IEEE Honorees Provide Example, Impart Wisdom

The IEEE Honors Ceremony is an annual highlight for the Institute and its members. The gala event offers an opportunity for members to come together to celebrate the best and brightest among their colleagues. This year was no exception as San Diego, California served as the host city, as well as a dramatic backdrop to two days’ worth of memorable events.

Leading up to the event, IEEE Awards facilitated a collaboration with local industry giant Qualcomm and IEEE Foundation to celebrate a pre-Honors Ceremony gathering and panel discussion. Details on the inaugural Evening of Innovation are included below. The Honors Ceremony itself featured several highlights and memorable moments. Among them:

  • 2019 IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award recipient, Marcel Kershner, offered remarks regarding his experiences and path to success. He noted that he couldn’t help but credit his parents who had early on taught him that one could be best to himself by being good to others;
  • David Green, 2019 Haraden Pratt Award recipient and IEEE Foundation Board Treasurer capped his remarks by indicating he would gift his cash prize in support of the Realize the Full Potential of IEEE Campaign. David is joined in this generous endeavor by Sir Robin Keith Saxby, David Jaggar and David Flynn. We are greatly encouraged by and grateful for these examples of confidence and support!
  • The daughters of NASA Pioneer, Katherine Johnson, told the audience that, “our Mother is just like your Mother. She taught us that we were no better than anybody else, but also that we were no less than anybody else.”
Significant gender diversity as, in addition to Katherine Johnson, the following women were honored Ursula Keller, Teresa Meng, Eva Tardos and Telle Whitney.

The culmination of the Honors Ceremony saw the Medal of Honor awarded to Dr. Kurt Peterson. Dr. Peterson’s contribution is in the area of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS). Dr. Peterson launched himself down a new career path with the popularization of tiny mechanical gadgets comprised of silicon. The evening had quite an impact as evidenced by Dr. Peterson’s remarks thereafter:

"It was so humbling, at the IEEE Honors Ceremony, to be included among this group of incredibly accomplished and innovative award-winners. I am also grateful that IEEE has so honored the many workers in the field of MEMS who have devoted their careers to the advancement and the promotion of MEMS technology. I am indeed indebted to all of my MEMS colleagues, whose concerted achievements have made this Medal of Honor possible."

His acknowledgement of his family including his wife, Carol, sons and grandsons was very moving, and the most memorable sight of the evening was Kurt’s grandsons, Ash and Gage, sporting t-shirts with their Grandfather’s image and accomplishments.

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