The Progress Medal is the most prestigious SMPTE award, and it recognizes outstanding technical contributions to the progress of engineering phases of the motion picture, television, or motion-imaging industries.
2017: Paul E. Debevec
SMPTE presented the 2017 Progress Medal to Paul E. Debevec in recognition of his achievements and ongoing work in pioneering techniques for illuminating computer-generated objects based on measurement of real-world illumination and their effective commercial application in numerous Hollywood films. Techniques from his research have been used to dramatic effect in films such as the “The Matrix” sequels, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “District 9,” “Avatar,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and “Life of Pi.” Debevec is also a pioneer in high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging and co-author of the 2005 book “High Dynamic Range Imaging: Acquisition, Display, and Image-Based Lighting,” now in its second edition.
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In recognition of his many contributions to the motion picture and television industry, specifically his innovations in sound research and development programs at Dolby Laboratories, including Dolby Stereo, Dolby SR and Dolby Digital, as well as his ongoing contributions to worldwide standards organizations.
In recognition of his 37 year career in Television Science and Technology and his significant contributions in the areas of HDTV standardization activities for SMPTE, ATSC, the FCC Advisory Committee on Advanced Television, as well as his contribution to the rollout of NHK's digital satellite broadcasting service and most recently, the standardization of UHDTV in ITU-R and coverage of the 2012 London Olympics in Super Hi-Vision.
For his career as a scientific and innovative leader in the broadcasting industry, dedicating his life to educating all constituents and proactively seeking a fair consensus for all.
Edwin Catmull, Ph.D.
For his life-long pioneering contributions and visionary leadership in the field of computer generated imagery for the motion picture industry.
In recognition of his over five decades of significant innovation in the area of motion picture optical systems at the Panavision Company. He has made innumerable contributions to the tools of cinematography, including his participation in developments of the Panavision Camera 65 System, Ultra Panatar, Auto Panatar taking lenses, Eyepiece Leveler and Primo Lens Series.
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Dayton has been an active participant in the television industry for 40 years and has played a key role in the development of widely-used equipment and technologies. For 16 years with the Grass Valley Group he was responsible for the design of numerous products and from 1983 to 1989 served as Vice President of Engineering for the company. In 1989 Dayton and two others founded NVISION, Inc, with the goal of building products to support and drive the development of high definition television. In their early years NVISION focused on digital audio and produced several innovative designs. In 1998, NVISION delivered the first large HDTV routing switcher in the industry and has continued with other industry-leading products.
Over the last 20 years Dayton has also spent considerable time working on industry committees, helping to advance the state of the art. He was involved in the development of SMPTE analog and digital component video standards, and was co-chairman of the SMPTE High Definition Electronic Production working group. He also chaired the Systems Analysis working party of the Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service. Currently he chairs the SMPTE 22TV Technology Committee. Birney Dayton is a SMPTE Fellow, has served two terms as a Governor of the Society, and is the holder of 17 patents covering innovations in signal processing, system architecture, and circuit design for equipment used in many aspects of television production and broadcasting.
Clyde D. Smith
For his work in launching the first all-digital video server-based all-automated network, Cartoon Brazil which served as the prototype for playout and delivery systems for the industry. Clyde’s work resulted in Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. being awarded the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Technology and Engineering awarded by National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Earlier in his career, Smith held executive positions at Speer Worldwide Digital and Lockheed Space Operations. While at Speer WorldWide Digital, Smith served as senior vice president and chief technical officer, managing operations of an all-digital facility and leading the engineering team in the trial that led to the launch of ABC’s Soap Net, production of hundreds of live events and the revitalization of Staples Arena in Los Angeles. As supervisor of communications design and development engineering for Lockheed Space Operations Company at The Kennedy Space Center, Smith participated in the design team that implemented NASA’s improvements of space shuttle transportation systems following the Challenger accident.
Clyde is also a member of Society for Broadcast Engineers (SBE). He is a Fellow of the Society, a four-time Governor, former standards chairman and former Secretary/Treasurer of SMPTE. He has been program chair for four SMPTE advance-imaging conferences and was awarded the SMPTE outstanding service award.
In recognition of his more than forty years in the broadcast industry as an inventor, pioneer, teacher, author, engineer, international consultant and manufacturer. Mr. Snell co-founded Snell & Wilcox in 1973 and as mentor of its research laboratories, has played a pivotal role in the company's growth. Roderick trained and was employed by the BBC, then in the 70s and 80s he worked in academic media services and was a senior lecturer at Brighton University. He became a consultant to UNESCO and other UN agencies and to companies such as Sony, JVC and Philips. He also forged research partnerships with the BBC, Philips/BTS, IBM and others. Roderick is a member of a number of key broadcast industry committees, is a Fellow of both the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Royal Television Society, and in 2002 he delivered the RTS's Shoenberg Lecture. He is also a visiting professor at Kingston University.
