Three U.S. Navy students from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Department of Operations Research (OR) presented theses examining a variety of operational dynamics such as supply chains, chemical analysis and Sailor workloads to a panel of judges for the summer quarter Military Operations Research Society (MORS) Stephen A. Tisdale Thesis Award, Aug. 29.
Following the detailed presentations and extensive deliberations, the judges awarded Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Good with the summer quarter MORS/Tisdale Award citing his research represented the most near-term operational relevance to the service. Titled, “An Operational Model of the Critical Supply Chain for the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Good researched how to improve supply lines to people involved in natural disasters in the Caribbean Sea region.
Good’s research evaluated the supply chain of the Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Irma and Rita heavily battered the region in Sept. 2017. He studied how aid was delivered and dispersed on the decimated islands of St. John and St. Thomas, as well as how the inhabitants traveled to receive the aid.
“It makes me feel good that our faculty feels that the work that I’m doing is relevant to the Department of Defense and the Navy at large,” said Good. “It’s nice to see the hard work that goes into writing one of these theses pays off. It’s a good vote of confidence from our faculty.”
Good’s research has already turned heads and is looking to be applied to real world applications and improve the plans currently in place in the Virgin Islands.
“My advisors and I are traveling to the Virgin Islands to brief our results as part of a hazard mitigation plan working group,” said Good. “The Virgin Islands are in the middle of rewriting their hazard mitigation plans, so we will actually be a part of informing their decisions.”
Good’s work not only applies to area that experiences frequent natural disasters, but also applies to the Navy at large.
“Part of the Navy’s mission is humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Brian Morgan, program officer for NPS’ OR curriculum. “When you look at other agencies that do humanitarian assistance, you can better understand what it takes to efficiently complete the mission. It helps operations go smoothly and you can get the correct amount of aid to the right people.”
Good joins a lengthy roster of students earning the esteemed award dating back to the 1970s.
“The MORS Tisdale competition is a time where we, as a department, get to celebrate the excellent work that our students do,” said Dr. Matt Carlyle, Operations Research department chair. “Anytime anyone asks me about examples of the work we do here, I have a long list of examples that I can show to anyone who’s interested about the fantastic, relevant work that we do in this department.”
Good acknowledged the support and guidance from his advisors, Drs. David Alderson and Dan Eisenberg.
“They’re very invested in the problem, but they’ve allowed me to take ownership of it and actually feel like I’m part of a larger team and not just doing a thesis,” noted Good. “They’ve been the most influential from the faculty standpoint.”
The MORS/Tisdale award is named in honor of Lt. Cmdr. Stephen A. Tisdale, a dual-degree graduate of NPS in 1989 who perished in a military aircraft accident on March 21, 1991, while serving with Patrol Squadron 50 off the coast of California. Tisdale’s outstanding and influential thesis, “Assessing Optimal Utilization of Potential Anti-Satellite Architectures,” won the MORS prize for his graduating class, and was also recognized as the top Space Systems Operations student as well.