenance and supply requirement tool and he lead the development of NAVAIR's Aircraft Readiness Dashboard. Mr. Pinto holds a B.S. in Industrial and System Engineering from Virginia Teach, a M.S. in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School and Graduate Data Science certificates from the Naval Postgraduate School and MIT.

Mr. Richard Stinson is an Operations Research Analyst for Group W working on contract at USAFE-AFAFRICA A9A in Ramstein. He began his career working for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division as a STORM campaign analyst before he transitioned to AFSIM mission-level analysis. He has a wide skillset based in air campaign analysis, anti-submarine warfare, kill chain analysis, and mission optimizations. He is consistently trying to expand and learn new skills while providing expert analysis and recommendations for USAFE leadership.

Capt Pat Kelly is currently serving as an instructor for the Air Force Operations Analysis Initial Skills Training Course. Prior to that, he was a theater analyst for Headquarters USAFE-AFAFRICA, supporting modeling and simulation analysis and studies for the Joint Force Air Component Commander and supporting operations. Capt Kelly has also served as a Flight Commander for rapid test management in charge of operational assessments for over $50 Billion of Deputy Secretary of Defense directed programs. He has also been an operations research analyst supporting human machine teaming, computer vision and automation focused on Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance applications. He holds a Master of Science in Systems Engineering, with a focus on autonomous systems.


Mr. Cameron Pike and Ms. Katie Mortimer

Simulation-Optimisation-Data Analytics based solution to Australian Navy and Army workforce planning

Ms. Katie MortimerMs. Katie Mortimer is an operations analyst at Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) in the Australian Department of Defence. She works as part of a team delivering a next generation workforce forecasting and planning capability to the Australian Defence Force. Katie leads the data science effort, as part of the multi-disciplinary capability, combining data science, modelling and simulation, and optimisation. Simulation Optimisation Data Analytics TeamKatie completed her double degree in Aerospace Engineering, and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Adelaide. She is currently completing her Master of Data Science at RMIT University, while working at DSTG. Katie has a keen interest in simulation, data science and machine learning.

Mr. Cameron PikeMr. Cameron Pike is an Operations Research Scientist with the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) of the Australian Department of Defence. Cameron holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering from the University of Melbourne. He joined DSTG in 2018 and since then has been involved in several military workforce simulation, data analytics, and optimisation projects. He is the technical lead for the ATHENA workforce simulation software and has developed optimisation algorithms that have been used to plan workforce recruitment, promotion, and allocation in the Australian Defence Force. His current research interests are in novel optimisation allocation algorithms and machine learning techniques for prescriptive analytics in complex simulations.


Dr. Paul Fanto

“Resilient Position Data Fusion with a Generic Kalman Filter Method”

Abstract: Military and civil platforms and infrastructure rely on the Global Positioning System (GPS) to provide essential positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) information. Given the risk of GPS denial or spoofing, the Department of Defense (DoD) is focused on providing resilient alternative PNT for military platforms. Fusing information from multiple alternative sources promises to increase the accuracy and resilience of the PNT solution. We will present a generic Kalman-filter-based approach for fusing position information from multiple sources for a notional trajectory. In particular, we assess the degradation in position accuracy and precision due to GPS denial, and we find that combining GPS with multiple other sources improves the GPS solution. We also model the effect of GPS spoofing on the fused solution and present a simple algorithm for detecting and rejecting spoofed GPS. Our method can be used as a baseline against which to evaluate other position sensor fusion approaches.

Dr. Paul FantoDr. Paul Fanto is a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses applying statistical data analysis methods and computational modeling and simulation to relevant problems in defense and national security. He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical/computational physics from Yale University.

2023 June – Capt Ryan Helm, USMC


Proposal Abstract: The modern battlespace is characterized by large volumes of multi-domain intelligence that must be processed into useful information for decision-makers. For decision-makers at the small unit level, there are few tools available to help analyze and process geospatial intelligence during mission planning. In time constrained or distributed planning environments, small unit leaders lack the decision-support tools required to make comprehensive, precise, and timely terrain analysis assessments. To solve this, we utilize open-source data from the Google Earth Engine API to create terrain analysis models for mission planning support. The proposed models include quantifiable risk and effectiveness trade-offs for mission planning decisions such as landing zone selection, maneuver route planning, and fire support. The landing zone selection model is extended to determine NMESIS firing points for employment of GBASM capabilities in the First and Second Island Chains. The Office of Naval Research has provided funding for Naval Research Lab-Stennis to develop our proposed models into a plugin for the Android Tactical Assault Kit, enabling use by leaders throughout the services.

