2020 IEEE Education Society Awards Update

The selection of Society award recipients has yet to be completed in its entirety. As with so many endeavors this year, we have faced challenges in carrying out the timely evaluation of nominations. The Society will not be hosting a virtual Awards Program at FIE 2020. Best practices across other societies are showing that attendance at virtual awards banquets are tending toward sparse participation, with most societies choosing to delay their in-person recognitions to future years. IEEE Education Society award winners for 2020 will receive their instruments by mail and will be invited to attend the next in-person FIE to receive in-person recognition. Once all award winners have been determined, they will be prominently featured in a future newsletter, on the Society webpage, and through social media.

We would like to congratulate the 2020 awardees that have been announced. We truly value your membership and the contributions you have made to the Education Society and the field of engineering education. 

James (Jim) Sluss
IEEE Education Society Sr. Past President and Awards Committee Chair

2020 Awardees

IEEE William E. Sayle Award for Achievement in Education

For visionary outreach in making STEM education more attainable for millions of students worldwide

Barbara Oakley

Oakland University
United States
3 (Southeastern U.S.)


Barbara Oakley, Ph.D., PE is a Professor of Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan; Michigan’s Distinguished Professor of the Year; and Coursera’s inaugural “Innovation Instructor.” Her work focuses on the complex relationship between neuroscience and social behavior. Dr. Oakley’s research has been described as “revolutionary” in the Wall Street Journal. She is a New York Times best-selling author who has published in outlets as varied as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York TimesShe has won numerous teaching awards, including the American Society of Engineering Education’s Chester F. Carlson Award for technical innovation in engineering education. Together with Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute, she co-teaches Coursera – UC San Diego’s “Learning How to Learn,” one of the world’s most popular massive open online courses with over three million registered students, along with a number of other leading MOOCs.

Dr. Oakley has adventured widely throughout her lifetime. She rose from the ranks of Private to Captain in the U.S. Army, during which time she was recognized as a Distinguished Military Scholar. She also worked as a communications expert at the South Pole Station in Antarctica and has served as a Russian translator on board Soviet trawlers on the Bering Sea. Dr. Oakley is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

IEEE Education Society Edwin C. Jones, Jr. Meritorious Service Award

For promoting pioneering contributions and high-level activities for the members of the IEEE Education Society

Oscar Bonastre

Miguel Hernández University


Oscar M Bonastre has a Ph.D. in Telecommunications Engineering from the University Politécnica de Valencia, Spain, B.S., and M.S in Computer Engineering from the University of Alicante, Spain. He has more than 23 years of background in academia and industry. He is with the University Miguel Hernandez, Spain, since the year of its foundation in 1997. Dr. Bonastre was appointed Vice Dean for International Relations in the College of Engineering from 2012 to 2015. He is active in the international engineering education community and his teaching interests include the advanced distributed systems.

Dr. Bonastre is a Senior Member of the IEEE, IEEE-HKN, the IEEE Communications Society, the IEEE Education Society, and the IEEE Standards Association. Dr. Bonastre is the 2020-2021 Chair of IEEE Spain Section and of Education Chapter. He was Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Education from 2010 – 2012. He has served for the steering committees of IEEE Transactions on Education and IEEE RITA (Revista Iberoamericana Tecnologías del Aprendizaje) and Co-EiC of TICAI, a journal supported by the IEEE Education Chapter of Portugal and Spain. Dr. Bonastre was a member of IEEE Region 8 Educational Activities Subcommittee (EASC) from 2015-16. In 2017, he participated as a developer and instructor for the First MOOC of the IEEE Education Society delivered through IEEEx (using edX platform) to more than 2,000 worldwide students. During 2018-2019, Dr. Bonastre was the Vice President of the Chapter of the IEEE Education Society in the Spain Section of the IEEE Region 8. His contributions to the chapter helped it earn the Outstanding Chapter Achievement Award from the IEEE Education Society in 2018.

Dr. Bonastre is the Counselor (Founder) of Student Branch (SB) Miguel Hernandez University created in 2012. Under his leadership, the SB received the recognitions IEEE Region 8 Exemplary Student Branch Award 2018, Exemplary Student Branch Award IEEE Spain Years 2014-15-17. Dr. Bonastre has given keynotes for promoting engineering and research to the next generation of scientists. He was one of the first starters of Doctoral Consortiums in several conferences inside IEEE Education Society as well as inside IEEE Computer Society, like chair them in the International Conference on Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation in 2016 in Madrid, Spain, as well as in the IEEE International Conferences on Advanced Learning Technologies – ICALT 2009 (Riga, Latvia) and ICALT 2010 (Sousse, Tunisia). For volunteers working on those doctoral activities, he received the award recognition of best organizer at Doctoral Consortium ICALT 2009.

