I am happy to report that my colleagues Kai Furmans, Zäzilia Seibold, Onur Uludag and I recently received the 2015 Best Application Paper Award from IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering for our paper, GridStore: A Puzzle-Based Storage System with Decentralized Control. Zäzilia and Onur, in particular, made outstanding contributions to this work. Onur went on to extend these ideas in his GridPick system, and Zäzilia is going further still with her work on GridSorter and other things.
Below is the letter Zäzilia read on our behalf while accepting the award at the conference in Sweden:
On behalf of Drs. Furmans, Gue, and Uludag, we regret that we could not join you today!
We should say at the outset that the research behind this paper was collaborative in the fullest sense, with each author making unique and valuable contributions along the way.  But the paper represents more than just collaboration; it represents two research teams in two countries, with two previously independent streams of research, creating something neither team could have imagined without the other.  Gue and Uludag began with prior research in puzzle-based storage systems. Furmans and Seibold began with previous research in decentralized control of conveyor modules.  The research in this paper is a gratifying combination of the two—decentralized control of a puzzle-based storage system.
The ideas in this paper have already been extended in our own research, and it is our hope that others will move them even further.  We believe that decentralized control represents an attractive means of dealing with the extreme complexity that characterizes so many logistics systems today.  We hope that our paper will become just a small contribution to our understanding of these systems.  We are also pleased to report that a working prototype of the GridStore system has been built and is on display at the Institute for Material Handling and Logistics in Karlsruhe.  It is our hope that, someday, we will see these systems working in industry.
We would like to thank the editorial team at IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering for helpful comments during the publication process.  We also thank the U.S. National Science Foundation for providing the financial support that made this work possible.
Many thanks and best regards from Germany and the United States.  Enjoy your time in Sweden!
Kai Furmans
Kevin Gue
Onur Uludag

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