2023 March – LT Felicia Goodell, USN MS


Proposal Abstract: On a given day, there are up to 1.4 million residents, tourists, service-members, and their families on the island of Oahu. Oahu is susceptible to multiple types of natural disasters, such that a food, water, and fuel distribution plan must be in place to get populations vital supplies when normal services are disrupted. Recent work analyzes the Windward Oahu last-mile supply chain to include the location of points of distribution where residents will receive their food and water supplies. However, these plans do not consider fuel nor the allocation of generators. There are no current plans on refueling generators at emergency service locations (e.g., hospitals) nor how residents receive fuel. This thesis builds on previous mathematical models to identify optimal locations for generators and fuel deliveries to minimize unmet demand. Our model accounts for the limited number of available generators and fuel trucks, while considering demand at emergency services and gas stations and prioritizes refueling for critical locations. Additionally, the model allows for vehicles to be refueled at locations where wet hosing is available (refuel directly from a fuel truck). The goal is to create an integrated emergency fuel distribution plan for Oahu that supports military and civilian communities alike.

LT Felicia GoodellLT Felicia Goodell was born and raised in Round Rock, TX. She graduated with merit from the United States Naval Academy in May 2015, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering concentrating in Energy and Propulsion. LT Goodell joined the Human Resources Community in October 2017 and served her first tour aboard Navy Recruiting District San Diego as the Enlisted Operations Officer. She earned her Masters of Science Degree in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School. Her thesis was titled, “Emergency Fuel Distribution for Disaster Relief on Marine Corps Base Hawaii.” Her thesis received the Military Operations Research Society Stephen A. Tisdale award for research with immediate impact to the Department of Defense and its allies. She also completed JPME Phase I with honors. LT Goodell is currently stationed at Commander, Navy Region Southwest in the N1 shop as a Manpower Analyst. Her professional qualifications include Professional Human Resources Certificate and Recruiting Operations Qualification. Her personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and various service awards.


2022 December – Ensign Ethan Boone, NPS


Proposal Abstract: The Defense Counter Terrorism Center (DCTC) at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) focuses on classifying and predicting terrorist activities at a global scale. To accomplish this, DCTC analysts collect, process, and analyze open-source data from across the internet, including event information as reported by traditional and social media sources. This information is often aggregated in publicly available datasets, such as the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), that require additional analytic scrutiny for the DCTC team to fully exploit the contained information. In support of these efforts, this study utilizes the ACLED dataset and geospatial data to provide a monthly prediction of violent events to the DCTC team. Two models are used for comparison: a generalized network autoregressive (GNAR) time series model and an ensemble model. The results from these machine learning models will be integrated into an interactive dashboard that displays descriptive statistical information and the predictive model results about various terrorist organizations.


2022 September – Spencer Kitten, USN


Proposal Abstract: Current doctrine has largely discarded the use of coordinated submarine tactics (known as Wolfpack tactics) due to the complexity of inter-pack and intra-pack coordination. However, recent advancements in technology may greatly increase the feasibility of secure communication between submarines operating in a Wolfpack. Agent-based modeling is used to simulate the behavior of submarines operating in a wartime environment at sea. Three secure communication availabilities are represented: no communication between submarines, communication every 10 hours, and constant available communication. Three types of wartime environments are considered: submarines hunting transiting merchants, submarines hunting transiting warships in an environment with neutral shipping, and submarines hunting transiting warships operating as a Surface Action Group (SAG) with neutral shipping. Effectiveness is measured as “yield” or the average number of successful target kills as a function of the number of submarines per scenario. This research suggests that with situations having mixtures of Targets and neutral Merchants, increasing the occurrences of communication increases yield just so much. The simulation results stress that the success of Wolfpack tactics increasingly depends upon secure submarine communication and situational awareness with the growth of neutral shipping in the wartime environment.


