Over the past three years, Sensors Expo got off to rousing start at the kickoff party where several prestigious award and honors are given to the exceptional engineering teams (the good), rising star engineers (the brightest), and individuals who have established themselves as a major force in the tech industry with the ability to influence the future (the bold). This year was no exception in the awards and honors department. What was new in 2018 was attendance was nearly triple over last year.
Traditionally, each year the party started with a brief introduction delivered by John Chong of ROHM Semiconductor, and rightfully so since ROHM Semiconductor is the sponsor of the evening’s festivities. Our thank go to ROHM for their support and representation at the expo and in Sensors Online as well.
Now to matter at hand, the awards.
Engineering Team Award
Successful engineering teams, as you probably know, need to master several skills beyond technical expertise. Obviously, team members need to work as a team without individual egos impeding the work flow. They need to stay on top of the latest tech developments to be innovative in their work, and they also need to be both democratic and diplomatic, particularly when dealing with managers and marketing people who know more about deadlines and promotions than technology. And they must do this all without stealing each other’s lunch.
All this year’s nominations for the Engineering Team Award met those requirements and beyond, which made choosing one winner extremely difficult at best. One team though was pushing limits and theories to the max while developing a most unique boost converter, a power component capable of reading an external resistor to program output voltages in 32 different combinations.
Putting their collective minds together, team leader Joe Van and members Arjunsimha Chaturbhuj and Apsara Ravish-Suvarna developed the MAX17222 nanoPower converter. This years’ Engineering Team Award went to the team from Maxim Integrated Products.
Rising Start Engineer Award
One might ask what criteria establishes an individual as a rising star in the engineering field and one will get more answers than one bargained for. Educational achievements at an early age are not necessarily a guarantee of innovative excellence, but it helps. Knowledge and mastery of every current technology are good, but also no ticket to success. However, flexibility and the willingness to bend the rules are major assets.
This year’s rising star winner has worked in computational imaging, image processing, optimization, and deep neural network (DNN) approaches for computer vision. His work has yielded a unique DNN architecture, called CANA, that radically improves robustness of computer vision in difficult imaging scenarios, such as low or high light, poor weather, or lens issues such as dirt, damage, etc.
He is a winner of the SIGGRAPH 2017 Doctoral Dissertation Award and the Alain Fournier 2016 Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation in Computer Graphics. He has contributed to 50 leading publications on the topic of image processing, computational imaging, and computer vision, and holds numerous patents. This year’s Rising Star Engineer award went to Felix Heide.
WISE ENGINEERING WINNER
As most of you are aware, a major and successful component of Sensors Expo for the past three years is the Women in Sensors Engineering (WISE) program. The WISE program encourages women to pursue their goals in the engineering arena as well as the educational systems that offer advanced programs in the engineering sciences. This is the first of those years Sensors Expo honored one female rising star in the engineering community.
The 2018 winner of the WISE Engineering Award is not only a talented and innovative engineer, she is one of formidable entrepreneurial drive. She is the co-founder of Quanergy, a company on a mission to bring about an impactful change for humankind through sensor engineering. Along with her co-founders, the company’s focus is on LiDAR sensors with the goal of bringing sight to machines of all kinds and discovering new autonomous technologies.
Because of all the above, she was intimately involved in the design and launch of the Quanergy S3 sensor, deemed the first affordable, fully solid-state LiDAR sensor to reach the market. The sensor uses optical phased-array technology and contains no moving parts. The winner of the first WISE Engineering Award is Tianyue Yu.
Industry Impact Award
Next, we come to the Industry Impact award. This award is not only representative of the recipient’s accomplishments past and present, but that person’s view, interpretation, and positive impact on the future of technology.
In a 2015 interview with Sensors Online, our Industry Impact Award winner said “Sensors are a foundation for multiple global economic tides. The biggest is IoT, with 10-year growth estimated to be 32.5 trillion dollars, twice the size of today’s US economy. This growth is likely sufficient to drive sensor growth to a trillion units by 2025. The boldest current forecast for sensors is 100 trillion units by 2030.”
Sometimes referred to as “the father of sensors” and “the trillion-sensor man”, he serves as the Chief Executive Officer at eXo Imaging and he is also the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Transparent Networks. He is the 2018 winner of the Sensors Industry Impact Award, Dr. Janusz Bryzek.
That’s it for the kickoff party. Since we hold this party during baseball season, maybe next year we’ll call it the “Play Ball” or “Throw Out The First Pitch” party; most likely not. But we will be on the lookout for next year’s Good, Brightest, and Bold. ~MD