2023 UC Tech Awards winners: Technical excellence and commitment to caring
On July 18, 2023, six individuals and eight teams from across the University of California received 2023 UC Tech Awards at the UC Tech Conference hosted by UC Berkeley and UCSF. The UC Tech Awards program recognizes individuals and teams in the university’s technology community for their contributions to advancing the university’s mission using technology tools and methods.
Teams competed in seven award categories, each representing an area of critical importance to advancing technology — design; innovation in information technology; IT security; operational excellence; UC-wide collaboration; diversity, equity and inclusion leadership; and sustained impact. Three awards are named for UC staff whose extraordinary contributions have had a lasting impact on the university:
- The annual Larry L. Sautter Awards for Innovation in Information Technology are named after the late Larry L. Sautter, UC Riverside associate vice chancellor for computing and communications, who led technological innovation through the entrepreneurial and efficient use of resources.
- The Yvonne Tevis UC Collaboration Awards celebrate Yvonne Tevis, former chief of staff for UCOP Information Technology Services, who devoted 18 years to facilitating, advocating for and supporting collaboration across the UC system.
- The Mojgan A. Amini Awards for Operational Excellence recognize the efforts of Mojgan Amini, director of process management and continuous improvement at UC San Diego Information Technology Services, to make Lean Six Sigma a broadly recognized and practiced set of operational excellence skills across the university.
2023 Tech Award winners
This year’s award-winners span the UC system. The new technologies and capabilities they have introduced impact diverse fields, from virtual reality and experiential learning to medical research. Select each link below to access the award applications and learn more about the teams’ achievements.
Design Awards: Recognize an individual or team that transformed one or more touchpoints through the application of various design disciplines (e.g., visual design, interaction design, user experience design, customer experience design and/or industrial design) to improve usability and/or create a more elegant experience for all users, including those with disabilities.
- Golden: Robert Krumm, Programmer IV, Urology – UCSF: Despite huge advances in both open-source (R-studio) and commercially available analytics (Tableau), the use of analytics in medical research is impeded by the shortage of “analyzable” data. Electronic Medical Records systems like EPIC model the patient “chart” model which collects all available data into a folder that requires an inspection to determine the course of treatment based on a qualitative review of lab results, pathology reports and physician notes. The Urology Oncology Database and Biobanking (UODB) project is designed to extract, transform and connect unstructured sources into a fully relational data lake with a suite of web-based apps compatible with any analytics suite.
- Silver: Managing Vendor Risk One Triage at a Time – UCLA: Third-party risk management involves a comprehensive analysis of the risks arising from relationships with third-party providers. Through ServiceNow, the team has transformed a complex process into a simple, repeatable solution to manage vendor risk proactively.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Awards: Recognize the leadership of an individual in advancing DEI in technical communities, as demonstrated by specific tactics to create vehicles that improve visibility, access and engagement of underrepresented populations.
- Golden: Shohreh Bozorgmehri, director, Student & Academic Services – UC Irvine: Shohreh provided visionary leadership in founding Women in Technology at UC Irvine, a campus-wide community that supports the development, leadership, sponsorship and empowerment of women in IT. Her championing of two new programs, Applause and LEAP, created important vehicles for improving visibility and developing the leadership skills of underrepresented populations in tech.
- Silver: Sarvani Chadalapaka, director of Research Computing – UC Merced: Sarvani has spent her career as a tireless advocate for women in technology, supporting many DEI initiatives in her field of research computing. As an invited speaker, committee chair, program developer, mentor and institutional leader, she has created communities of support for underrepresented groups at UC Merced and in the higher education industry at large.
Larry L. Sautter Awards for Innovation in Information Technology: Recognize a team for having implemented an innovative technology project that has had a significant beneficial impact on UC’s academic or research mission, student life, business operations, patient care or public-service mission. Innovation is defined as the new application of technology, the creative use of limited resources or an emphasis on collaboration to solve a problem.
- Golden: Oliver Kreylos, Virtual Reality Visualization Researcher – UC Davis: Oliver has pioneered the development of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) software for research, teaching and outreach. The latest innovations to his open-source AR sandbox and VR user interface platforms, and their novel integration at the UC Davis DataLab, are reducing equity barriers and providing opportunities for researchers and students to interactively immerse themselves in 3D data visualizations and collaborate together in real-time.
- Silver: Experiential Learning Program – UC Irvine: ELP creates a bridge between classroom learning and career readiness by providing a space for underrepresented students to build new competencies and hone their skills. Opportunities exist for students both inside and outside science, technology, engineering and math majors, supporting everything from social media management to content creation and storytelling to artificial intelligence AI/machine learning. ELP offers positions for summer, part-time and project-based employment.
