Amazon's first research scientist elected an INFORMS fellow
Russell Allgor is recognized for outstanding lifetime achievement in operations research and the management sciences.
Amazon was founded in 1994 and six years later the company hired its first research scientist, Russell Allgor. Over the past 21 years, Allgor has seen the Amazon science community grow substantially, and he has risen to the role of chief scientist within the company’s Worldwide Operations and Logistics organization.
Considered one of the most influential scientists in the field of logistics and fulfillment systems for e-commerce, Allgor this week was officially named an INFORMS fellow. With more than 12,000 members from around the globe, INFORMS is the leading international association the decision and data scientists. Allgor will be inducted during the 2021 INFORMS Annual Meeting, which takes place later this month both virtually and on location in Anaheim, Calif.
Announcing the 2021 INFORMS Fellows! Congratulations to Ritu Agarwal, Russell Allgor, Ronald Askin, Stephen Chick, John Fowler, David Gamarnik, Nicholas Hall, Robert Leachman, Mark Lewis, Irv Lustig, CAP, Alice Smith, and Alexander Stolyar. https://t.co/jxiXnUFLXK pic.twitter.com/cwePbegMaI— INFORMS (@INFORMS) October 5, 2021
In its press release, INFORMS said Allgor is being recognized “for significant management and application of operations research and management science to design and improve logistics and fulfillment systems for e-commerce.”
Earlier this year, INFORMS awarded Amazon its 2021 INFORMS Prize, which recognizes the effective integration of operations research and analytics into organizational decision-making. “In reality,” says Mauricio Resende, a principal research scientist with the company’s Middle Mile Research Science and Optimization organization, “that award can be mostly attributed to the work done by Russell.”
Allgor’s accomplishments began shortly after he joined the company as a senior manager of Network Optimization. Many of his analyses formed the foundation of Amazon’s retail logistics strategy. Early in his career, Allgor played a pivotal role in the location of new facilities (fulfillment centers), and the placement of inventory within those facilities.
He then was involved in the design of the algorithms to assign orders to fulfillment centers in real time, taking into consideration the state of the company’s entire fulfillment and transportation system. With the growth of the company’s fulfillment center network, Allgor then focused on the performance of that network, including its transportation component.
I am really proud of the value delivered to customers by the innovations that our team has created.
In 2010, he was named chief scientist, Worldwide Operations and Logistics, a role he has held for the past 11 years. During this time, Allgor has started the company’s Modeling and Optimization research group, and created the Routing Science Research team focused on last-mile routing of packages, as well as the Middle Mile Research Science team.
Allgor’s team utilizes scientific innovation and invention to support the more than 1 million Amazon employees and partners at fulfillment centers, sortation centers, and delivery stations worldwide who ensure that customers get their packages as reliably and safely as possible.
“I feel very honored to be recognized by INFORMS for the accomplishments that I have achieved at Amazon. I am really proud of the value delivered to customers by the innovations that our team has created, and I enjoy working with and learning from the talented team we have assembled,” said Allgor. “Our early success led to investment in additional research that has driven the growth of the research and science community at Amazon. We continue to innovate in order to deliver a massive selection of products to customers.”
Allgor earned a PhD in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University. Earlier this year, he was elected into the National Academy of Engineering for “application of operations engineering to design and improve logistics and fulfillment systems for e-commerce.” He was formally inducted into NAE at the organization’s annual meeting on Oct. 3, 2021, and was inducted into the Washington State Academy of Sciences on September 16, 2021.