WASHINGTON (26 January 2021) – IEEE-USA is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2020 IEEE-USA Awards. The awardees were chosen to receive IEEE-USA’s highest honors, in recognition of their professionalism, technical achievement, and literary contributions to the engineering profession in the United States.

“IEEE volunteers found ways to help others thrive in a difficult year,” said Brendan Godfrey, 2020 IEEE-USA Vice President of Communications. “They rose to meet the challenges of 2020 and we are truly proud of the innovative ways they contributed to IEEE-USA’s mission.”

The difficult task of deciding among the many worthy candidates each year falls to the IEEE-USA Awards and Recognitions Committee, led in 2020 by committee chair Susan Gilmore.

“There are so many whose great work in our community deserves to be honored,” said Gilmore. “While we have to choose just a few to receive these awards, I want to thank all of the nominators for recognizing their fellow members.”

The full list of award recipients is as follows:

IEEE-USA Award for Distinguished Public Service

  • Andrei Iancu
    For his outstanding work updating patent regulations benefiting IEEE’s U.S. members by clarifying and strengthening intellectual property protection and reducing administrative hurtles.

The IEEE-USA John Meredith Professional Service Award

  • Christopher Sanderson
    For exceptional leadership and creation of programming for the professional development of IEEE’s U.S. members.

IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Memorial Award

  • John Tague
    For exceptional leadership and achievements in research and development for the U.S. Navy’s technology enterprise

George F. McClure Citation of Honor

  • Michael Andrews
    For leadership promoting engineering professionalism and IEEE member engagement to students and young professionals through the development of the Rising Stars conference and numerous educational initiatives.
  • Zafar Taqvi
    For enduring dedication in promoting professional activities—through contributions to member engagement; for inspiring and mentoring members; and for increasing IEEE visibility in industry.

IEEE-USA Entrepreneur Achievement Award for Leadership in Entrepreneurial Spirit

  • Azad Madni
    For excellence in entrepreneurship over a lifetime of innovation, mentorship, and philanthropy

IEEE-USA Jim Watson Student Professional Awareness Achievement Award

  • Shilpita Biswas
    For sustained leadership increasing IEEE’s visibility with industry, growing student membership, and organizing professional development events.

IEEE-USA K-12 STEM Literacy Educator-Engineer Partnership Award

  • Stuart Wecker & Christine Busch
    For building a highly successful, sustained partnership between the Tempe school district and IEEE volunteers to provide hands-on STEM workshops.

Award for Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering Public Understanding and the Advancement of the Engineering Profession

  • Karen Panetta
    For co-authorship of the book, “Count Girls In”, which serves as an inspiration for youth to pursue technology careers, and for lifelong commitment to STEM Literacy

Board Special Citation

  • Mark Soffa, Kai A. Flowers, and James Joseph Talley Montgomery
    For creation and implementation of an innovative STEM education model during COVID-19 restrictions.

IEEE-USA Robert S. Walleigh Award for Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism

  • No recipient


To learn more about the IEEE-USA Awards or to see past recipients, visit ieeeusa.org/volunteers/awards-recognition/. Nominations for the 2021 awards open on 1 April 2021.



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Corey Ruth
Media Relations Associate, IEEE-USA

David Iams
Senior Manager, Career & Professional Activities, IEEE-USA