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Accolades & Honors

Rob Rutenbar receives Pioneering Achievement Award

Rob Rutenbar wearing dark blue suit and sitting at a desk

University of Pittsburgh Senior Vice Chancellor for Research Rob A. Rutenbar has been named the 2021 SIGDA Pioneering Achievement Award recipient by the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Design Automation (ACM SIGDA) for his extraordinary leadership in analog design automation and general EDA education.”

This award recognizes outstanding contributions within the scope of electronic design automation (EDA) and is based on the impact of the awardee’s work during their lifetime.

Rutenbar pioneered the first commercially viable software design tools for custom analog circuits. Previously regarded as a problem only solvable by human experts, his research showed how to build automated tools that reached human expert levels of design. His startup company Neolinear, Inc., successfully commercialized these ideas and was acquired by Cadence Design Systems, which became the nucleus of the large Cadence Pittsburgh R&D office.

At the start of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) revolution, he also recognized the need to teach the core ideas of EDA to a global audience. His classes on the Coursera MOOC platform were the first for this important technology, enrolling more than 100,000 learners to date.

As Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for research, Rutenbar provides strategic vision, leadership and partnership expertise to help University researchers and scholars advance their world-class research, scholarship and innovation. He also holds Distinguished Professor appointments in the School of Computing and Information and Swanson School of Engineering.

Rutenbar will be presented the ACM SIGDA Pioneer Award at the SIGDA Annual Member Meeting and Dinner.