IEEE Medal of Honor Recipients

IEEE Medal of Honor Recipients

The IEEE Medal of Honor, established in 1917, is the highest IEEE award, given to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution(s) or an extraordinary career in the IEEE fields of interest.  It is sponsored by the IEEE Foundation.

Read the ebook detailing the world-changing innovations of these recipients and how they advanced technology for the benefit of humanity. Listen to the recipients’ acceptance speeches on Medal of Honor videos.

2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. A commemorative wall was installed at the IEEE Operations Center located in Piscataway, NJ, USA. View the celebratory unveiling that was held on Thursday, 7 September 2017.

To learn more about the origins of the Medal of Honor, the medal design, and its legacy, visit The Engineering and Technology History Wiki (ETHW).
Note: no recipients were selected In 1947, 1965, and 1976.

The 2024 IEEE Medal of Honor Recipient will receive his award at the 2024 IEEE VIC Summit and Honors Ceremony on 3 May 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Early bird registration is now OPEN for this event. Secure your registration early to lock in the lowest rates by 3 April 2024.

IEEE Medal of Honor
Robert E. Kahn

“For pioneering technical and leadership contributions in packet communication technologies and foundations of the Internet.”

(2023) IEEE Medal of Honor
Vinton G. Cerf

“For co-creating the Internet architecture and providing sustained leadership in its phenomenal growth in becoming society’s critical infrastructure.”

(2022) IEEE Medal of Honor
Asad M. Madni
Asad M. Madni

“For pioneering contributions to the development and commercialization of innovative sensing and systems technologies, and for distinguished research leadership.”

(2021) IEEE Medal of Honor
Jacob Ziv
Jacob Ziv

“For fundamental contributions to information theory and data compression technology, and for distinguished research leadership."

(2020) Medal of Honor
[photo] Chenming Hu
Chenming Hu

"For a distinguished career of developing and putting into practice semiconductor models, particularly 3-D device structures, that have helped keep Moore's Law going over many decades."

(2019) Medal of Honor
[photo] Kurt E. Petersen
Kurt E. Petersen

"For contributions to and leadership in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in the field of MEMS."

(2018) Medal of Honor
[photo] Bradford W. Parkinson
Bradford W. Parkinson

"For fundamental contributions to and leadership in developing the design and driving the early applications of the Global Positioning System."

(2017) Medal of Honor
[photo] Kees Schouhamer Immink
Kees Schouhamer Immink

“For pioneering contributions to video, audio, and data recording technology, including compact disc, DVD, and Blu-ray.”

(2016) Medal of Honor
[photo] G. David Forney, Jr.
G. David Forney, Jr.

“For pioneering contributions to the theory of error-correcting codes and the development of reliable high-speed data communications.”

(2015) Medal of Honor
[photo] Mildred S. Dresselhaus
Mildred S. Dresselhaus

“For leadership and contributions across many fields of science and engineering.”

(2014) Medal of Honor
[photo] B. Jayant Baliga
B. Jayant Baliga

“For the invention, implementation, and commercialization of power semiconductor devices with widespread benefits to society.”

(2013) Medal of Honor
[photo] Irwin Mark Jacobs
Irwin Mark Jacobs

“For leadership and fundamental contributions to digital communications and wireless technology.”

(2012) Medal of Honor
[photo] John L. Hennessy
John L. Hennessy

“For pioneering the RISC processor architecture and for leadership in computer engineering and higher education.”

(2011) Medal of Honor
[photo] Morris Chang
Morris Chang

“For outstanding leadership in the semiconductor industry.”

(2010) Medal of Honor
[photo] Viterbi
Andrew J. Viterbi

“For seminal contributions to communications technology and theory.”

(2009) Medal of Honor
[photo] Robert H. Dennard
Robert H. Dennard

“For invention of the single transistor Dynamic Random Access Memory and for developing scaling principles for integrated circuits.”

(2008) Medal of Honor
[photo] Gordon E. Moore
Gordon E. Moore

“For pioneering technical roles in integrated-circuit processing, and leadership in the development of MOS memory, the microprocessor computer and the semiconductor industry.”

(2007) Medal of Honor
[photo] Thomas Kailath
Thomas Kailath

“For exceptional development of powerful algorithms in the fields of communications, computing, control and signal processing.”