His research has focused on the areas of development of the Internet, among others.  More Activities-Awards, Offices Held, Committee Memberships are online available at https://ieeer8.org/people/oscar

IEEE Education Society Mac Van Valkenburg Early Career Teaching Award

For his dedication to teaching, for his expertise in bridging research and practice in engineering education, and for his ability to inspire students and colleagues alike

Geoffrey L. Herman

Associate Professor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
United States


Dr. Geoffrey L. Herman is a Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Cha­mpaign as a Mavis Future Faculty Fellow and conducted postdoctoral research in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He helps lead the Grainger College of Engineering’s Strategic Instructional Innovations Program and the Teaching Professionals Program. His research focuses on how students learn engineering and computing concepts and studying processes for creating systemic change in how engineering and computer science are taught in college settings. His research on students’ misconceptions in programming was awarded the best paper in the first 50 years of the ACM Special Interest Group, Computer Science Education. He is a member of the Computer Research Association Education Committee.

IEEE Education Society Student Leadership Award

For participation in educational projects adding value to allow professional and personal growth

Pedro Plaza

Sr. Systems Engineer
Siemens Mobility


Pedro Plaza received the M.Sc. degree from the Industrial Engineering School (ETSII), National University of Distance Education (UNED), Madrid, Spain, in 2013, and the Industrial Engineering degree from the Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M) in 2010. He recently received his Ph.D. degree in industrial engineering with the ETSII, UNED. He is currently a Senior Systems Engineer with Siemens Rail Automation. He has authored several publications in prestigious conferences and journals. He has collaborated on several research projects. Mr. Plaza is a member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, the IEEE Education Society, the IEEE Young Professionals, and the IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE). He is an Editorial Board Member of the International Journal of Automation and Robotic Technology (Inderscience). He was also the President and the WIE Chair of the IEEE Student Branch of UNED during his time at the university.

IEEE Education Society Distinguished Chapter Leadership Award

For improving and developing new methods of collaboration and activities inside the Spanish Chapter of the IEEE Education Society

Manuel Caeiro-Rodríguez

University of Vigo


Manuel Caeiro-Rodríguez (M’08-SM’10) is an associate teacher in the Department of Telematics Engineering at the University of Vigo since 2002, Telecommunications Engineer (1999) and Ph.D. of Telecommunications Engineering (2007), from the University of Vigo. He received the best doctoral thesis 2007 award of the Spanish Chapter of the IEEE Education Society for his work in the field of Educational Modeling Languages. He also received the NAE CASEE new faculty fellows award in FiE 2006.

Manuel has participated in several research projects, European, national and regional calls. Currently, he is involved in the Erasmus + HERA, Elemend and Unifors projects on the development of educational innovations based on serious games and microlearning to support soft-skills development. Previously, he has participated in the City project, on the development of games about virtual cities for engineering disciplines, LEAP, on agile methodologies and Lean Startup for the development of engineering projects, ADLES about problem-based learning, and Refugees and DiamonDT about Design Thinking. He has also participated in several national research projects, the last one finished in 2020 was about learning analytics with wearables. From 2012 to 2015 he was the principal investigator of the TELGalicia research network supported by Xunta the Galicia.

Manuel has been responsible for an educational innovation project at the University of Vigo "Implementation of Learning Self-Regulation Strategies with ICT Help" and has taught several teacher training courses on this topic. He has also participated as a teacher in several courses about Design Thinking and Open Educational Resources, including the first MOOC of the IEEE Education Society on Open Educational Resources.

Manuel has performed research stays in the University of Coimbra (Portugal), IRISA (Rennes, France), MTA-ZSTAKI (Budapest, Hungary), University of Kumamoto (Japan), and ISEP (Porto, Portugal), most of them hosted by IEEE members. He has served as President of the Spanish Chapter of the IEEE Education Society (2018-2019).

IEEE Transactions on Education Theordore E. Batchman Best Paper Award

Effects of New Supportive Technologies for Blind and Deaf Engineering Students in Online Learning

Paper Abstract and Citation


A redesign of the Moodle platform to adapt digital educational content [learning objects (LOs)] to the specific needs of students with disabilities. The approach, extendable to a range of disciplines, was empirically tested with blind and deaf engineering students.


Concha Batanero, Luis de-Marcos, Jaana Holvikivi, José Ramón Hilera, and Salvador Otón, "Effects of New Supportive Technologies for Blind and Deaf Engineering Students in Online Learning," in IEEE Transactions on Education, vol. 62, no. 4, pp. 270-277, Nov. 2019.

IEEE Education Society Chapter Achievement Award

Montreal Chapter

For sustained contributions of innovative educational and professional activities in the community

IEEE Education Society Distinguished Member Award

Victor K. Schutz

For outstanding long-term leadership, dedication, and service to the IEEE Education Society and in significant contributions to the fields of interest to the IEEE