Award information

The IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in 1995.

It is named in honor of 1991 IEEE President Eric E. Sumner, who retired as Vice President, Operations Planning, AT&T Bell Laboratories after a long and distinguished career.

Recipient selection is administered by the Awards Board through its Technical Field Awards Council.

Presented to: An individual or a team of not more than three

Scope: For outstanding contributions to communications technology

Prize: The award consists of a bronze medal, certificate, and honorarium.

Basis for judging: In the evaluation process, the following criteria are considered: research, development, and application contributions to all aspects of leading-edge communication technology (work cited could have appeared in the form of publications, patents, or products, or could be a generally recognized major technological advancement in the field), and the quality of the nomination.

Nomination deadline: 15 January

Endorsement deadline: 31 January

Notification: Recipients are typically approved during the June IEEE Board of Directors meeting, usually held towards the end of the month. Recipients and their nominators will be notified following the meeting. Subsequently, the nominators of unsuccessful candidates will be notified of the status of their nomination.

Presentation: IEEE policy requires that its awards be presented at major IEEE events that are in keeping with the nature of the award and the cited achievement. 


Nokia Bell Labs

Award committee members

  • Ian Blake, Chair
  • Costas Georghiades
  • Gerhard Kramer
  • James Kurose
  • Wanjiun Liao
  • Theodore S. Rappaport
  • Sirin Tekinay