(2006) Medal of Honor
[photo] James D. Meindl
James D. Meindl

“For pioneering contributions to microelectronics, including low power, biomedical, physical limits and on-chip interconnect networks.”

(2005) Medal of Honor
[photo] James L. Flanagan
James L. Flanagan

“For sustained leadership and outstanding contributions in speech technology.”

(2004) Medal of Honor
[photo] Tadahiro Sekimoto
Tadahiro Sekimoto

“For contributions to digital satellite communications, promotion of information technology R&D, and technical and corporate leadership in computers and communications.”

(2003) Medal of Honor
[photo] Nick Holonyak, Jr.
Nick Holonyak, Jr.

“For a career of pioneering contributions to semiconductors, including the growth of semiconductor alloys and heterojunctions, and to visible light-emitting diodes and injection lasers.”

(2002) Medal of Honor
[photo] Herbert Kroemer
Herbert Kroemer

“For contributions to high-frequency transistors and hot-electron devices, especially heterostructure devices from heterostructure bipolar transistors to lasers, and their molecular beam epitaxy technology.”

(2001) Medal of Honor
[photo] Herwig Kogelnik
Herwig Kogelnik

“For fundamental contributions to the science and technology of lasers and optoelectronics, and for leadership in research and development of photonics and lightwave communication systems.”

(2000) Medal of Honor
[photo] Andrew S. Grove
Andrew S. Grove

“For pioneering research in characterizing and modeling metal oxide semiconductor devices and technology, and leadership in the development of the modern semiconductor industry.”

(1999) Medal of Honor
[photo] Charles Concordia
Charles Concordia

“For outstanding contributions in the area of Power System Dynamics which resulted in substantial improvements in planning, operation and security of extended power systems”

(1998) Medal of Honor
[photo] Donald O. Pederson
Donald O. Pederson

“For creation of the SPICE Program, universally used for the computer aided design of circuits.”

(1997) Medal of Honor
[photo] George H. Heilmeier
George H. Heilmeier

“For discovery and initial development of electro-optic effects in liquid crystals.”

(1996) Medal of Honor
[photo] Robert M. Metcalfe
Robert M. Metcalfe

“For exemplary and sustained leadership in the development, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet.”

(1995) Medal of Honor
[photo] Lotfi A. Zadeh
Lotfi A. Zadeh

“For pioneering development of fuzzy logic and its many diverse applications.”

(1994) Medal of Honor
[photo] Alfred Y. Cho
Alfred Y. Cho

“For seminal contributions to the development of molecular beam epitaxy.”

(1993) Medal of Honor
[photo] Karl Johan Åström
Karl Johan Åström

“For fundamental contributions to theory and applications of adaptive control technology.”

(1992) Medal of Honor
[photo] Amos E. Joel, Jr.
Amos E. Joel, Jr.

“For fundamental contributions to and leadership in telecommunications switching systems.”

(1991) Medal of Honor
[photo] Leo Esaki
Leo Esaki

“For contributions to and leadership in tunneling, semiconductor superlattices, and quantum wells.”

(1990) Medal of Honor
[photo] Robert G. Gallager
Robert G. Gallager

“For fundamental contributions to communications coding techniques.”

(1989) Medal of Honor
[photo] C. Kumar N. Patel
C. Kumar N. Patel

“For fundamental contributions to quantum electronics, including the carbon dioxide laser and the spin-flip Raman laser.”

(1988) Medal of Honor
[photo] Calvin F. Quate
Calvin F. Quate

“For the invention and development of the scanning acoustic microscope.”

(1987) Medal of Honor
[photo] Paul C. Lauterbur
Paul C. Lauterbur

“For the discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.”

(1986) Medal of Honor
[photo] Jack St. Clair Kilby
Jack St. Clair Kilby

“For fundamental contributions to semiconductor integrated circuit technology.”

(1985) Medal of Honor
John R. Whinnery

“For seminal contributions to the understanding and application of electromagnetic fields and waves to microwave, laser, and optical devices.”

(1984) Medal of Honor
[photo] Norman F. Ramsey
Norman F. Ramsey

“For fundamental contributions to very high accuracy time and frequency standards exemplified by the cesium atomic clock and hydrogen maser oscillator.”

(1983) Medal of Honor
[photo] Nicolaas Bloembergen
Nicolaas Bloembergen

“For pioneering contributions to Quantum Electronics including the invention of the three-level maser.”

