The Smith Institute wins prestigious science prize

  • UK SME awarded the Operational Research Society’s acclaimed President’s Medal for its work on helping deliver on the promise of Next-Generation Mobile Services

Lancaster, 13th September 2018: The Smith Institute has been awarded the Operational Research (OR) Society’s acclaimed President’s Medal, with an impressive pitch that won the attention and credit of the judges yesterday afternoon. The prize recognises the Smith Institute’s work supporting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s ground-breaking Broadcast Incentive Auction, which successfully reorganised radio spectrum allocation across the United States, using Operational Research and analytics. The auction generated almost $20bn in revenue, over $7bn of which will go directly to the US Treasury to reduce federal deficit. The reorganisation of radio spectrum achieved by the auction, will enable US wireless companies to increase mobile broadband coverage and deliver next-generation 5G services.

Working closely with the FCC, who won the coveted 2018 Franz Edelman Award for their use of Operational Research in this Broadcast Incentive Auction, the Smith Institute provided extensive verification services throughout the year long auction. This involved ensuring that all algorithms and optimisation models that underpinned the auction were fit for purpose and implemented to ensure optimal accuracy and speed.

The Smith Institute has comprehensive expertise in quality assurance in spectrum auctions, having supported the preparation, verification and certification of 17 spectrum auctions in 10 countries across the world.

“This is a fantastic achievement which recognises the careful work of our team, delivering clarity on an immensely complex project and confidence to our customers. We feel privileged to have worked so closely with the team at FCC whose implementation of this astounding auction design was also recognised with the Franz Edelman Award.”  Dr Heather Tewkesbury, Chief Executive Officer, Smith Institute for Industrial Mathematics and Systems Engineering

“It is a great honour to have our work on the Broadcast Incentive Auction recognised by the Operational Research Society through the award of its President’s Medal.  It was a truly ground-breaking project, which has demonstrated new paradigms for spectrum management.  These new approaches will be needed extensively over the next few years to maintain greatest benefit of wireless communications for consumers and service providers.” Dr Robert Leese, Chief Technical Officer, Smith Institute for Industrial Mathematics and Systems Engineering

Representatives from the Smith Institute will be presented with the President’s Medal at the OR Society’s Annual Blackett Memorial Lecture which takes place on Wednesday 28th November 2018 at the Royal Society.