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SMPTE Announces 2023 Honorees

August 22, 2023

Honorees to Be Recognized at the Annual Awards Gala During the 2023 SMPTE Media Technology Summit


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Aug. 22, 2023 — SMPTE®, the home for media professionals, technologists, and engineers, will honor some of the industry's top minds and organizations at its annual Awards Gala, Thursday, Oct. 19, at the conclusion of the 2023 SMPTE Media Technology Summit. The Gala, sponsored by Warner Bros. Discovery, will take place in the Ray Dolby Ballroom within the Ovation Hollywood.

SMPTE Executive Director David Grindle stated, "One of the great joys of SMPTE is to honor the work of those who often go unseen by the public. Without whose contributions to media production and distribution, that same public would not enjoy the media they do."

This year, 17 honors will be bestowed upon 35 individuals and organizations. Among these is the supreme accolade of the Society, Honorary Membership, which recognizes individuals who have performed eminent service in the advancement of engineering in motion pictures, television, or in the allied arts and sciences, counting the likes of Thomas Edison, George Eastman, Samuel L. Warner, David Sarnoff, Walt Disney, Ray Dolby, George Lucas, Richard Edlund, James Cameron, and Peter Jackson among its ranks. This year, Honorary Membership will be conferred on Philipp Lawo, in recognition of his pioneering of audio and media networking technology, which has significantly advanced broadcast facilities and live production including the world's largest live sporting events.

The Progress Medal, established in 1935, is the Society's most prestigious medal award and recognizes outstanding technical contributions to the progress of engineering phases of the motion-imaging industries. This year, the Society will recognize John Christopher Gaeta for his contributions to Virtual Cinema, Volumetric Capture, and "Bullet Time" in the original Matrix film trilogy.

The Natalie M. and Herbert T. Kalmus Medal was established in 1955 and renamed in 2020. The award recognizes outstanding contributions that reflect a commitment to the highest standards of quality and innovation in motion picture post-production and distribution services. This year, SMPTE will honor Douglas Walker for his contributions to the motion picture industry, including as chief architect of the OpenColorIOv2 open-source project, a robust color management solution widely adopted in motion picture production and post-production workflows, and his work on the implementation of the Common LUT Format (CLF), a cross-platform mechanism for communicating complex color management transforms.

The Samuel L. Warner Memorial Medal, sponsored by Warner Bros. Discovery, was established in 1946 and recognizes outstanding contributions in the design and development of new and improved methods and/or apparatus for motion picture sound. This year, Rolv Gjestland will be recognized for his contributions to cinema auditorium design in all presentation aspects, including sound and picture.

The David Sarnoff Medal, sponsored by SRI International, was established in 1950 and recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of new techniques or equipment that have improved the engineering phases of television technology. This year, Michael A. Dolan will be honored for his significant contributions to the development and implementation of the ATSC 3.0 digital transmission standard's IMSC1 IP-based closed-captioning standard.

The Excellence in Education Medal, sponsored by William C. Miller and Ellen Sontag-Miller, was established in 2016 and recognizes outstanding contributions to new or unique educational programs that teach the technologies of motion imaging and advance the educational process through innovative and inspirational methods. This year, SMPTE recognizes Dr. Wolfgang Ruppel for his contributions to media technology education in Germany, particularly during more than 15 years leading the engineering department at RheinMain University.

The Workflow Systems Medal, sponsored by Leon D. Silverman, was established in 2012 and recognizes outstanding contributions related to the development and integration of workflows that enhance creativity, collaboration, efficiency, or novel approaches to the production, post-production, or distribution process. This year, SMPTE will honor OpenColorIO for its open standard color management solution, designed for media production, emphasizing visual effects and computer animation.

The Digital Processing Medal was established in 2012 and recognizes significant technical achievements related to the development of digital processing of content for motion pictures, television, games, or other related media. This year, the award will be presented to Karlheinz Brandenburg in recognition of his fundamental contributions to developing MPEG digital audio compression systems.

The Camera Origination and Imaging Medal was established in 2012 and recognizes significant technical achievements related to invention or advances in imaging technology. This year, SMPTE will recognize Rudolf P. Koppe for developing the technology that enabled the transmission of full bandwidth HD camera signals over existing triax cable, allowing a rapid transition to high-definition television production in the studio and at remote locations.

The James A. Lindner Archival Technology Medal, sponsored by Mr. Lindner, was established in 2012 and recognizes significant technical advancements or contributions related to the archive or preservation of media content essence. This year, Richard D. Wright will be honored for more than three decades of leadership in audiovisual preservation, which has contributed significantly to developing quality standards in large-scale archival digitization initiatives.

The Excellence in Standards Award recognizes those who have been actively involved in advancing the Society's standards, activities, and processes. This year's award will be presented to Florian Schleich for his tireless efforts as SMPTE Standards Vice-President and chair of the 35PM technology committee. The Louis F. Wolf Jr. Memorial Scholarship is designed to assist students in furthering their undergraduate or graduate studies in motion pictures and television, with an emphasis on technology. The 2023 scholarship will be awarded to SMPTE Student Member José Solé of New York University.

The Citation for Outstanding Service to the Society recognizes dedicated service to SMPTE, particularly at the Section level. This year, three individuals will be honored with this award: David Edwin Acker, for his unwavering dedication to producing outstanding content for the New England Section meetings; Charles R. Diehl, for his diligent efforts to enhance the programming and meeting quality for the Philadelphia Section; and Ian MacSpadden, for his tireless efforts in assisting students and Sections, particularly his work on the SMPTE Discord Server setup, enabling more effective engagement with Student Chapters.

The Presidential Proclamation recognizes individuals of established and outstanding status and reputation in the motion picture and television industries worldwide. Wendy Aylsworth will be recognized for her decades of service to the production technology industry and her trailblazing work, which paved the way for women in such male-dominated fields as aerospace engineering, production engineering, and animation technology and operations. Peter Wharton will be posthumously recognized for his numerous contributions to SMPTE and the broadcast technology industry, including his passion for mentoring and creating opportunities for underrepresented groups within the industry.

The Journal Award for the best paper originally published in the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal during 2022 will be presented to Michael D. Smith and Michael Zink for their paper, "Hue-Preserving Color Transforms for LED Wall Virtual Production Workflows," published in the November 2022 issue. Additionally, the Journal Certificate of Merit will be awarded to Brad Gilmer and Grant Hammond for their paper, "Workflow as a Service Delivered by the Dynamic Media Services Architecture," published in the October 2022 issue.

Fourteen new SMPTE Fellows will be recognized at this year's Gala for attaining an outstanding rank among engineers or executives in media and entertainment through their proficiency and contributions to the motion-picture, television, or related industries. These individuals are Mark Aitken, John Ellerton, Martin P. Feldman, Cristina Gomila, Frank Governale, James L. Helman, Polly Hickling, Ievgen Kostiukevych, Madeleine Noland, Peter H. Putman, Charles Q. Robinson, Chris Arley Seeger, Simon Thompson, and Kelly T. Williams.

Tickets for the SMPTE Awards Gala can be added to conference registration packages or purchased separately. Reserved tables are also available for purchase. Gala Sponsorships and congratulatory program book ads are available as well. To become a sponsor, contact Anthony Catalano. More information can be found at Why Sponsor: SMPTE Media Technology Summit 2023.

More information about the Gala and the 2023 Honorees, including full award citations, can be found on the Summit website at summit.smpte.org/2023/gala.

Further Information about SMPTE can be found at www.smpte.org.


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