S. Merrill Weiss
In recognition of a lifetime of achievement and personal contribution to the industry. In a career spanning nearly 40 years, Merrill Weiss has contributed to most aspects of this industry. After a number of years in public and commercial radio he moved to television at KYW, Philadelphia in 1976. He later worked for 6 years at KPIX in San Francisco rising to Engineering Manager, during which time he developed one of the first microprocessor-based broadcast control systems. While at KPIX Merrill made one of his first major contributions to the standards process by co-producing the SMPTE/EBU tests that resulted in Recommendation 601. Merrill served in management roles at NBC, and became heavily involved in the FCC Advisory Committee for Advanced Television Systems, work he continued after forming his consultancy group in 1991. Merrill's consultancy work covers a vast range of topics from compression systems, to regulatory filings, to the design of complex transmitter antenna systems. He also invented a system, now standardized by ATSC, for synchronization of multiple digital television transmitters. Merrill is a Fellow of SMPTE and has chaired many committees, co-chaired the SMPTE/EBU Task Force, and served for 4 years as Engineering Director, Television. He has published well over one hundred papers and articles, two books, holds numerous certifications, one patent awarded and one pending, and received the Society's David Sarnoff Gold Medal in 1995.
Dr. Kees Schouhamer Immink
For the central role he has played in research and development of audio and video recording products. His research has resulted in 50 US-issued patents. He was the driving force behind the design of the Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) audio recorder and he contributed to the first digital consumer-type video tape recorder (DVC) introduced in 1995. He has also made innumerable contributions to the design of the Digital Versatile Disc (DVD). He received wide recognition for his pioneering contributions to the technologies of digital audio, video, and data recording. Knighted in the Order of Orange-Nassau by The Queen of the Netherlands, Dr. Immink has received, among others, an “Emmy”, the IEEE Edison Medal, the SMPTE Poniatoff Gold Medal, and the AES Gold Medal.
Stanley N. Baron
For his outstanding contributions to digital television and to worldwide digital television standards. Baron has well over 30 years of experience in the design and development of digital television systems. His work has been widely recognized by bodies such as the NAB, the IBC, and the New York Academy of Science. Baron served as Chairman of the ATSC T3 Technology Group and Chairman of ITU-R Task Group 11/3. In 2001, he received the IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award for his "significant contributions to the development of national and international standards for DTV." Baron is a Fellow of SMPTE, a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of the BKSTS, and a Fellow of the Royal Television Society. He served as President of SMPTE (1995-96) and as SMPTE Engineering Vice-President (1988-1991).
William C. Miller
General Manager, DTV Planning & Standards, ABC, Inc., for his many contributions and vision, with respect to "reengineering" the standards processes within SMPTE during his tenure as Engineering Vice-President. This includes the successful restructuring of all Standards Working Group activities to conform with the operations described in the Task Force Report; providing the initial vision and overseeing the introduction of computer-based networking operations within the standards groups; and providing the technology leadership and drive towards implementing an electronic balloting system.
Bernard J. Lechner
In recognition of his 30-year career at RCA, which covered all aspects of television and display research, from early work on home VTRs in the late 1950s, extensive development of flat-panel matrix displays in the 1960s, advanced two-way Cable TV and pay-TV systems in the early 1970s, to HDTV in the mid-1980s.
In recognition of over twenty years of innovative contributions to the progress of television technology, mainly in the area of digital television.
Mark I. Krivocheev
For his outstanding contributions to the progress of television technology for over 50 years. A member of the ITU Study Group on Television since its founding in 1948, he served as its Vice Chairman from 1970 until he became Chairman in 1974; a position he still holds.
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Edwin E. Catmull
In recognition of over 20 years of contributions to the progress of technology in the motion imaging industry, mainly in the areas of computer animation and film. Throughout this period, he has made major, and original, contributions to the art and science of computer graphics that have made computer generated animation both practical and effective and enabled the smooth integration of computer images with live action in feature films.
David K. Fibush
In recognition of over 30 years of contributions to the progress of technology in the television industry in both the analog and digital video recording and digital transmission areas.
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LeRoy E. DeMarsh
Who has for more than 20 years made valuable contributions to the theory and to the practical understanding of system colorimetry for motion picture film, for advanced television, and for digitized still image storage for CD-ROM.
E. Fraser Morrison
Responsible for the planning and design of digital magnetic tape recorders, heading the development team that designed the processing electronics for the D-1 and D-2 recorders. He has also played a significant role in the standardization of the D-1 and D-2 formats.
Charles E. Anderson
For his significant contributions to the technology of videotape recording, beginning as a member of the original design team at Ampex that developed the first practical magnetic videotape recorder.
Frederick M. Remley
Chairman of both the Type C and D-l video recording Working Groups for which SMPTE was recognized and received a Citation and an Emmy from the NATAS. He was one of the organizers of the first SMPTE Television Conference held in Detroit in 1967. He has contributed both directly and indirectly to the technical progress of television.
Renville H. McMann
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the advancement of color television signal processing and image gathering technology, and his pioneering work in the field of high-definition television systems.
Kerns H. Powers
In recognition of 40 years of creating an ongoing series of ideas, inventions, and research projects directed towards theoretical and applied improvements in communications systems.