Capt Nathan Johnston

Capt Nathan JohnstonStudy description:
Studies have shown a connection between early catastrophic engine failures with microtexture regions (MTRs) of a specific size and orientation on the titanium metal engine components. The MTRs can be identified through the use of Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) however doing so is costly and requires destruction of the metal component being tested. A new methodology of characterizing MTRs is needed to properly evaluate the reliability of engine components on live aircraft. The Air Force Research Laboratory Materials Division (AFRL/RX) proposed a solution of supplementing EBSD with two non-destructive modalities, Eddy Current Testing (ECT) and Scanning Acoustic Microscopy (SAM). Doing so will require registration (or alignment) of ECT and SAM which is not a simple task. This paper focuses on providing a proof of concept of performing automatic image registration using a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to register two titanium metal images from a scanning technique similar to EBSD known as Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM).

Cadet Anthony Pearson (VMI), MIDN Katherine Mendyk (USNA), and Cadet Andrew Barlow (USMA)

Dr. Fred David John Bowden

Dr. Fred BowdenDr. Fred Bowden has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Mathematics and Physics, First Class Honours degree and Doctorate of Philosophy in the field of Applied Mathematics. He joined the Australian Department of Defence in 1990 and has worked with Defence Science and Technology Group since. Fred is currently the Research Leader for Land Capability Analysis Branch in the Human and Decisions Sciences (HADS) Division. In this role he is responsible for building and maintaining key Operational Research capabilities both within DSTG and as part of the broader OR Ecosystem. Fred is driven by the dual desires to help Defence to the best of his abilities and to create an environment wherein those around him can achieve their best. He is a strong supporter of ensuring a strong and diverse STEM environment with strong involvement in mentoring. Fred is a long-term member of the Australian Society of Operations Research (being Vice President – administration from 2011-2013) and the Military Operations Research Society (being the Australian Advisory Director since 2016).

Dr. Jerry Diaz

Dr. Jerry DiazDr. Jerry Diaz is the Director for Analysis, Chief of Technology and Innovation Office (CTIO/S9), Office of the Chief of Space Operations, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

As the Director for Analyses, he serves as key technical advisor to the SECAF, Chief of Space Operations (CSO), CSO Deputies, CSAF and HAF Deputy Chiefs of Staff and DAF space representative to the OSD, JCS and Congressional staffs regarding Space Force analytic and assessment efforts. Dr. Diaz supports the USSF Staff’s analytic needs by providing independent, objective, and relevant analytic-based insights in four primary areas: Human Capital Analytics, Operations, Strategy and Resources, and Technology & Innovation. Dr. Diaz has had a diverse career as an Operations Research Analyst and Mathematician. Before retiring as an AF Colonel, he served as Department Head Mathematical Sciences, US Air Force Academy; Chief Analyst and Director, Resource Analyses for HQ AF/A9 Air Forces Studies and Analyses Agency; and as the Director, Office of Strategic Analyses, U.S. Embassy, Baghdad, Iraq. Dr. Diaz first joined MORS in 1993. He’s twice been on the BOD, Chaired the Barchi Prize, Workshop or Working Group Chair 12 times, twice Education & Professional Development Colloquium Chair, 3 times MORSS WG Advisor, Associate Editor Journal of Military Operations Research, and been keynote or speaker at 10 MORS events. 

Dr. Simon R. Goerger

Dr. Simon GoergerDr. Simon Goerger is a Senior Solutions Architect at Trideum. He is the former Director of the Institute for Systems Engineering Research (ISER) at the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) of the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS. From 2012 until 2022, he was an Operations Research Analyst with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Prior to working for the Corps of Engineers, he was a Colonel in the U.S. Army serving as the Director of the Department of Defense Readiness Reporting System (DRRS) Implementation Office (DIO). Simultaneously, he served as Senior Defense Readiness Analyst in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness). Simon has served as an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Operations Research Center of Excellence in the Department of Systems Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York before deploying to serve as the Joint Multinational Networks Division Chief, Coalition Forces Land Combatant Command/U.S. Army Central Command, Kuwait. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy, his Master of Science (M.S.) in National Security Strategy from the National War College, and his M.S. in Computer Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Modeling and Simulations from the Naval Postgraduate School. He was the 2019-2020 President for the Military Operations Research Society (MORS) and is a member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). His research and development interests include decision analysis, systems modeling, combat modeling and simulations, agent-based modeling, human factors, and training in virtual environments.

