Ntaimo wins INFORMS best publication in Natural Sciences

Dr. Lewis Ntaimo, associate professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University, former Ph.D. student Julian Gallego-Arrubla and Curt Stripling of the Texas A&M Forest Service, were awarded this year’s INFORMS Section on Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment (ENRE) best paper publication.

“This award means so much to Julian and I,” Ntaimo said. “When he was a Ph.D. student, Julian admired those receiving awards like this one and aspired to be on the list of recipients one day.”

The award recognizes their paper, “Wildfire initial response planning using probabilistically constrained stochastic integer programming.” This work was published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

“We partnered with the Texas Forest Service to help decide the most efficient way for them to deploy their resources in the event of a wildfire outbreak,” Ntaimo said. “This problem is very complex because there are many things that can impact the way a fire starts and how it spreads across the landscape. We developed a stochastic program with probability constraints to allow them to account for a given level of risk involved, while operating within their tight budget.”

Gallego-Arrubla is an analytics managerwith A.T. Kearny Inc., a consulting company in Chicago.

Ntaimo ENRE AwardStripling is a geospatial systems coordinatorwith the Texas A&M Forest Service. Together with his boss Thomas Spencer, Stripling provided expert experience to help Gallego-Arrubla and Ntaimo create the new stochastic model for the service to use in the future.

The award was presented at the 2016 INFORMS annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

INFORMS is a national organization and the largest of its kind in the world for professionals in the operations research, management science and analytics fields. Texas A&M is also home to an active student chapter that was recently awarded the annual student chapter award at the cum laude level.

**Photo from left to right: Dr. Antonio J. Conejo (Ohio State University) and Dr. Hayri Onal (University of Illinois).