Dissertation Prize

2024 AAS Best Dissertation Award – Call for Submissions

The INFORMS Aviation Applications Section recognizes the best dissertation in any area related to applying operations research and related approaches to aviation. The winner will receive a plaque. Other finalists will receive an honorable mention and a certificate. 

Eligibility Criteria

Doctoral dissertations meeting the following criteria are eligible for consideration:

  • Dissertation must be completed and submitted between June 1, 2023 and May 31, 2024
  • Dissertation must be in an area relevant to aviation research or practice
  • Must be a member of the INFORMS Aviation Applications Section.

2024 AAS Best Dissertation Award Committee

Sebastian Birolini, University of Bergamo

Guglielmo Lulli, Lancaster University

Lavanya Marla, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Luis Cadarso, Rey Juan Carlos University (chair)

Submission Instructions 

To apply, submit the following documents in portable document format (PDF) via email to  luis.cadarso@urjc.es, on or before Saturday, June 1, 2024. Use the subject line: AAS Best Dissertation Award Submission – [dissertation author last name]:

  • The completed dissertation
  • An extended abstract (up to 4 pages, single spaced) describing the work and its relevance
  • A short paper (20 to 25 pages, double spaced) that is based on the dissertation (this is optional, but welcome)
  • A letter of nomination from the dissertation supervisor supporting the submission and highlighting the importance of the research.

The winner(s) will be announced at the AAS business meeting during the 2024 INFORMS Annual Meeting in October.



First Place 

Jan-Rasmus Künnen, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Advanced demand-capacity balancing mechanisms to improve performance of European air traffic networks


First Place 

Max Z. Li, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Spectral Models for Air Transportation Networks


First Place 

Sebastian Birolini, University of Bergamo
Modeling of Supply-Demand Interactions in the Optimization of Air Transport Networks

Runner Up

Sandeep Badrinath, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Modeling and Control of Queuing Networks: Applications to Airport Surface Operations


First Place 

Keji Wei, Dartmouth College
Schedule Planning and Endogeneity of Travelers’ Decisions in Congested Large-Scale Transportation Networks
David Torres-Sanchez, Lancaster University
Optimising Airline Maintenance Scheduling Decisions

Runner Up

Maximilian Pohl, Technical University of Munich
Runway Scheduling During Winter Operations: Models, Methods, and Applications


First Place 

Nuno Ribeiro, University of Coimbra
Airport Capacity Management: Towards a Slot Allocation Modelling Approach Compliant with IATA Rules

Runner Up

Gita Taherkhani, University of Waterloo
Hub Location Problems with Profit Considerations


First Place 

Chiwei Yan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Airline Scheduling and Air Traffic Control: Incorporating Uncertainty and Passenger and Airline Preferences


First Place 

Heng Chen, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Service Improvement and Cost Reduction for Airlines: Optimal Policies for Managing Arrival and Departure Operations under Uncertainty



First Place 

Virginie Lurkin, University of Liège 
Modeling in Air Transportation: Cargo Loading and Itinerary Choice



Virginie Lurkin (Center) with the Prize Committee Member, Alexandre Jacquillat (Left) and the Section Chair, Senay Solak (Right)

Honorable Mention

James Jones,  University of Maryland, College Park
Optimization Models for Speed Control in AirTraffic Management



James Jones (Center) with the Prize Committee Member, Alexandre Jacquillat (Left) and the Section Chair, Senay Solak (Right)


First Place 

Michael Bloem, Stanford University
Optimization and Analytics for Air Traffic Management



Michael Bloem (Left) with the Prize Committee Chair, David Lovell (Right)


First Place 

Stephen Maher, University of New South Wales
The Application of Recoverable Robustness to Airline Planning Problems

Honorable Mention

Clayton Tino,  Georgia Institute of Technology
Wind Models and Stochastic Programming Algorithms for En Route Trajectory Prediction and Control 



Clayton Tino (Center) with the Prize Committee Chair, Milind Sohoni (Right) and the Section Chair, Thomas Vossen (Left)


First Place

Farshid Azadian, Wayne State University
An Integrated Framework for Freight Forwarders: Exploitation of Dynamic Information for Multimodal Transportation



Farshid Azadian (Center) with the Prize Committee Chair, Amedeo Odoni (Left) and the Section Chair, Thomas Vossen (Right)

Honorable Mention

Bo Vaaben, Technical University of Denmark
Sustainable Disruption Management



Bo Vaaben (Center) with the Prize Committee Chair, Amedeo Odoni (Left) and the Section Chair, Thomas Vossen (Right)


First Place

Marcial Lapp, University of Michigan
Methods for Improving Robustness and Recovery in Aviation Planning 


First Place

Douglas Fearing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Case for Coordination: Equity, Efficiency, and Passenger Impacts in Air Traffic Flow Management



Douglas Fearing receives the award from Prize Committee Member Dr. Karla Hoffman.


First Place

Poornima Balakrishna, George Mason University
Scalable Approximate Dynamic Programming Models



Poornima Balakrishna receives the award from the Prize Committee Chair, Diego Klabjan.


First Place

Gizem Keysan, Georgia Institute of Technology
Tactical and Operational Planning for Per-Seat On-Demand Air Transportation



Gizem Keysan receives the award from the Prize Committee Chair, Amy Cohn.


First Place

Mustafa Akan, Northwestern University
Essays on Revenue Management



Mustafa Akan receives the award from the Prize Committee Member, Mirela Stojkovic.

Past Winners