Irwin W. Young
In recognition of his devoted energies and commitment during his professional career to both the motion picture and television industries.
In recognition of his contributions to the advancement of motion picture and television technology.
Roland J. Zavada
In recognition of his contributions to the advancement of motion picture and television technology.
Joseph A. Flaherty
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the television industry; for the conception and leadership in the implementation of new technology, including ENG, off-line electronic editing systems, electronic cinematography, high-definition television, and his contribution to the establishment of a world compatible standard for the digital coding of television signals.
Ray M. Dolby
For his contributions to theater sound and his continuing work in noise reduction and quality improvements in audio and video systems and as a prime inventor of the videotape recorder.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the motion picture and television industries, for his work in directing and motivating the development of a sound technical approach to digital video specifications while maintaining high technical quality.
In recognition of his extensive original research into the image structure properties and emulsion design of color films, resulting in significant improvements in image quality.
In recognition of his many years of significant technical contributions to the motion picture industry including the design and building of the first practical mirror reflex motion picture camera.
Donald G. Fink
In recognition of his many years of continuous and significant contributions to the television field.
Robert E. Gottschalk
In recognition of his notable engineering contributions to the design, development and production of the professional Panaflex motion picture camera, various improved photographic optics, and numerous other equipment innovations related to motion picture cinematography.
E. Carlton Winckler, Sr.
In recognition of his outstanding career since the early 1930s as a lighting consultant to both theatrical and television productions and for contributions toward the improvement of color television programming through the use of proper lighting techniques.
Edward H. Reichard
For his many notable engineering contributions to the design of equipment and procedures and his significant technical achievements in the field of motion picture laboratory technology.
W. T. Wintringham
In recognition of the broad spectrum of his technological abilities and the many ways in which those abilities have contributed to progress in the motion picture and television field.
Sidney P. Solow
In recognition of his contributions to motion picture laboratory technology.
Wilton R. Holm
For his significant contributions to progress in several of the technologies in the motion picture and television field.
Norwood L. Simmons
In recognition of the energies and talents he has contributed during his professional career to the advancement and growth of the motion picture industry.
Rodger J. Ross
In recognition of his devoted energies in the improvement of films made for television, the adoption of sound engineering practices in television film operations, and the continuing education of both television and film personnel.
Peter C. Goldmark
For his past contributions to the television and the record industries, and especially the development of the electronic video recording system.
J. S. Courtney-Pratt
In recognition of his notable contributions to equipment design and pioneering techniques for furthering the art of photo-instrumentation and high-speed photography.
Charles L. Fordyce
For his significant contributions to the development of cellulose materials for photographic film and his work on film dimensions, stability and other problems of projection.
Gordon A. Chambers
In recognition of his many outstanding and significant technical contributions to the field of motion picture science and engineering.
Wesley T. Hanson
For his contributions in the field of photographic materials and processing components and procedures.
Deane R. White
For his professional contributions to photography, including the drying of processed films, and the development of improved sensitometers, densitometers, and developing machines.
For his many contributions, improvements, and inventions in the field of geometrical optics and lens design.
Arthur C. Hardy
For his pioneer work in motion picture sound recording and his later work on the theory of color reproduction in the fields of photography, television, and the graphic arts.
Frank G. Back
For his work over a period of years resulting in the successful development and use of the zoom lens.
Cyril J. Staud
In recognition of research and development which has resulted in significant advances in the development of motion picture and television technology.
Otto H. Schade, Jr.
For his outstanding technical contributions to the progress of engineering phases of the motion picture and television industries.
Harold E. Edgerton
For his researches in the fields of high-speed photography and stroboscopy.
Ralph M. Evans
For his outstanding achievements in the development of color motion picture films and in the art of color photography.
Alfred Norton Goldsmith
For his many contributions to the progress of many phases of sound motion picture and television engineering.
Elmer W. Engstrom
For his rare vision and outstanding leadership and guidance in research for sound motion pictures and television.
For his achievement of putting to practical use the peripheral vision phenomenon.
John I. Crabtree
For his outstanding contribution in the field of photographic chemistry, motion picture processing and processing equipment.
Earl I. Sponable
For outstanding contributions to technical advancement of the motion picture art, particularly with respect to sound on film, color and large-screen television.
V. K. Zworykin
For his outstanding contributions to the development of television.
For his outstanding contributions to the art of recording and reproducing of sound for motion pictures.
For his outstanding achievements in motion picture studio lighting.
J. G. Frayne
For his technical achievements and the documenting of his work in addition to his contributions to the field of education and his inspiration to his fellow engineers.
J. G. Capstaff
For his research and development of films and apparatus used in amateur cinematography.
G. L. Dimmick
For his development activities in motion picture sound recording.
For his contribution to motion picture photography and sound recording of feature and short cartoon films.
L. A. Jones
For his scientific researches in photography.
H. T. Kalmus
For his work in developing color motion pictures.
E. W. Kellogg
For his work in sound reproduction.
C. E. K. Mees
For his work in photography.
E. C. Wente
For his work in sound recording and reproduction.