(1982) Medal of Honor
[photo] John Wilder Tukey
John Wilder Tukey

“For his contributions to the spectral analysis of random processes and the fast Fourier transform algorithm.”

(1981) Medal of Honor
[photo] Sidney Darlington
Sidney Darlington

“For fundamental contributions to filtering and signal processing leading to chirp radar.”

(1980) Medal of Honor
[photo] William Shockley
William Shockley

“For the invention of the junction transistor, the analog and the junction field-effect transistor, and the theory underlying their operation.”

(1979) Medal of Honor
[photo] Richard Bellman
Richard Bellman

“For contributions to decision processes and control system theory, particularly the creation and application of dynamic programming.”

(1978) Medal of Honor
[photo] Robert N. Noyce
Robert N. Noyce

“For his contributions to the silicon integrated circuit, a cornerstone of modern electronics.”

(1977) Medal of Honor
[photo] H. Earle Vaughan
H. Earle Vaughan

“For his vision, technical contributions and leadership in the development of the first high-capacity pulse-code-modulation time-division telephone switching system.”

(1975) Medal of Honor
[photo] John R. Pierce
John R. Pierce

“For his pioneering concrete proposals and the realization of satellite communication experiments, and for contributions in theory and design of traveling wave tubes and in electron beam optics essential to this success.”

(1974) Medal of Honor
[photo] Rudolf E. Kalman
Rudolf E. Kalman

“For pioneering modern methods in system theory, including concepts of controllability, observability, filtering, and algebraic structures.”

(1973) Medal of Honor
[photo] Rudolf Kompfner
Rudolf Kompfner

“For a major contribution to world‑wide communication through the conception of the traveling wave tube embodying a new principle of amplification.”

(1972) Medal of Honor
[photo] Jay W. Forrester
Jay W. Forrester

“For exceptional advances in the digital computer through his invention and application of the magnetic-core random-access memory, employing coincident current addressing.”

(1971) Medal of Honor
[photo] John Bardeen
John Bardeen

“For his profound contributions to the understanding of the conductivity of solids, to the invention of the transistor, and to the microscopic theory of superconductivity.”

(1970) Medal of Honor
[photo] Dennis Gabor
Dennis Gabor

“For his ingenious and exciting discovery and verification of the principles of holography.”

(1969) Medal of Honor
[photo] Edward L. Ginzton
Edward L. Ginzton

“For his outstanding contributions in advancing the technology of high power klystrons and their application, especially to linear particle accelerators.”

(1968) Medal of Honor
[photo] Gordon K. Teal
Gordon K. Teal

“For his contributions to single crystal germanium and silicon technology and the single crystal grown junction transistor.”

(1967) Medal of Honor
[photo] Charles H. Townes
Charles H. Townes

“For his significant contributions in the field of quantum electronics which have led to the maser and the laser.”

(1966) Medal of Honor
[photo] Claude E. Shannon
Claude E. Shannon

“For his development of a mathematical theory of communication which unified and significantly advanced the state of the art.”

(1964) Medal of Honor
[photo] Harold A. Wheeler
Harold A. Wheeler

“For his analyses of the fundamental limitations on the resolution in television systems and on wideband amplifiers, and for his basic contributions to the theory and development of antennas, microwave elements, circuits, and receivers.”

(1963) Medal of Honor
[photo] George C. Southworth
George C. Southworth

“For pioneering contributions to microwave radio physics, to radio astronomy, and to waveguide transmission.”

(1963) Medal of Honor
[photo] John H. Hammond, Jr.
John H. Hammond, Jr.

“For pioneering contributions to circuit theory and practice, to the radio control of missiles and to basic communication methods.”

(1962) Medal of Honor
[photo] Edward V. Appleton
Edward V. Appleton

“For his distinguished pioneer work in investigating the ionosphere by means of radio waves.”

(1961) Medal of Honor
[photo] Ernst A. Guillemin
Ernst A. Guillemin

“For outstanding scientific and engineering achievements.”

(1960) Medal of Honor
[photo] Harry Nyquist
Harry Nyquist

“For fundamental contributions to a quantitative understanding of thermal noise, data transmission and negative feedback.”

(1959) Medal of Honor
[photo] E. L. Chaffee
E. L. Chaffee

“For his outstanding research contributions and his dedication to training for leadership in radio engineering.”

