Luminaries from 2019 were awarded for their work in cosmology, photonics, GPS systems, video processing, semiconductors, brain neurons and more.

  • Each year reveals further advances in the disciplines of technology, engineering and science. In recognition of these yearly advances, key individuals are awarded with honors and prizes from a variety of very different organizations. These organizations include the National Academy of Sciences, the Nobel Prizes, various IEEE societies, Queen Elizabeth bi-annual prize, the Emmy’s Engineering award – and more.  Ten of the best of these awards have been collected to highlight the broad range of the achievements in 2019.

  • 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics

    “The Royal Swedish Academy of Science Nobel Prize in Physics recognizes both theoretical and experimental contributions to understanding the universe. This year, the prize is awarded to APS Fellow James Peebles (Princeton University), Michel Mayor (University of Geneva), and Didier Queloz (University of Geneva; University of Cambridge). 

    Half of the prize is awarded to Peebles for his theoretical insights into physical cosmology that have impacted the trajectory of cosmology research for the past 50 years and form the basis of the current ideas about the universe. The other half of the prize is awarded jointly to Mayor and Queloz for the first discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star in the Milky Way in 1995.”

    Image Source: MLA style: The Nobel Prize in Physics 2019. Nobel Media AB 2019. Thu. 19 Dec 2019.

  • Comstock Prize in Physics

    “Michal Lipson, Columbia University, received the 2019 Comstock Prize in Physics. Her pioneering research established the groundwork for silicon photonics, a growing field in which she remains a pioneer and leader. The technology, which uses optical rays to transfer data among computer chips, is now considered to be one of the most promising directions for solving major bottlenecks in microelectronics.

    Lipson developed techniques to tailor the electro-optic properties of silicon that led to the first advances in silicon photonics, including demonstrating the ability to confine light well beyond the traditional diffraction limit using what she termed “slot waveguides.” These waveguides are being applied for many applications, including telecommunications, bio-sensing, and on-chip transport of nanoparticles.”

  • Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

    “The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, also known as the QEPrize, is a global engineering prize that rewards and celebrates the engineers responsible for a ground-breaking innovation in engineering that has been of global benefit to humanity. The £1 million prize is awarded biennially in the name of Queen Elizabeth II. The 2019 prize went to four US engineers – Dr Bradford Parkinson, Professor James Spilker, Hugo Fruehauf, and Richard Schwartz for the creation of the first truly global, satellite-based positioning system (GPS). Parkinson won the prize for leading the development, design, and testing of key GPS components. James Spilker, Jr was awarded for developing the L-band GPS civil signal structure using CDMA. Hugo FrueHauf was honored for his instrumental role creating a highly accurate miniaturized atomic clock using a rubidium oscillator. Finally, Richard Schwartz won the prize for leading the design and development of the highly robust, long-lasting Block I satellites.”

  • Engineering Emmy Awards

    The Television Academy awarded Hugo Gaggioni with the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award for 2019. This award honors a living individual whose ongoing contributions have significantly affected the state of television technology and engineering.

    In his storied 31-year tenure at Sony Electronics, Hugo Gaggioni has achieved many scientific and technical accomplishments and is widely known for his unique ability to present and explain complex technical concepts to professionals and civilians alike. He now serves as chief technology officer of the broadcast and production systems division, pursuing his research interests in digital video image processing, information theory, audio/video bandwidth compression, HDTV devices and systems, digital filter banks, and multidimensional signal processing.  He is a Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) fellow and recipient of both the David Sarnoff and the Leitch Medals.

  • IEEE History Committee Honors Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman

    Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman have been honored by IEEE History Committee for their book, “A Mind at Play: How Claud Shannon Invented the Information Age” (Simon and Schuster, 2017). Both authors were chosen as the winners of the 2019 IEEE William and Joyce Middleton Electrical Engineering History Award. Established in 2014, this award recognizes annually the author of a book (published within the previous three years) in the history of an IEEE-related technology that both exemplifies exceptional scholarship and reaches beyond academic communities toward a broad public audience. Most of the Center’s resources are available online at the Engineering and Technology History Wiki

    “In their second collaboration, the biographers present the story of Claude Shannon—one of the foremost intellects of the twentieth century and the architect of the Information Age, whose insights stand behind every computer built, email sent, video streamed, and webpage loaded. Claude Shannon was a groundbreaking polymath, a brilliant tinkerer, and a digital pioneer. He constructed the first wearable computer, outfoxed Vegas casinos, and built juggling robots. He also wrote the seminal text of the digital revolution, which has been called “the Magna Carta of the Information Age.” In this elegantly written, exhaustively researched biography, Soni and Goodman reveal Claude Shannon’s full story for the first time.”

