by Dave Evans
The IFORS Administrative Committee approved the establishment of the IFORS Fellows Award in 2020. Twenty very high profile individuals received the award in 2020, with a further six in 2021 and seven in 2022, one of whom is our own Hans Ittmann. The Award recognises a distinguished individual’s contribution to international operational research and its communities.
Hans was the link between ORSSA and IFORS for many years, and has contributed much in both directions, contributing many articles for the IFORS Newsletter, (of which he was the first editor) and other publications, in addition to bringing IFORS information, contacts, speakers and activities to us. ORSSA hosted the IFORS triennial conference in South Africa in 2008, in which Hans played a major role, chairing the local organizing committee.
He has been active in OR in Africa over many years, playing a major role in an international conference on OR in developing countries hosted by ORSSA in the Kruger Park in South Africa many years ago, and establishing and participating in international OR workshops at several venues in Africa over the years. He continues to participate in African and other international conferences – activities he has been involved in for many years, and provides substantial encouragement to OR practitioners on the continent – both established and up and coming ones.
He was involved in the establishment of the the African Federation of Operations Reseearch Societies (AFROS) in 2016 and has been an active non-voting member of the Executive Committee ever since. He is a highly valued contributor, playing a major role in liaising amongst the many member entities in AFROS, and assisting new chapters and working groups in establishing themselves with, for example, the correct structures, constitutions, and activities.
Hans has spoken about his work at conferences in Africa, for example. in Algeria in 2015, and to African societies such as ORPA in 2014. He has carefully documented the spread of OR throughout Africa, presented his findings at the first AFROS conference in Tunisia in 2018 and published a paper on the subject for ORiON.
His contributions to OR in South Africa, Africa and IFORS over the past forty and more years fully justify his election to an IFORS Fellowship and ORSSA is honoured to be able to congratulate him on this outstanding award.