(1958) Medal of Honor
[photo] A. W. Hull
A. W. Hull

“For outstanding scientific achievement and pioneering inventions and development in the field of electron tubes.”

(1957) Medal of Honor
[photo] J. A. Stratton
J. A. Stratton

“For his inspiring leadership and outstanding contributions to the development of radio engineering, as teacher, physicist, engineer, author and administrator.”

(1956) Medal of Honor
[photo] J. V. L. Hogan
J. V. L. Hogan

“For his contributions to the electronic field as a founder and builder of The Institute of Radio Engineers, for the long sequence of his inventions, and for his continuing activity in the development of devices and systems useful in the communications art.”

(1955) Medal of Honor
[photo] H. T. Friis
H. T. Friis

“For his outstanding technical contributions in the expansion of the useful spectrum of radio frequencies, and for the inspiration and leadership he has given to young engineers.”

(1954) Medal of Honor
[photo] W. L. Everitt
W. L. Everitt

“For his distinguished career as author, educator and scientist; for his contributions in establishing electronics and communications as a major branch of electrical engineering; for his unselfish service to his country; for his leadership in the affairs of The Institute of Radio Engineers.”

(1953) Medal of Honor
[photo] J. M. Miller
J. M. Miller

“In recognition of his pioneering contributions to the fundamentals of electron tube theory and measurements, to crystal controlled oscillators and to receiver development.”

(1952) Medal of Honor
[photo] W. R. G. Baker
W. R. G. Baker

“In recognition of his outstanding direction of scientific and engineering projects; for his statesmanship in reconciling conflicting viewpoints and obtaining cooperative effort; and for his service to the Institute.”

(1951) Medal of Honor
[photo] V. K. Zworykin
V. K. Zworykin

“For his outstanding contributions to the concept and development of electronic apparatus basic to modern television, and his scientific achievements that led to fundamental advances in the application of electronics to communications, to industry and to national security.”

(1950) Medal of Honor
[photo] F. E. Terman
F. E. Terman

“For his many contributions to the radio and electronic industry as teacher, author, scientist and administrator.”

(1949) Medal of Honor
[photo] Ralph Bown
Ralph Bown

“For his extensive contributions to the field of radio and for his leadership in Institute affairs.”

(1948) Medal of Honor
[photo] Lawrence C.F. Horle
Lawrence C.F. Horle

“For his contributions to the radio industry in standardization work, both in peace and war, particularly in the field of electron tubes, and for his guidance of a multiplicity of technical committees into effective action.”

(1946) Medal of Honor
[photo] R. V. L. Hartley
R. V. L. Hartley

“For his early work on oscillating circuits employing triode tubes and likewise for his early recognition and clear exposition of the fundamental relationship between the total amount of information which may be transmitted over a transmission system of limited band‑width and the time required.”

(1945) Medal of Honor
[photo] H. H. Beverage
H. H. Beverage

“In recognition of his achievements in radio research and invention, of his practical applications of engineering developments that greatly extended and increased the efficiency of domestic and world‑wide radio communications and of his devotion to the affairs of the Institute of Radio Engineers.”

(1944) Medal of Honor
[photo] Haraden Pratt
Haraden Pratt

“In recognition of his engineering contributions to the development of radio, of his work in the extension of communication facilities to distant lands, and of his constructive leadership in Institute affairs.”

(1943) Medal of Honor
[photo] William Wilson
William Wilson

“For his achievements in the development of modern electronics, including its application to radio-telephony, and for his contributions to the welfare and work of the Institute.”

(1942) Medal of Honor
[photo] A. H. Taylor
A. H. Taylor

“For his contributions to radio communication as an engineer and organizer, including pioneering work in the practical application of piezoelectric control to radio transmitters, early recognition and investigation of skip distances and other high-frequency wave-propagation problems, and many years of service to the government of the United States as an engineering executive of outstanding ability in directing the Radio Division of the Naval Research Laboratory.”

(1941) Medal of Honor
[photo] A. N. Goldsmith
A. N. Goldsmith

“For his contributions to radio research, engineering, and commercial development, his leadership in standardization, and his unceasing devotion to the establishment and upbuilding of the Institute and its PROCEEDINGS.”

(1940) Medal of Honor
[photo] Lloyd Espenschied
Lloyd Espenschied

“For his accomplishments as an engineer, as an inventor, as a pioneer in the development of radio telephony, and for his effective contributions to the progress of international radio coordination.”