  • IEEE Robert Noyce Awards

    The IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal honors of Robert N. Noyce, founder of Intel Corporation. He was renowned for his 1959 invention of the integrated circuit and for leadership in the research and development of advanced microelectronic design automation tools. The 2019 recipient of this award was Antun Domic, Chief Technical Officer, at Synopsys.

    “The electronic design automation (EDA) tools, methodologies, and flows developed under Antun Domic’s leadership have driven the state of the art in digital microelectronics for almost three decades and have enabled the continued miniaturization of the electronic components that power today’s applications. EDA makes possible the creation of complex electronic systems with computer software that aids in the design, verification, and testing processes and helps detect and eliminate bugs and defects in chips and circuit boards. The EDA tools developed under Domic’s leadership while at Synopsys and other companies have impacted the creation of a large number of the world’s most advanced microelectronic components by enabling the design of chips containing billions of gates from high-level synthesis through physical layout and verification, including timing, power, area, and test optimization, all the way to the final design result.”

  • Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) Awards

    Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) recognizes semiconductor companies that have demonstrated excellence through their success, vision, strategy and future opportunities in the industry at its annual Awards Dinner Celebration. The Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award, sponsored by the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), recognizes individuals for their exceptional contributions to drive the development, innovation, growth and long-term opportunities for the semiconductor industry. The recipient of this award for 2019 was James (Jim) C. Morgan, Chairman Emeritus of Applied Materials, Inc.

    “Applied Materials develops technology and equipment used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world. Morgan ran Applied for nearly three decades— one of the longest tenures of a Fortune 500 CEO. He has been acknowledged for his numerous contributions within the technology industry and around the world for his leadership within the community. He advised three U.S. Presidents on matters of trade and competitiveness, serving on the National Advisory Committee on Semiconductors. He is also a recipient of the IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal for his vision and leadership that transformed Applied Materials into an innovation leader and global partner for advancing microelectronics manufacturing technology.”

  • EDA Phil Kaufman Award

    Presented by the Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance and the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation, this award honors an individual who has had demonstrable impact on electronic design through contributions in the field of EDA. The recipient for 2019 is Dr. Mary Jane Irwin.

    “Dr. Irwin has been honored for her extensive contributions to EDA through her technical efforts, service to the community and leadership. During her tenure at Pennsylvania State University, she mentored countless students and contributed to technology through her substantial research and numerous publications. Her research included creating EDA tools then using them in computer architecture research, an approach that gave Dr. Irwin influence in both academia and industry.”

  • National Academy of Sciences

    Liqun Luo, Stanford University, received the 2019 Pradel Research Award. This award is presented annually to recognize mid-career neuroscientists whose work is making major contributions to our understanding of the nervous system.

    “Luo has conducted pioneering research, often using techniques of his own invention, to improve our understanding of how neural circuits in the brain assemble and how they are organized to allow information processing. One of Luo’s early achievements was the development of Mosaic Analysis with a Repressible Cell Marker (MARCM), a genetics technique for specifically labelling isolated mutant cells within an otherwise normal fruit fly, a model organism for genetics research. This allowed Luo to study single neurons within a complex brain, which enabled him to make fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of the fly’s brain development. In particular, Luo focused on the olfactory system and has identified numerous genetic elements that control neuronal wiring and made the olfactory system as a model for understanding neural circuit assembly in all species.”

  • DesignCon Engineer-of-the-Year Award

    DesignCon’s “Engineer of the Year” Award is given out each year during the DesignCon event. The award seeks to recognize the best of the best in engineering and new product advancements at the chip, board, or system level. The award winner will be selected based on his or her leadership, creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking brought to design/test of chips, boards, or systems, with particular attention paid to areas of signal and power integrity.

    This year’s award went to Vishram Pandit for his ability to share knowledge with the technical community that will one day create the CPUs for next-generation cars, phones, and servers. He has co-authored a book on Power Integrity for I/O Interfaces, and is co-author of approximately 30 conference and journal publications, out of which 19 were presented at DesignCon. Those papers have received 3 best paper awards and 3 finalist awards. Vishram received the 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the Signal and Power integrity field.

John Blyler is a Design News senior editor, covering the electronics and advanced manufacturing spaces. With a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering, he has years of hardware-software-network systems experience as an editor and engineer within the advanced manufacturing, IoT and semiconductor industries. John has co-authored books related to system engineering and electronics for IEEE, Wiley, and Elsevier.