Captains of OR diner NL - guests Earlier this month, at the fourth National Delta Congress, the prestigious American Franz Edelman Award was handed out to the Dutch consortium who won the award in April 2013 for their flood risk reduction project. The consortium consisted of Deltares, the University of Tilburg, the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), HKV Consultancy, Delft’s University of Technology, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, and the Delta Commissioner’s staff team.

The consortium received the award in the presence of 1,500 guests, including several members of the Dutch government, such as Minister Schultz van Haegen, Minister Hennis-Plasschaert and Vice Minister Atsma. Anne Robinson, president of INFORMS (the largest society of Operations Research and Management Science), also travelled to The Netherlands to present the award at this special occasion.

Following the event, a dinner was hosted by the Franz Edelman award winner Dick den Hertog (professor at University Tilburg and part of the Deltares team). The dinner, held in honor of Anne Robinson, offered a great opportunity to bring several Dutch Edelman Award winners and finalists together.

The evening started with a 3-minute introduction of the available selection of Dutch companies active in OR (Ab Ovo, AIMMS, CQM, NS, ORTEC, TNT, and Quintiq). Following the introductory remarks, guests had the chance to exchange ideas and develop new opportunities for cooperation. Topics such as the need to increase OR awareness and cooperation between businesses and academia took center stage. Attendees also explored how an American organization like INFORMS can contribute to the development of European OR societies and how the industry can enable more people to benefit from optimization.

AIMMS SVP Gertjan de Lange was among the guests and offered a presentation at the event. Having been on stage himself to accept the Franz Edelman Award on behalf of our company and the Midwest ISO team in 2011, he knows what a thrill it is to be rewarded in this beautiful field we work in. In his own words: “It is great to see that our community is so strong and open, and that we want to help each other and our end users use innovative technologies to move their optimization ideas forward.”

Dick den Hertog: “I am very proud that The Netherlands is one of the leading countries in operations research, both in applications and theoretical research. I am convinced that the future of optimization is bright. More and more companies realize that optimization technology leads to better decisions, and therefore a competitive advantage.”