(1939) Medal of Honor
[photo] A. G. Lee
A. G. Lee

“For his accomplishments in promoting international radio services and in fostering advances in the art and science of radio communication.”

(1938) Medal of Honor
[photo] J. H. Dellinger
J. H. Dellinger

“For his contributions to the development of radio measurements and standards, his researches and discoveries of the relation between radio wave propagation and other natural phenomena, and his leadership in international conferences contributing to the world wide cooperation in telecommunications.”

(1937) Medal of Honor
[photo] Melville Eastham
Melville Eastham

“For his pioneer work in the field of radio measurements, his constructive influence on laboratory practice in communication engineering, and his unfailing support of the aims and ideals of the Institute.”

(1936) Medal of Honor
[photo] G. A. Campbell
G. A. Campbell

“For his contributions to the theory of electrical network.”

(1935) Medal of Honor
[photo] Balth. van der Pol
Balth. van der Pol

“For his fundamental studies and contributions in the field of circuit theory and electromagnetic wave propagation phenomena.”

(1934) Medal of Honor
[photo] S. C. Hooper
S. C. Hooper

“For the orderly planning and systematic organization of radio communication in the Government Service with which he is associated, and the concomitant and resulting advances in the development of radio equipment and procedure.”

(1933) Medal of Honor
[photo] J. A. Fleming
J. A. Fleming

“For the conspicuous part he played in introducing physical and engineering principles into the radio art.”

(1932) Medal of Honor
[photo] A. E. Kennelly
A. E. Kennelly

For his studies of radio propagation phenomena and his contributions to the theory and measurement methods in the alternating current circuit field which now have extensive radio application.”

(1931) Medal of Honor
[photo] G. A. Ferrie
G. A. Ferrie

“For his pioneer work in the up building of radio communication in France and in the world, his long continued leadership in the communication field, and his outstanding contributions to the organization of international cooperation in radio.”

(1930) Medal of Honor
[photo] P. O. Pedersen
P. O. Pedersen

No citation.

(1929) Medal of Honor
[photo] G. W. Pierce
G. W. Pierce

“For his major contributions in the theory and operation of crystal detectors, piezoelectric‑ crystals and magnetostriction frequency controls and magnetostriction devices for the production of sound; and for his instructional leadership as a teacher and as a writer of important texts in the electric wave field.”

(1928) Medal of Honor
[photo] Jonathan Zenneck
Jonathan Zenneck

“For his contribution to original researches in radio circuit performance and to the scientific and educational contributions to the literature of the pioneer radio art.”

(1927) Medal of Honor
[photo] L. W. Austin
L. W. Austin

“For his pioneer work in the quantitative measurement and correlation of factors involved in radio wave transmission.”

(1926) Medal of Honor
[photo] G.W. Pickard
G.W. Pickard

“For his contributions as to crystal detectors, coil antennas, wave propagation and atmospheric disturbances.”

(1924) Medal of Honor
[photo] M. I. Pupin
M. I. Pupin

“In recognition of his fundamental contributions in the field of electrical tuning and the rectification of alternating currents used for signaling purposes.”

(1923) Medal of Honor
[photo] John Stone Stone
John Stone Stone

“For his valuable pioneer contributions to the radio art.”

(1922) Medal of Honor
[photo] Lee de Forest
Lee de Forest

“For his major contributions to the communications arts and sciences, as particularly exemplified by his invention of that outstandingly significant device: the three electrode vacuum tube, and his work in the fields of radio telephonic transmission and reception.”

(1921) Medal of Honor
[photo] R. A. Fessenden
R. A. Fessenden

No citation.

(1920) Medal of Honor
[photo] Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi

“In recognition of his pioneer work in radio telegraphy.”

(1919) Medal of Honor
[photo] E. F. W. Alexanderson
E. F. W. Alexanderson

“In recognition of his pioneer accomplishments in the field of long distance radio communication, including his development of the radio frequency alternator which bears his name, a magnetic amplifier permitting effective modulation of the output of such an alternator, and a cascade radio frequency vacuum tube amplifier yielding exceptional total amplification.”

(1917) Medal of Honor
[photo] E. H. Armstrong
E. H. Armstrong

“In recognition of his work and publications dealing with the action of the oscillating and non-oscillating audio.”