First Place at INFORMS Competition

November 2015: Congratulations to the Illinois team of Negin Alemazkoor, Hadi Meidani and Conrad Ruppert for their first place finish in the 2015 INFORMS Railway Applications Section Problem Solving Competition. It was a very close decision between the University of Illinois team and the other two finalists from India and Columbia. The deciding factor was that the Illinois approach yielded the best solution results while using a simpler model formulation than the other two finalists. The judges also felt that in selecting their approach the Illinois team carefully considered the physical track degradation process from an engineering perspective instead of randomly trying exotic OR techniques.