Software Process Award Renamed to Honor Humphrey’s Contributions

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 1 August, 2011 – The IEEE Technical Activities Committee has approved changing the name of the Software Process Achievement (SPA) Award to recognize the outstanding achievements of the late Watts S. Humphrey, a software engineering process pioneer at the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute and early supporter of the award.

The award’s new official name will be the IEEE Computer Society/Software Engineering Institute Watts S. Humphrey Software Process Achievement Award. The name change was also endorsed by the SPA Award Selection Committee, the IEEE Computer Society Awards Committee, and the IEEE Board of Governors.

Humphrey’s legacy includes development of the Software Capability Maturity Model, the Software Process Assessment and Software Capability Evaluation methods, and the Personal Software Process and Team Software Process methodologies.

“Watts was a strong proponent for the establishment of this prestigious award and continued to be an advocate in the selection process for many years,” said SEI Director and CEO Paul D. Nielsen in requesting that the award’s name be changed to honor his accomplishments.

Humphrey founded the Software Engineering Institute’s Software Process Program in the 1980s and served as its director from 1986 until the early 1990s. The author if 11 books, Humphrey was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2005.

Co-sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society and the Software Engineering Institute, the SPA Award is presented to recognize outstanding achievements in improving an organization's ability to create and evolve software-dependent systems. An SPA Award may be presented to an individual, group, or team. Nominees are most often employees of an organization that produces, supports, enhances, or provides software-dependent systems.

Anyone may nominate, and organizations may nominate themselves. All nominations must be seconded by a senior executive of the organization in which the nominated individual or team works, and supported by a ten-page nomination package detailing how the nominee's software engineering or process improvement work is, to an exceptional degree, significant, sustained, measured, and shared. For more information, visit

About the IEEE Computer Society

With nearly 85,000 members, the IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading organization of computing professionals. Founded in 1946, and the largest of IEEE’s 38 societies, the Computer Society is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computer and information-processing technology. The Society serves the information and career-development needs of today’s computing researchers and practitioners with technical journals, magazines, conferences, books, conference publications, certifications, and online courses. For more information, visit

About the Software Engineering Institute

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and operated by Carnegie Mellon University. The SEI helps organizations make measurable improvements in their software engineering capabilities by providing technical leadership to advance the practice of software engineering. For more information, visit the SEI website at

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