DAC Under-40 Innovators Award

The Under-40 Innovators Award recognizes up to five young innovators (nominees should be 40 years or younger in age as of June 1, 2024) who are movers and shakers in the field of design and automation of electronics.


From beyond the traditional automation around chip implementation, design automation is rapidly expanding to new areas such as neuromorphic computing, biological systems, cyber-security and cyber- physical systems. Within the electronics industry, the advent of new technologies and alternate scaling approaches using new integration approaches are emerging as traditional CMOS technology scaling slows down.

Young innovators are redefining and shaping the future of the design automation field in industry, research labs, start-ups and academia, and DAC wants to recognize the best and brightest.

Nomination criteria:

  • The Under-40 Innovators Award is open to people in industry or academia with technical contributions of notable impact in the field of design and automation of electronics.  Nominees are individuals who have made their contributions through work within an individual organization, to the design automation community and to the broader society.
  • Nominees from industry with technical contributions to actual product development in the field of design and automation of electronics are especially encouraged.
  • The award is intended for specific contributions such as commercial products, software or hardware systems, or specific algorithms or tools incorporated into other systems widely used by industry and academia. Nominations that emphasize only metrics such as number of publications, patents, and citations will not be sufficient. The impact as measured by commercialization and/or wide adoption of the nominee’s contributions is required.
  • The nomination for this award should include a one-page summary (fewer than 500 words) of the nominee’s technical work with specific emphasis on the impact of the work.
  • The nomination must include a cover page with the email address, daytime telephone number and date of birth of the nominee.
  • All nominations should be supported by at least three letters of recommendation.
  • One of those letters of recommendation needs to be from a leader inside the nominee’s organization.
  • Self-nominations are not allowed.

The winners will be recognized at the award sessions onsite at DAC at Moscone Center West in San Francisco, CA.

The submission portal has closed. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact info@dac.com


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a nominee’s contribution be part of a larger team effort?
Yes. Many impactful research and commercial contributions are team efforts. If the nominee’s effort to the team is substantial, please articulate the contribution towards this team-effort.

2. How do we highlight a nominee’s contributions that are not well documented in external publications?
A nominee’s internal recognitions within the organization or supporting letters of senior technical articulating contributions to internal or external products can be used to support these nominations. The award is intended to recognize all individuals making valuable contributions to the community, especially those that remain hidden within an organization.

3. Is the award limited to contributions within industry and commercial products?
No, academics with substantial contributions to technology transfer or community impact (open source tools, widely-used courseware, high-impact outreach/diversity programs) will be considered.

4. Can you provide examples of nominee contributions that will be recognized ?

  • Wide adoption of the nominee’s work in commercial products
  • Tools/methodologies developed by nominee that have had significant impact within their organization
  • Methodologies/tools developed in academic environment that have been widely used by other practitioners and researchers.
  • New start-ups based on nominee’s technical leadership
  • Creation of new technical areas that broaden the reach of design automation methodologies

DAC is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 


Congratulations to the recipients of the 2023 DAC Under-40 Innovators Awards! 

  • Jianli Chen |  Shanghai LEDA Technology Co., Ltd.; Fudan University

  • Pierre-Emmanuel Gaillardon | University of Utah

  • Sriram Rajamanohar | Keysight

  • Yiyu Shi | University of Notre Dame

Diamond Event Sponsor

Event Sponsors

Industry Sponsors