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Learn Who Will Receive a “Technology Oscar” From IEEE

At the pre-event, award recipients will talk about their innovations

3 min read

After two years of holding the IEEE Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit virtually, this year’s event is scheduled to be in person. The annual VIC summit, to be held on 6 May at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, brings together technology innovators, visionaries, and disruptors to share insights on emerging technologies and discuss their potential impacts on humanity.

The summit culminates with the IEEE Honors Ceremony, what some call the “Oscars of Technology.” In the ceremony, to be live-streamed on, the recipients of IEEE’s highest awards will be honored for contributions to communications, medical imaging, visual media, information systems, and other fields.

Marguerite Gong HancockMarguerite Gong HancockIEEE Awards

The moderator of this year’s summit is Marguerite Gong Hancock, vice president of innovation at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. Hancock oversees innovation across the museum’s programming including its exhibits, educational sessions, and diversity and inclusion efforts.


Summit panels are expected to explore the impact of technology on aerospace, cybersecurity, and smart cities.

Keynote speaker Albert Greenberg is set to discuss networking in private clouds. Greenberg is vice president of platform engineering at Uber Technologies. The company develops applications for navigation and ride sharing as well as payment-processing solutions. He is the executive sponsor for the company’s senior engineers who are striving to make architecture and technical standards more effective, reliable, and sustainable.

Yi Soyeon, South Korea’s first astronaut, is part of a panel discussing aerospace technologies. In 2008 Yi was part of the crew on the Soyuz TMA-12 mission to the International Space Station. During the 11 days she spent at the station, she completed experiments that contributed content for South Korea’s science textbooks. She is now managing director of business development and partnership at biotechnology startup Noul, in Yongin, South Korea.


Asad M. MadniAsad M. MadniIEEE Awards

During the Honors Ceremony in the evening, award recipients will be celebrated. Life Fellow Asad M. Madni will be honored with the IEEE Medal of Honor—IEEE’s highest award. Madni is being recognized for “pioneering contributions to the development and commercialization of innovative sensing and systems technologies, and for distinguished research leadership.” The award is sponsored by the IEEE Foundation.

Other pioneers being honored include IEEE Life Fellow John Brooks Slaughter, the recipient of the IEEE Founders Medal. The award is sponsored by the IEEE Foundation's Richard and Mary Jo Stanley Memorial Fund. An educator, scholar, ambassador, and champion of “engineering for all,” Slaughter is dedicated to advancing participation of underrepresented populations in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Deborah EstrinDeborah EstrinIEEE Awards

IEEE Fellow Deborah Estrin is set to receive the IEEE John von Neumann Medal for leadership in mobile and wireless sensing systems technologies and applications, including personal health management. The award is sponsored by IBM.

The first recipients of the IEEE Frances E. Allen Medal are IEEE Senior Member Eugene Myers and Webb Miller. Sponsored by IBM, the Allen Medal honors the computing pioneer and IEEE Fellow. She helped design and build Alpha, a code-breaking language that featured the ability to create new alphabets beyond the system-defined ones.

Myers and Miller are being recognized for pioneering contributions to sequence analysis algorithms and their applications to biosequence search, genome sequencing, and comparative genome analyses. Their computational innovations have been central to progress on DNA and protein sequence data analysis, enabling the genomic revolution.


As a pre-event to the IEEE VIC Summit and Honors Ceremony, on 5 May Qualcomm plans to host an Evening of Innovation at its offices in San Diego. It is scheduled to include a panel discussion with some of the award recipients—highlighting their journeys, innovations, and insights on emerging technologies.

For details about all the speakers or to learn more about this year’s honorees, visit IEEE Corporate Awards webpage.

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Economics Drives Ray-Gun Resurgence

Laser weapons, cheaper by the shot, should work well against drones and cruise missiles

4 min read
In an artist’s rendering, a truck is shown with five sets of wheels—two sets for the cab, the rest for the trailer—and a box on the top of the trailer, from which a red ray is projected on an angle, upward, ending in the silhouette of an airplane, which is being destroyed

Lockheed Martin's laser packs up to 300 kilowatts—enough to fry a drone or a plane.

Lockheed Martin

The technical challenge of missile defense has been compared with that of hitting a bullet with a bullet. Then there is the still tougher economic challenge of using an expensive interceptor to kill a cheaper target—like hitting a lead bullet with a golden one.

Maybe trouble and money could be saved by shooting down such targets with a laser. Once the system was designed, built, and paid for, the cost per shot would be low. Such considerations led planners at the Pentagon to seek a solution from Lockheed Martin, which has just delivered a 300-kilowatt laser to the U.S. Army. The new weapon combines the output of a large bundle of fiber lasers of varying frequencies to form a single beam of white light. This laser has been undergoing tests in the lab, and it should see its first field trials sometime in 2023. General Atomics, a military contractor in San Diego, is also developing a laser of this power for the Army based on what’s known as the distributed-gain design, which has a single aperture.

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