James J. Truchard, IEEE Fellow, has won the 2023 IEEE James H. Mulligan Jr. Education Medal.
Truchard is the founder and former chairman and CEO of National Instruments, Austin, Texas, USA. In winning the award, Truchard was cited “for the development of LabVIEW and establishing worldwide programs to enhance hands-on learning in laboratories and classrooms.” He will be presented with the Medal at the IEEE Honors Ceremony on Friday, 5 May 2023.
About James J. Truchard
As an engineer, business owner, and global technical leader, James Truchard has always been driven by a vision to empower engineers to be more innovative and efficient—and his work to make that vision a reality has had an enormous worldwide impact. National Instrument’s best-known invention is LabVIEW, which changed engineering education in the mid-1980s when it was released.
LabVIEW was a breakthrough that made sophisticated instrumentation accessible to unsophisticated users. Truchard recognized that the impact of LabVIEW would be limited without an accompanying investment in efforts to reduce the cost of adopting virtual instrumentation. So he created the Academic Relations Program to bring every engineering and science student worldwide access to LabVIEW. The technology was later made accessible to high school students and young kids through Robolab, a LabVIEW-based product bundled with LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits.
LabVIEW has been adapted to various industry applications, from automotive to medical. It has enabled power sources in remote African villages and early-detection methods for cancer. Just as impressive is the impact Truchard has made in technical education and in motivating untold numbers of young children worldwide to pursue careers in science and engineering.
About the IEEE James H. Mulligan Jr. Education Medal
Formerly the IEEE Education Medal, this award was established in 1956 by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and continued by the Board of Directors of IEEE. The medal recognizes the importance of education’s contribution to “the vitality, imagination, and leadership of the members of the engineering profession.” The award includes a gold medal, a bronze replica, a certificate, and an honorarium.