This major IEEE-HKN recognition for career accomplishment in the field of electrical and computer engineering dates from 1922, when the Board of Governors established the award in honor of Vladimir Karapetoff, an IEEE Fellow and a prominent member of Eta Kappa Nu.

Deadline to submit applications: 7 May

Prize: Plaque

Award purpose

Since 1992, this major recognition of career accomplishments has been presented annually to a practitioner of electrical or computer engineering who has distinguished himself/herself through an invention, development, or discovery in the field of electrical or computer technology. Factors considered in bestowing this award include the impact and scope of applicability, the impact on the public welfare, and the impact on the standard of living and/or global stability.

Award Sub-Committee

  • Alan Willson, Chair
  • Gerard Alphonse
  • Asad Madni


The award is given annually to an electrical practitioner who has distinguished himself/herself through an invention, a development, or a discovery in the field of Electrotechnology. The fund to support the award was initiated through a bequest from Dr. Karapetoff’s widow, R.M. Karapetoff Cobb, herself a distinguished chemical engineer.

Factors that are considered in bestowing the award include the impact and scope of applicability of the invention, development, or discovery; its impact on the public welfare and standard of living, and/or global stability; and the effective lifetime of its impact.

Applying for the award

Nominations shall be made via the official Nomination Form on the IEEE EAB Awards portal, and shall be submitted electronically by 7 May of the award year.

Award history

Vladimir Karapetoff (1876-1948)

Dr. Karapetoff was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 8 January 1876. His father was an engineer and his mother a student at a military medical school. Dr. Karapetoff immigrated to the United States in 1902 and became a naturalized citizen in 1909.

In 1904, Dr. Karapetoff joined the engineering faculty of Cornell University as an assistant professor; in 1909, he was made a full professor and continued in that capacity until he retired from active teaching in 1939.

During World War II, Dr. Karapetoff was commissioned a Lt. Commander in the US Navy.
He seldom missed the annual Eta Kappa Nu Awards Dinner in New York City and would address the society in what a fellow engineer described as “refreshingly original and lucid expositions” of his technical interests.

Dr. Karapetoff was the author of several electrical engineering texts that were widely used and revised through several editions, as well as other texts on electrical and magnetic currents, electrical testing, and engineering mathematics.

His colleagues also remembered him as an accomplished musician on piano, violoncello, and double bass. He toured the country giving recitals and lectures on Wagner, Liszt, and other major composers and developed a five-string cello on which violin music could be played. Dr. Karapetoff received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the New York College of Music.

Dr. Karapetoff was a member of the AIEE, the Franklin Institute, the AAAS, the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Society, and the Mathematical Society of America.

Previous award winners

2017: Asad M. Madni

2016: No Award Given

2015: No Award Given

2014: No Award Given

2013: No Award Given

2012: No Award Given

2011: No Award Given

2010: Thomas Kailath

2009: Gerard A. Alphonse

2008: Leo L. Beranek

2007: Arun G. Phadke & Stanley H. Horowitz

2006: Arun N. Netravali

2005: Stanley White

2004: Yau-Chau Ching

2003: Bernard C. DeLoach, Jr.

2002: Robert H. Dennard

2001: Chester Gordon Bell

2000: Amos E. Joel, Jr.

1999: Jack St. Clair Kilby

1998: Al Gross

1997: Jerry M. Woodall

1996: Harold A. Wheeler

1995: John L. Moll

1994: Nick Holonyak, Jr.

1993: George H. Heilmeier

1992: Wilson Greatbatch

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