IEEE/RSE James Clerk Maxwell Medal

IEEE/RSE James Clerk Maxwell Medal

The James Clerk Maxwell Medal is awarded jointly by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and the IEEE for groundbreaking contributions that have had an exceptional impact on the development of electronics and electrical engineering or related fields.

The annual prize is named in honour of James Clerk Maxwell, the outstanding 19th Century Scottish mathematician and physicist. Maxwell was a prominent Fellow of the RSE, whose theories led to profound changes in understanding the relationship between electricity and magnetism. This in turn ushered in many world transforming technologies in electronics, electrical engineering and communications.

First awarded in 2006, the Maxwell medal has been supported in previous years by the Edinburgh-based electronics firm Wolfson Microelectronics plc.


This award is administered by the IEEE Awards Board.

Recipient selection is performed by a joint IEEE/RSE Selection Committee which is administered by the IEEE Awards Board.

The award is open to anyone who has made groundbreaking contributions to the electronics or electrical engineering fields.

Nominees are not required to be members of either the IEEE or the RSE.

This award may be presented each year to an individual, team or multiple recipients up to two in number.
It is expected that the recipient of the IEEE/RSE James Clerk Maxwell Medal will, within the first year subsequent to the receipt of the award, make a presentation in Scotland about his/her work.
Fellows are encouraged to propose those who will maintain the very high standard of this award for work that builds upon Maxwell's fields of interest. Nominations will be considered by a joint Selection Board.
Nominations will not be accepted from the IEEE Board of Directors, the RSE Council, the IEEE Awards Board, the Award Selection Committee, and employees of the IEEE and RSE.

Self-nominations are not permitted.

Award Winners

2016. Distinguished Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Hinton, University of Toronto, Canada and Distinguished Researcher, Google, Inc.

For pioneering and sustained contributions to machine learning, including developments in deep neural networks.

2015. Professor Lynn Conway, University of Michigan, USA

For contributions to and leadership in design methodology and pedagogy enabling rapid advances and dissemination of VLSI design tools and systems.

2014. Professor Sir David Payne CBE FRS, Director of the Optoelectronics Centre, University of Southampton, UK

For ground-breaking contributions to optical fibre technologies and their application to optical communications.

2013. Professor Richard Muller and Professor Richard White, both of the University of California, USA

Both for pioneering innovation and leadership in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology.

2012. Gerhard Sessler. Professor, Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany

For pioneering contributions to electroacoustic transducers, the development of silicon microphone technology, and seminal work on electroactive materials.

2011.  Marcian Edward Hoff. Chief Technologist (Retired), Teklicon, Inc.; Los Altos Hills, CA, USA

For developments in programmable integrated circuitry for a wide range of applications.

2010. Amar G. Bose. Chairman, Bose Corporation, Framingham, MA, USA

For outstanding contributions to consumer electronics in sound reproduction, industrial leadership, and engineering education.

2009. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli. Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair of Electrical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

For pioneering innovation and leadership in Electronic Design Automation that has enabled the design of modern, complex, electronics and communications systems and their industrial implementation.

2008. Sir Timothy Berners-Lee. Director, World Wide Web Consortium, Science Researcher, CSAIL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

For conceiving and further developing the World Wide Web

2007. Dr Irwin M Jacobs and Dr Andrew J Viterbi, co-founders of Qualcomm Incorporated, were jointly awarded the first IEEE/RSE/Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award in 2007

They received the award for fundamental contributions, innovation and leadership that enabled the growth of wireless communications.


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