IT Security Awards: Recognize an individual or team that advanced IT security at UC through awareness and training, policy, technical controls and/or IT security hygiene. Projects that intersect with legal, privacy and compliance are eligible.
- Gold: The Risk and Safety Solutions Security Team – UC Office of the President: The Risk and Safety Solutions (RSS) Security Team’s work resulted in HIPAA compliance to protect sensitive patient health information, known as “Protected Health Information (PHI)” at UC Health medical centers. The team’s project involved an evaluation of RSS security protocols and federal requirements, as well as improvements to administrative, physical and technical safeguards, policies, procedures and documentation.
- Silver: Identity and Access Management Team – UC Merced: UC Merced recently completed a total overhaul of their outdated identity and access management system. The new design: (1) Is fully aligned with the campus brand to create an intuitive and cohesive experience for campus applicants, students, faculty, staff and alumni; (2) Recognizes clients’ lived names by allowing username choice during the account claim process; (3) Offers integrated self-service features that drive security awareness; and (4) Incorporates engaging artwork and animation
Mojgan Amini Operational Excellence Awards: Recognize an individual or team that transformed a business process (via reliability, speed, scale, efficiency and/or effectiveness), whether through business process design, automation, customer service, digital transformation or another initiative.
- Golden: Mass Vaccination Project team – UCSF Health: Delivering limited COVID vaccine to a large metropolitan area in a fair and equitable way required a multi modal system of outreach and scheduling, coupled with backend IT infrastructure to ensure efficient care delivery and data to monitor program efforts. The UCSF Apex team developed new methods to randomize 33,000 staff members according to risk and automate scheduling, then extended these capabilities to serve the residents of the Bay Area.
- Silver: Project New Normal – UC San Diego Health. The team used data to develop predictive thresholds that inform UC San Diego Health’s system-wide approach to predicting COVID and respiratory illness surges throughout San Diego. Using blended county and UC San Diego Health’s data models, the team created a Tableau dashboard which is distributed via email daily and is vital to operational readiness. This data is used by UC San Diego Health departments to monitor capacity.
Yvonne Tevis UC Collaboration Awards: Recognize an individual or team that conducted a strong collaborative technology initiative across two or more UC locations, a UC campus and UC health system, and/or with other UC partners.
- Golden: IT Sourcing Committee and IT Strategic Sourcing Center of Excellence – UC Systemwide: The strong partnership between the IT Sourcing Committee and the IT Strategic Sourcing Center of Excellence, begun in FY17, enables all UC locations to work together to strategically source commonly needed IT products and services. To-date, this collaboration has resulted in: (1) $325M in total financial benefit UC-wide, as well as (2) significantly increased risk mitigation stemming from 64 new or substantially updated UC-wide IT sourcing agreements with custom-negotiated terms, aligned with UC policy and the law; and (3) a 33% increase in the use of UC-wide IT sourcing agreements.
- Silver: UC Tech 2022 Planning Committee – UC San Diego: The UC Tech 2022 conference at UC San Diego engaged 96 volunteers to serve on the committee or support conference operations; 23 volunteers (about 25%) came from campuses other than UC San Diego. In particular, 12 of 13 virtual stage managers who supported virtual workshops came from other campuses. The conference was an outstanding success with high attendee satisfaction scores.
Sustained Impact Awards: Recognize an individual who, over time, has contributed significant expertise, passion and commitment to UC, as evidenced by a portfolio of work supporting the technology arena.
- Golden: Chris Brandt, Chief Information Officer School of Veterinary Medicine – UC Davis: Chris Brandt’s pursuit of technological innovation for over 20 years has been instrumental in propelling the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to new heights. Through his visionary leadership, he has spearheaded the adoption of cutting-edge technologies that have revolutionized operational, teaching, and learning experiences. In creating innovative digital tools, Chris’s achievements have empowered students, faculty, and staff to embrace the transformative power of technology.
- Silver: Bruce Miller, Senior Enterprise Architect – UC Santa Barbara: For over four transformational decades, Bruce Miller has guided some of the most complex, revolutionary and impactful technical initiatives on the UC Santa Barbara campus. His expertise, dedication and passion are evidenced by his extensive and broad portfolio of projects and his long history of working to build teams and collaborations.
About the UC Tech Awards
The UC Tech Awards Program celebrates individuals and teams in the UC tech community who have contributed in areas of strategic importance to the university using technical approaches. The UC CIO Council created the program in 2001 when an award for innovation was named after Larry L. Sautter. Today, the UC Tech Awards Program has grown to seven awards. It promotes an inclusive UC tech community by recognizing the contributions of people from all areas of expertise. The UC Tech Awards are sponsored by the UC CIO Council, which is composed of Chief Information Officers across UC locations.
Visit the UC IT Blog to read all award applications and learn more about the teams’ achievements.