IEEE Reliability Society Newsletter     Vol. 61, No. 1, February 2015

Table of Contents

Front page:

President's Message

From the Editor

Society News:

RS Banquet at RAMS: Lifetime Achievement and Engineer of the Year Awards

RS Banquet at RAMS: New ExCom Slate and AdCom Electees

Members & Chapters

Boston Chapter

Dallas Chapter

Arizona Chapter

RS Chapter Outreach: China

Meetings & Conferences

Call for Abstracts: 2015 ASTR Conference, Boston, MA

Announcing 2015 IRPS, Monterrey, CA

PHM-2015 Announced: Austin, TX

Call for Papers: 2015 QRS, Vancouver, Canada

Letters in Reliability

Revisiting Perception of Reliability: Uninteroperability in US Power Grid


Reliability Society Home

RS Newsletter Homepage

IEEE Reliability Society Engineer of the Year Award and
Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

We are pleased to announce the following award winners that were honored at the Annual RS Awards Banquet at RAMS in Tampa, Florida on January 24, 2015.


Prof. Eric Wong – IEEE Reliability Society Engineer of the Year for 2014 for his contributions to the disciplines of software reliability engineering, software testing, software quality assurance, as well as excellence and professionalism in software engineering education and software reliability community building

Professor Eric Wong’s biography:

Dr. Eric Wong received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue. He is a Full Professor, the Director of International Outreach, and the Founding Director of Advanced Research Center on Software Testing and Quality Assurance in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). He also has an appointment as a guest researcher from NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Prior to joining UTD, Professor Wong was with Telcordia Technologies (formerly Bell core) as a senior research scientist and the project manager in charge of the initiative for Dependable Telecom Software Development.

Professor Wong's research focus is on helping practitioners improve the quality of software while reducing the cost of development at the same time. In particular, he is working on software testing, debugging, risk analysis/metrics, safety, and reliability. He has very strong experience developing real-life industry applications of his research results. Since 2002, Professor Wong has received research funding from such organizations as NSF, NASA, NIST, Avaya, IBM, Texas Instruments, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, HP, NEC (Japan), and Hyundai Motor Company among others. He has published more than 170 papers and co-edited two books.

Professor Wong is a recipient of the Quality Assurance Special Achievement Award from Johnson Space Center, NASA (1997) and two Best Paper Awards from COMPSAC (2007) and ACM SAC (2011). He is currently serving as the Vice President for Publications of the IEEE Reliability Society, and is the Founding Steering Committee Chair of the IEEE International Conference on Software Security and Reliability (SERE), which has merged with the International Conference on Quality Software (QSIC) in 2015 to form one large conference QRS, with Q representing Quality, R for Reliability, and S for Security. He was the Secretary (2014) and the Vice President for Technical Activities (2012-2013) of the IEEE Reliability Society, and the Secretary of ACM SIGAPP (Special Internet Group on Applied Computing) for two consecutive terms (2009-2013). Professor Wong is on the editorial board of several journals including the IEEE Transactions on Reliability and Journal of Systems and Software. He has served as special issue guest editor for IEEE TR, JSS, SPE, IST, SQJ, STVR, IJSEKE, etc., and General or Program Chair for many international conferences including ISSRE, COMPSAC, QSIC, SEKE and SAC.


Scott Abrams – IEEE Reliability Society Lifetime Achievement Award for delivering innovative software tools and analysis methods used in military and space applications, consumer electronics, transportation, information technology, and medical devices, all enabling higher levels of product reliability and safety using an entrepreneurial technology-transfer approach.”

Scott Abrams’ biography:

Scott B. Abrams founded The Omnicon Group in 1984—the same year he received his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and only four short years after graduating with a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Stony Brook University. With customers in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, The Omnicon Group has established itself as a leading provider of critical software/hardware solutions and analytical assessments for mission, revenue and safety-critical products and systems.

Scott is a recognized expert on reliability and has been dubbed “Mr. Reliability” by the Long Island Business News, and “The Gizmo Doctor” by the New York Times. Over the last 30 years he has contributed innovation and technology know-how to countless multi-million dollar programs. He has received many awards including:

  • Induction into Long Island Technology Hall of Fame as “LI Technology Entrepreneur and Rising Technology Leader”
  • Honored as a “Distinguished Alumni” of Stony Brook University
  • Named “Reliability Engineer of the Year” by the IEEE Reliability Society
  • Recipient of Region 1 Award from the IEEE for creative contributions to and encouragement of electrical engineering students

Likewise, The Omnicon Group has received numerous awards including three years in a row being named one of Long Island’s fastest growing technology companies by Deloitte & Touche, sponsor of the “Long Island Technology Fast 50.”

