IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award

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The IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award recognizes significant technological achievements and contributions to the establishment, development, and proliferation of innovative societal infrastructure systems through the application of information technology with an emphasis on distributed computing systems. The award is sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd. and the IEEE Computer Society.

The IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award was established in November 2011. The first presentation was in 2014.

Recipient selection is administered by the Technical Field Awards Council of the IEEE Awards Board.


Past Recipients

2020 – Masaru Kitsuregawa

Masaru Kitsuregawa has led the development and deployment of big data platforms on the environment and healthcare. Since the early 1980s he has accumulated earth environmental data from many real-time sensors. In 2019, his DIAS system grew to 35 PBs, used by scientists and government agencies around the world for applications such as weather modeling and disaster management. DIAS provides satellite imagery, radar, and river water gauge data for real-time flood prediction and proactive dam discharging. He is building the SFINCS big data platform, with 200 billion medical claims records from Japan. SFINCS enables new discoveries on nationwide statistics for drug usage and time series analysis after operation. These discoveries are being used to improve medical treatments and healthcare system efficiency.

An IEEE Fellow, Kitsuregawa is director general of the National Institute of Informatics and professor with the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.



2019 – Andy Vidan, Paul Breimyer, and Gregory G. Hogan

Andy Vidan, Paul Breimyer, and Gregory G. Hogan’s development of the Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS) is transforming emergency response efforts during disasters using advanced distributed information technology to increases response efficiency and effectiveness. While at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the trio worked closely with emergency management agencies to understand how technology could support traditional ICS systems that were often not interoperable. Their creation of NICS provides a common operational platform across organizations and command echelons at a national scale that enables collaborative sharing of real-time data. NICS incorporates a web-based infrastructure designed to integrate applications into toolsets that are simple to learn and use, allowing responders to focus on the task at hand. NICS enables virtual collaboration, integrated sensing, resource monitoring, and mobile applications to provide real-time situational awareness and reduce the need for face-to-face meetings.

An IEEE Senior member, Vidan is chief executive officer and cofounder of Composable Analytics, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA.

An IEEE member, Breimyer is director of software engineering with Audible Inc., an Amazon Company, Cambridge, MA, USA.

An IEEE member, Hogan is an associate leader of the Advanced Sensors and Techniques Group with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA, USA.



2018 – David F. Ferraiolo, D. Richard Kuhn, and Ravi Sandhu

David Ferraiolo, Richard Kuhn, Ravi Sandhu

The individual and combined efforts of David F. Ferraiolo, D. Richard Kuhn, and Ravi Sandhu in developing and strengthening role-based access control (RBAC) have provided the computer industry with the world’s most widely used cybersecurity tool for protecting valuable digital data. Implemented at virtually all levels of computing, including operating system, database management, network, and enterprise management applications, RBAC overcame the limitations of previous security models based on military requirements that proved cumbersome for commercial industry needs. RBAC provides efficient security administration for large enterprises, simplified auditing of permissions to evaluate risk and regulatory compliance, efficient implementation of separation of duty rules to reduce insider threat risks, and scalability to some of the largest systems in existence.

Ferraiolo is manager of the Secure Systems and Applications Group, Computer Security Division, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

An IEEE Fellow, Kuhn is a computer scientist, Computer Security Division, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

An IEEE Fellow, Sandhu is the Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair in Cyber Security and executive director of the Institute for Cyber Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA.



2017 – Antonello Monti

Antonello Monti

Antonello Monti’s visionary research is delivering advances in providing stable, secure, and efficient energy supply systems in buildings and urban environments. With a focus on automating complex power systems based on network dynamics and information and communication technologies, his power hardware in the loop (PhiL) simulation tools have made it possible to link real-life power equipment to real-time simulation of power systems to validate the impact of dynamics and delay times of algorithms, controllers, converters, and communication systems on electrical distribution grids. He has also been a leader in exploring the potential of cloud-based platforms for complete virtualization of power infrastructures, which will revolutionize how utilities operate by providing service-based energy solutions in extremely short time periods.

An IEEE Senior member, Monti is a professor and institute director with the E. ON Energy Research Center, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.



2016 – William H. Sanders

William H. Sanders

A leading cybersecurity expert, the groundbreaking contributions of William H. Sanders have made the electric power grid more safe, secure, reliable, and available. He did so by developing tools and techniques to make the grid more resilient to attacks that may occur as well as methods for quantitatively assessing its cyber security and resiliency. He has worked in every part of the field, from the distribution-side, including smart meters, to long-haul transmission networks. Among other contributions, he is the co-developer of the NP-View software to test NERC-CIP compliance of process control networks, which has changed the way utilities audit their networks.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Sanders is a Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering and Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.



2015 – Takemochi Ishii, Hirokazu Ihara, and Atsunobu Ichikawa

Takemochi Ishii, Hirokazu Ihara, and Atsunobu Ichikawa

The development and refinement of the autonomous decentralized system (ADS) by Takemochi Ishii, Hirokazu Ihara, and Atsunobu Ichikawa has enabled the safe and timely operation of urban and long-distance transportation infrastructures. Modeled on biological systems, the ADS incorporates a distributed database and broadcast communication protocols to provide a flexible system that can adapt to environmental disturbances or failures. With ADS, repairs or changes can be made without having to shut down the entire network as with a centralized system. Drs. Ishii, Ihara, and Ichikawa jointly conceived the ADS, developed its theories and tools, and applied it to several high-impact infrastructures. First introduced in 1982 in the Kobe municipal subway system, ADS has been incorporated in practically almost all of subway operations in Japan.

Dr. Ishii is a Professor Emeritus with the University of Tokyo, Minatoku, Japan. An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Ihara is a Member Emeritus of IFIPWG 10,4 Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Ichikawa is a Professor Emeritus with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan.



2014 – Balaji Prabhakar

Balaji Prabhakar

Balaji Prabhakar’s distributed computing architectures are being used to solve pressing societal issues. A key aspect of Dr. Prabhakar’s work is the use of incentives, such as offering commuters a reward for using transportation during off-peak hours. A network of embedded sensors can monitor traffic on roads and smartphone-based mobility apps can determine how commuters are using the system. The network can provide operators with data to help determine when incentives need to be applied to influence users to make the most efficient use of the system. Dr. Prabhakar’s programs have reduced peak hour use of public transportation in Singapore, off-peak and eco-friendly commuting at Stanford University in the USA, and have improved participation in wellness and education programs at major corporations.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Prabhakar is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Stanford University, CA, USA.