Role Model Recipient’s – Honorarium & Prize Money Donations

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Have you ever been awarded a cash prize or speaker fee and wondered how you could make a lasting impact with that money? Award Recipients and Conference Speakers who receive cash prizes or speaker fees can choose to donate the prize to one or more of the IEEE Foundation designated funds, including the IEEE Foundation Fund, History Center Fund, Life Members Fund or any of the 250+ funds administered on behalf of IEEE organizational units. 

Each year, the IEEE Awards Board recommends a select group of people to receive IEEE’s prestigious honors. This month, the IEEE Foundation would like to thank four recent IEEE Medal winners who have donated their prize. José M. F. Moura, Vint Cerf, Marko Delimar and Pete Sauer are true role models for their generosity. Each of these four donors has demonstrated a strong commitment to fostering progress for future generations and inspiring other award recipients to do the same, through their supportive and impactful actions.

José M. F. Moura

José M. F. Moura is the Philip L. and Marsha Dowd University Professor with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, PA, USA. He was on the Faculty with Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and has held Visiting Faculty appointments with MIT, and New York University. He founded and directs a large education and research program between CMU and Portugal. His research interests include data science and graph signal processing. Two of his patents (co-inventor A. Kavčić) are used in more than four billion disk drives in 60% of all computers sold in the last 15 years worldwide. CMU settled with Marvel through infringement of these patents for $750 million, the largest ever IP settlement. José was the 2019 IEEE President and CEO. He was the Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions in Signal Processing.

When José received the IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal  this year “for contributions to theory and practice of statistical, graph, and distributed signal processing”, he chose to give back through the IEEE Foundation to the IEEE Signal Processing Student & Young Professional Fund and IEEE Foundation Fund. José is happy to contribute his prize money to support scholars with their on-going educational needs. He says of his gift, “this enables undergraduate and graduate students to take part in-person in conferences and technical meetings, giving students the opportunity to present their work and participate in discussions enhancing their professional development.”

Vint Cerf

IEEE Life Fellow Vinton “Vint” Cerf, widely known as the “Father of the Internet,” is the recipient of the 2023 IEEE Medal of Honor. He is recognized “for co-creating the Internet architecture and providing sustained leadership in its phenomenal growth in becoming society’s critical infrastructure.” Vint has had a long and impressive career which includes founding the nonprofit Internet Society in 1992 with Robert Kahn. Since 2005, Vint has been Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. Vint has received several recognitions for his work, including the 2004 Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery. Together with Robert Kahn, he was awarded a 2013 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, a 2005 U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a 1997 U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Vint supports the work of IEEE through multiple IEEE Foundation annual campaigns, supporting the IEEE History Center and the IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu Fund. When asked about why Vint chose to donate his 2023 award money to advance the IEEE Awards Program, he said, “IEEE prizes, medals and awards highlight the successes of our scientists and engineers and reminds us of the importance of STEM work. I was happy to return my prize money to help IEEE continue this important work.”

Marko Delimar

Marko Delimar is the recipient of the 2023 IEEE Haraden Pratt Award, “for inspired vision and steadfast leadership in improving global IEEE influence, member engagement and governance.” He has served in a variety of roles in IEEE and is perhaps best known as a co-creator of IEEEXtreme and IEEE European Public Policy Committee. He served on the IEEE Board of Directors as IEEE Secretary and Region 8 Director – and currently serves on the IEEE Foundation Board of Directors. Marko is an electrical engineer, educator and researcher. He is a Full Professor at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, where he’s been with the Department of Energy and Power Systems since 1997. He served as a Vice Dean of Education at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing and Head-of-Studies at the University of Zagreb Study Programme of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources.

His interests include electric power and energy systems, simulations and modelling, intelligent systems and engineering education. His current research focuses on analysis and design of smart grid architectures and large-scale integration of renewable energy sources.

Marko generously gives to the IEEE Foundation Fund, IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu Fund and IEEE Region 8 Fund. “As an IEEE volunteer for 30 years, I have been fortunate enough to witness and participate in IEEE programs, which have positively affected the world. Several of these programs are donor supported and rely on the generosity of philanthropists and technology enthusiasts for success,” Marko said. “Thousands of IEEE volunteers worldwide generously give their time, talent and treasure to these programs, each making the world a better place. I believe donating the cash prize for volunteer service, which further supports and advances innovative programs – simply is – the right thing to do.”

In Loving Memory – Pete Sauer

Peter W.  Sauer, long-time IEEE volunteer who was better known in IEEE circles as ‘Pete,’ was presented with the 2022 IEEE Nikola Tesla Award for “his contributions to dynamic modeling and simulation of synchronous generators and for leadership in power engineering education.” Pete was an electrical engineer for the United States Air Force and later was on the faculty at the University of Illinois to teach courses and direct research on power systems and electric machines. In 2020, he retired after more than 40 years of service. At the time of his passing in December of 2022, Pete was the Grainger Chair Emeritus in Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Life Fellow of IEEE.

In a show of incredible generosity, Pete immediately donated his cash prize to the IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative (PES S+), a program which he co-founded and provides financial scholarships to deserving engineering students within the power and energy track. “I was very honored to have been selected for the IEEE Nikola Tesla Award and understand how IEEE can only continue doing this type of important work with contributions,” Pete said of his decision to donate his cash prize to PES S+. “I’ve been blessed with a very rewarding career in electrical engineering that was made possible with the help of IEEE every step of the way, so for me it was an easy decision to use the funds that came with the award to further help IEEE and the Scholarship Plus Initiative in particular.”  Pete added, “I hope that my small contribution will encourage others to also support this initiative and help grow the engineers of the future.”

All four of these Cash Prize donors have taken supportive and meaningful actions that pave the way for future generations and encourage other prize winners to follow in their footsteps.

The IEEE Foundation routinely handles arrangements for award recipients who desire to ‘repurpose’ their cash prize for a good cause. If you wish to donate your cash prize or speaker fee, and perhaps avoid the taxable income, please visit our website

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