Scott was part of the team organized under the SAE International G-11 Reliability Committee that authored ARP5580, Recommended Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) for Non-Automotive Applications. This document is now accepted by the aerospace community as the recommended FMEA methodology for commercial aircraft programs. Scott is an elected member of IEEE Reliability Society Executive Committee serving as Secretary, an appointed member of the IEEE Committee on Transportation and Aerospace Policy, and IEEE Transportation Electrification Community, and a licensed professional engineer.

As President and Chief Executive Officer of The Omnicon Group, Scott continues to lead a dedicated and skilled team servicing technology companies throughout the world by analyzing and improving the reliability and safety of their products, developing robust systems, software and hardware, and providing comprehensive test engineering solutions. Over the past 30 years, long term relationships have been built with customers in diverse industries such as aerospace, communications, transportation, defense, information technology, energy, and medical technology. Customers include industry leaders such as Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Boeing, Sikorsky, Kawasaki, Alstom, Parker Hannifin, Eaton, Computer Sciences Corporation, BP, Johnson and Johnson, and Bayer.


Nihal Sinnadurai – IEEE Reliability Society Lifetime Achievement Award for his diverse career and pioneering reliability innovations in Highly Accelerated Stress Test (HAST), micro-electronics, photonics, Liquid Crystal Micro-Thermography, Thermal mapping for integrated circuits, and initiating the ITU sponsored analyses of severe climates for global deployment of telecommunications in developing nations.

Dr. Nihal Sinnadurai’s biography:

In his career, Nihal Sinnadurai

  • developed compact, low-cost, high-reliability subscriber line units for SPC digital exchanges.
  • broke the mould in being the first to prove and then authorize the deployment of plastic encapsulated microelectronics in high reliability systems
  • initiated the ITU sponsored analyses of climates for global deployment of  telecommunications in the more severe climates including developing nations
  • invented the HAST Highly accelerated stress test and established the equations, models and correct methodology for its use
  • invented the fundamental Liquid Crystal Micro-Thermography and Thermal mapping for ICs and microelectronics generally.

In 2001-2004, as Global Leader and Vice President of Reliability and Quality for Bookham (HQ’d in Oxford, England) (now Oclaro, HQ’d in San Jose, Ca), he led from the front, bringing his considerable experience and skill to bear in training and leading the team members in the skills of reliability and quality in establishing a clear strategy for Reliability and Quality, in developing highly reliable photonics products cost-effectively, creating a unique ‘Building Blocks’ approach to Qualification, and ensuring high standards of analysis and reporting. Customer recognitions resulted in the 2004 Gold Award from Huawei (China), 2004 Best in Class in Reliability and Qualification from Nortel Networks (Canada) and dramatic (90%) reductions in global Customer Returns.

His career also spanned British Telecommunications where he led corporate development of Intelligent Networks and VPN deployment. Earlier he was instrumental in fundamentally moving BT policies from over-engineering to fit-for-purpose technologies. He set the example by demonstrating that high calibre commercial components were fit-for-purpose and designed them into low-cost high-reliability and high-density subscriber line units for digital switching systems (central offices). He was appointed Professor of Electronics Technology and the Microelectronics Chair at Middlesex University, Principal Consultant at TWI, and project leader of R&D projects for the European Commission. He continues to be a visiting professor in the UK, USA and Australia. As a freelance technology transfer expert he numbers ITRI (Taiwan), ST Microelectronics, a number of photonics companies, defense electronics and automotive and automotive control companies, as well as the European Commission amongst his international clientele He has project managed European Commission technology transfer programmes to ensure small and medium enterprises (SMEs) gain access to leading edge design, foundry and research capabilities and also research projects to support SMEs.

He gained his university degrees at the University of London in Physics (with honors) and Semiconductor Devices and his PhD at the University of Southampton for research on the Reliability of Silicon and Gallium Arsenide Devices. Nihal is a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Chartered Engineer.

As an active volunteer he has led IEEE Reliability and CPMT Chapter of UK and Ireland in organizing many activities including Outreach and connecting with industry. He is also immediate Past-Chair of UK and Ireland Section. In both roles, Nihal led the volunteer teams to do increase their activity for the members. In 2013, IEEE UK and Ireland Section held more than 220 events.

The International Microelectronics Society in 2003 awarded him the Daniel Hughes Award for outstanding Professional Achievement and in 2013 the award for International Achievement.

Dennis Hoffman
Jr. Past President, IEEE Reliability Society
Nominations and Awards Committee Chair


Eric Wong (third from left) receiving his Engineer of the Year Award from Jeff Voas, Christina Hansen, and Dennis Hoffman


Scott Abrams (third from left) receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award from Jeff Voas, Christian Hansen, and Dennis Hoffman


Nihal Sinnadurai (third from left) receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award from Christian Hansen, Jeff Voas, and Dennis Hoffman