David Rist Prize


Nomination Packet Deadline: 15 January 2022

About the MORS David Rist Prize

The Rist Prize recognizes the practical benefit sound operations research can have on “real life” decision-making and seeks the best implemented national security operations research study from those submitted in response to this 2020 Rist Prize Call for Entries. This call solicits abstracts with letters of endorsement for implemented recommendations from studies or other operations research-based efforts, e.g., analyses, methodology improvements, that influenced major decisions or practices. Entries for individuals or teams submitted in response to this call will be eligible for consideration for the Rist Prize.

Cash Awards

There are two cash prizes that may be awarded: $3,000 for first place (i.e. Rist Prize winner) and $1,500 split amongst the honorable mentions. Both awards are announced during the opening plenary session at the 90th MORS Symposium in 2022.

Submission Requirements and Process

To be considered:

  • An unclassified abstract and letter of endorsement for the implemented operations research-based recommendations from the study must be submitted to the MORS office no later than 15 January 2022.
  • The abstract cannot be longer than 3 pages (8.5” by 11”, single sided, 10 point type minimum, .75” margins all around minimum.)
  • The letter of endorsement must be signed by an official at a Flag/General officer, Government SES, or company VP level (or equivalent) from the organization using the results of the analysis. The letter of endorsement must address as a minimum:
  • The importance of the problem
  • The contribution of the insight or solution
  • The impact of the result of the analysis

Please send the unclassified abstracts, letter(s) of endorsement, and a MORS Abstract Disclosure Form 109 A/B to james.e.richards@erdc.dren.mil. A MORS Fellow of the Society will be identified to assist the finalists in their preparations for the presentations. The fellows are distinguished members of the society with experience judging Rist presentations. Finalists must submit an annotated presentation brief and MORS Disclosure Form to the MORS Office no later than Friday, 7 May 2022 to give the senior judging panel (usually MORS Fellows and Sponsors) ample time to read the presentation and form their questions. While all abstracts must be unclassified the final presentation may be classified up to SECRET. The finalists give their presentations at a session on the Monday prior to the MORS Symposium. The senior judging panelists are able to question the presenters then make their decision that evening.  The Rist prize winner will be announced at the Symposium plenary session the next day. 

Annotated Presentations will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Professional Quality
  • Problem definition
  • Citation of related work
  • Description of approach
  • Statement of assumptions
  • Explanation of methodology
  • Analysis of data and sources
  • Sensitivity of analyses (where appropriate)
  • Logical development of analysis and conclusions
  • Summary of presentation and results
  • Contribution to National Security Operations Research and Major Decisions
  • Importance of problem
  • Contribution to insight or solution of the problem
  • Power of generality of the result
  • Originality and innovation
  • Contribution of the study to the decision

All questions can be directed to the MORS Prize & Awards Committee Chair, Mr. Jed Richards at james.e.richards@erdc.dren.mil.


(when NOT submitting abstract through Presenter Center)

Past Award Winners

2020 - Ms. Emily Johnson, Mr. Jake Taylor

2019 - Mr. Christopher Way

2018 - Mr. Brian Rose

2017 - Denis R. Shine and Nicholas K. Kempt

2016 - Mr. Ian Kloo, Mr. Robert Greenway, LTC Sam Huddleston, Michal Haskell, Mr. Abe Usher

2015 - Brian Rose

2014 - Mr. Saiful Hannan

2013 - LtCol David Scott, Capt Aaron Burciaga, Ms. Cynthia Cheek, Ms. Janice Scoggins

2012 - MAJ Matt Dabkowski, COL Bradley Pippin

2011 - Prof. Milind Tambe, Prof. Fernando Ordonez, Mr. Manish Jain, Mr. James Pita, Prof. Christopher Kiekintveld, Erroll Southers, James B. Curren

2010 – Mr. John Andrews, Mr. Patrick McKenna, Ms. Karen Phipps

2009 - Mr. Joseph Mlakar of Marine Corps Combat Development Command

2008 - MAJ Steven J. Sparling, MAJ Robert F. Dell (endorsed by Brig Gen Angelella, USPACOM), Dr William G. Lese, FS.

2007 - Dr. Edward S. Michlovich

2006 - LTC Steven Stoddard, LTC Mark Brantley, LTC Clark Heidelbaugh

2005 - John Zeto, Mark Brantley, Galeraye Collins

2004 - Mark A. Gallagher, Bud Whiteman

2003 - Mark A. Gallagher, Anthony W. Snodgrass and Gregory J. Ehlers

2001 - H. Kent Pickett, W Peter Cherry

2000 - Michael Fischerkeller, Wade Hinkle, Stephen D. Biddle

1999 - Lee J. Lehmkuhl, David J. Lucia, James K. Feldman

1998 - Paul H. Deitz, Michael W. Starks