Special Recognition

Ms. Robbin Beall

Ms. Robbin BeallSince her selection as a Senior Executive in May 2004, Ms. Beall has served as Head, Campaign Analysis Branch in the Assessment Division (N81), in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Integration of Capabilities and Resources). In that capacity, she manages development of the joint campaign analyses key to Navy investment decisions as well as representing Navy at the Flag level in OSD and Joint Staff Support to Strategic Analysis (SSA) deliberations, ensuring that Navy capabilities are accurately characterized in scenarios and studies, including Quadrennial Defense Reviews (QDRs). She also leads the award-winning World Class Modeling initiative, dedicated to improving modeling and simulation supporting decision making across the OPNAV enterprise. Ms. Beall retired in 2022.

Mr. Chuck Werchado

Mr. Chuck WerchadoMr. Werchado, as Director, Program Analysis & Evaluations (ADC-E) is responsible for providing the Deputy Commandant for P&R with analysis to inform resource allocation decisions and assess institutional risk. He provides analytic oversight of the Marine Corps POM, evaluates it for compliance with strategic guidance, and defends it at OSD reviews. He conducts an annual program assessment to inject fiscal discipline into the USMC process and enable sound resourcing decisions.

From 2014-2020, he served as Deputy Director of the Assessment Division in the Office of the CNO (N81). As the Navy’s senior operations analyst, he was responsible for managing the process and staff used to inform CNO’s resource allocation decisions and to accurately represent Navy capabilities in the Joint analytic process.

From 2011-2014, Mr. Werchado served as the Executive Director, Submarine Forces where he was the principal advisor to the Submarine Force Commander on all matters relating to Undersea Domain programs and requirements.

In 2003, Mr. Werchado was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and served until 2010 as Director, Naval Forces Division at the Office the Secretary of Defense, PA&E. He led a team that assessed the Navy’s program and recommended changes to the Secretary, oversaw Analysis of Alternatives, and assessed future naval requirements.

Mr. Werchado served on active duty as an enlisted Hospital Corpsman and as a Naval Intelligence officer from 1978-87, and continued to serve in the Naval Reserve until retiring as a Commander in 1999.

Mr. Werchado graduated in 1980 from State University of New York. He earned a Master of Science in Operations Research Analysis in 1994 while working as a civilian intelligence analyst. He is also a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College and has completed both the Harvard University Senior Executive Fellowship and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI programs. His civilian awards include the Presidential Rank Award, OSD Exceptional Civilian Service Medal, Dept of the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal (2x), and Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal (2x).

Nomination Process

Nominate a deserving individual or team of individuals for one of MORS’ distinguished awards and prizes! MORS strives to recognize and celebrate analysts in all stages of their career, from young analysts to seasoned veterans in the field of operations research.

Do you know an exceptional individual who has consistently worked to share their knowledge and talents with others in the field? Nominate them for the Clayton J. Thomas Award, which recognizes those who have demonstrated distinguished service over time and continuously delivered sound contributions that have improved the analytical underpinnings of the profession.

Or perhaps you’ve worked with someone who has shown sustained service and leadership excellence, and has played a major role in strengthening the profession of national security operations research. Consider nominating them for the Vance R. Wanner Award!

Know a young analyst who is already making an impact on operations research? Consider nominating them for the Wayne P. Hughes Award, which recognizes an individual who is still early in their career and has a bright future ahead of them.

Or, if you know of an individual or a team that is conducting insightful and impactful research, nominate them for the David Rist Prize. The work conducted can be up to the SECRET classification level.

Recipients of several other MORS prizes and awards are also honored at the Symposium. The following do not have open nomination processes, but you can read more about them by following the links below.

Richard H. Barchi Prize - recognizes the best paper submitted in response to a call that goes out to the best nominated presenters from each working or composite group at the last MORS Symposium.

MOR Journal Award - awarded to the best article published in Military Operations Research during the previous calendar year.

John K. Walker, Jr. Award - awarded to the best technical article published in Phalanx during the previous calendar year.

Phalanx Editor’s Award – awarded to the best non-technical article published in Phalanx during the previous calendar year.

Eugene P. Visco Prize – awarded at the annual Emerging Techniques Forum (ETF) to  recognize early-career analysts for excellence in research quality, contributions, and presentation.

Graduate Research Prizes

Stephen A. Tisdale Prize – Naval Postgraduate School

Dr. James T. Moore Prize – Air Force Institute of Technology

Richard E. Rosenthal Student Competition – awarded at the annual Education and Professional Development Colloquium to the team of students with the best collaborative work and presentation in response to the posed “quick reaction analysis” challenge.

For information on submitting nominations, visit the MORS Awards and Prizes pages or email recognition@mors.org with any questions.