Linda M. Northrop Software Architecture Award

Linda M. Northrop

Software Architecture Award

Nomination Form


The Linda M. Northrop Software Architecture Award is given to an individual or team that has used
architecture-centric engineering to significantly improve practices in an organization or in the software development community.

The winner of the 2016 award is Eltjo Poort of CGI.


The award is named for Linda M. Northrop, who led the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) program that was instrumental in the creation and development of the field of software engineering known as software architecture.

SEI software architecture methods are today in wide use throughout the world, documented in a series of highly acclaimed books, and disseminated by means of a software architecture curriculum and certificate programs. To date, more than 17,000 people from more than 1,400 organizations have attended courses in the SEI Software Architecture Curriculum, and more than 2,200 people have earned software-architecture-related certificates.

Award Committee

George Fairbanks, Google
David Garlan, Carnegie Mellon University
James Ivers, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Robert Nord, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Roland Weiss, ABB AG

 Award Criteria

Architecture Centric Practices

Architecture-Centric Practices

Application of architecture-centric practices leading to successful development and launch of a product or system



Leadership in motivating others in an organization or in the community to adopt an innovative architecture-centric practice
Persistent Change

Persistent Change

Product or innovative architecture-centric practice that produced a persistent change in behavior and results



Emergence of a new or different perspective on architecture-centric engineering


Jan 25, 2016

Call for Nominations opens January 25

Feb 29

Call for Nominations closes February 29

Mar 18

Decision made by March 18

Eligibility Requirements

  • The award may be presented to an individual or a group, but the recipient or recipients can be no larger than a team; that is, the award will not be presented to an entire organization.
  • Recipients are most often employees of a target organization. If not, recipients may work for an organization that provided benefits to the target organization. For example, the recipient organization may be an organization that provides consulting services related to software architecture to the target organization, or it may be an association that supports activities related to software architecture that benefit one or more target organizations. 
  • The work described and awarded may be for-profit, not-for-profit, or non-profit; for an industrial, academic, or government organization or foundation; and need not be based in the United States. 
  • Current and former SEI employees may nominate others, but are not eligible to receive the award. 
  • There are no restrictions on the time frame during which the work conducted by the nominee and cited in the nomination took place.  


  • A nomination must be supported by two endorsements from individuals external to the nominee’s organization.
  • None of the data and information in the nomination materials may be proprietary or confidential.
  • If selected as an award recipient, the nominee or one representative from the winning team will make a presentation at the SATURN Conference that is held in the year in which the award is conferred and will be available to receive the commemorative plaque when the award is announced.

Nomination Guidelines

The nominator must provide evidence that the nominee meets one or more of the award criteria. The publication of results may be cited as evidence, but publication is not a requirement for the award. 

Examples of Evidence 

  • A successful product or system that owes and explicitly attributes its success to architecture-centric engineering practices
  • Publication of a book or influential article explicating an innovative practice for easy adoption by others
  • Development of the first instance of a groundbreaking product or practice that was later replicated successfully by others
  • Influential book or article that articulated a fresh or new perspective

Nomination Materials 

  • Submit the nomination form plus two external endorsements.
  • Provide tangible, measurable, and verifiable evidence of project success.


  • Free admission to SATURN, with all expenses covered (travel, lodging)
  • Opportunity to share experiences and insights in an invited talk, and consequent positive publicity
  • Award to be presented at the SATURN Conference
  • Co-authorship of a SATURN Blog post, and consequent positive publicity
  • Ability to cite the award in organizational public relations and marketing