By Laurel Skurko. On Aug. 16, 2022, ten teams and three individuals from across the University of California (UC) received 2022 UC Tech Awards at the UC Tech Conference at UC San Diego. The UC Tech Awards recognize individuals and teams in the UC technology community for their contributions to advancing the university’s mission.
Teams competed in six award categories, each representing an area of critical importance to advancing technology — design, innovation in information technology, IT security, operational excellence, UC collaboration and lifetime 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. Sautter Awards recognize technology innovations that make university operations more effective and efficient and better serve faculty, staff, students and patients.
- The Yvonne Tevis UC Collaboration Award celebrates 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 Amini Award for Operational Excellence recognizes 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 key, broadly recognized and practiced set of operational excellence skills across the university.
2022 Tech Award winners
This year’s award-winners span the entire state. The new technologies and capabilities they have introduced impact an array of diverse fields, from library management and student admissions to clinical care. Select each project name to view its original application.
Larry L. Sautter Award for Innovation in Information Technology: Recognizes 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: The De-identifying Clinical Notes at Scale Project (UCSF) provides an automated clinical text de-identification pipeline to protect patient information in clinical note text and reports. It is one of the only professionally certified de-identification software for unstructured data, and is being adopted by many other medical institutions, including UC Irvine Health and UC Davis Health.
- Silver: The Transforming UC Library Services Project (Systemwide) is the migration of 10 independent UC academic campus library systems to a single shared enterprise solution. This complex, four-year project allows members of the UC community — more than 623,000 students, faculty and staff — to access a digital and print collection that is the second-largest collection in the U.S., following the Library of Congress.
IT Security Award: Recognizes 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.
- Golden: The UC Cyber Security Summit Project (Systemwide) is an annual event convening experts across numerous disciplines and UC locations who are interested in promoting cyber security information and best practices through educational opportunities and teamwork. To address the increased need for supporting remote and hybrid workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the project team developed a secondary area of expertise — advising on excellence in large group virtual meetings.
- Silver: The Future of Work Program (UC Irvine) has transformed how the university functions in the hybrid world. It meets evolving business needs, including enabling mobility, enhanced security and connecting 10,000 campus employees on shared technology. The first-of-its-kind, centrally funded program includes standardized specifications for hybrid work equipment and modernized systems to support cyber security improvements.
Design Award: Recognizes 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 (UX) design, customer experience (CX) design and/or industrial design) to improve usability and/or create a more elegant experience for all users, including those with disabilities.
- Golden: The Improving the Road to UC Merced Project (UC Merced) has created a radically new digital user experience (UX) for prospective students, meeting customer expectations, reflecting the school’s stature and improving engagement and retention rates. It provides prospective students with an optimal experience throughout their online journey, including accessibility, intuitive navigation and engaging visual design, all of which are key success factors among “digital native” audiences.
- Silver: The Redesigning Research Data Request Project (UCSF) provides researchers with an improved user experience and streamlined workflow when requesting data sets and environments. The design work and vision guided an agile build process to drive collaboration across multiple stakeholders and launch the new solution.
Mojgan Amini Operational Excellence Award: Recognizes 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: The California Digital Library’s (CDL) Merritt Preservation System Project (UCOP) is a long-term digital content preservation solution for the 10 UC academic campuses, their affiliated organizations and the Dryad data repository, an international open-access repository of research data. Today, the CDL manages close to two and a half times the amount of data it did in 2019. It does so through more reliable, transparent, efficient and cost-effective means that aim to mitigate the risk of data loss while providing content access in perpetuity.
- Silver: The Scope Reprocessing & Tracking System Project (UCLA Health) is a novel software solution that has replaced manual documentation of the detailed and highly regulated scope-cleaning steps in endoscopy and GI procedures. The team is preparing to license its unique market solution to health systems outside UC.
Yvonne Tevis UC Collaboration Award: Recognizes 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: The Connecting Patients & Researchers with UC Clinical Trials Project (UCSF) is a suite of software products developed, deployed and hosted by UCSF that allows members of the public and researchers across the globe to search for clinical studies taking place at all UC medical centers and learn about the lead researchers. Users can search 10 websites to locate campus-specific or systemwide trials. The sites are search-engine optimized to make it easy to find a local study and/or co-investigator at any UC Health campus. (See: University of California Health Clinical Trials and University of California Health Profiles: Find People by Research Topic or Name.) In addition to providing a valuable patient resource, this project addresses the significant challenge of recruiting patients for clinical trials.
- Silver: The Student Activity Hub to Increase Student Success Project (UC Merced, UC San Diego) is an institutional reporting and analytic utility that consolidates data to identify students who are not meeting expected milestones and then individualize support/interventions based on their needs. This collaboration across two campuses has helped numerous students and provides a turnkey solution that can be implemented by other UCs.
Lifetime Impact Award: Recognizes 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. One award Lifetime Impact Award is bestowed each year.
- Jim Madden, network architect, IT Services, UC San Diego has had an exceptional lifetime impact on the university. During his 50 years of service, he has earned acclaim for his network architecture, leadership, mentorship, willingness to cooperate and wizardry with difficult technical problems. His work has benefited not only UC but education and research networking across California.
About the UC Tech Awards
The UC Tech Awards Program celebrates the achievements of UC individuals and teams in designing, implementing, operating and/or supporting high-impact technology initiatives. It promotes an inclusive UC tech community by recognizing the technology contributions of people from all areas of expertise, including IT, other forms of business operations, research, education, patient care and public service. The UC Tech Awards are sponsored by the UC Information Technology Leadership Council (ITLC), composed of the Chief Information Officers (CIOs) across UC locations. The awards provide university-wide recognition for individual or team technology efforts that advance the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service, patient care or improving the effectiveness of processes and operations. The annual call for submissions is announced in February or March with a May submission deadline. The committee meets by early July and awards are presented at the annual UC Tech Conference. To learn about the UC Tech Awards program, please visit the UC Tech Awards website or contact Laurel Skurko.
 Per “The University of California at a Glance” (March 2022)