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22 May 2014
2014 Community Award winners honoured for FileSender, eduroam and for dedication
Jan Meijer (UNINETT) and Stefan Winter (RESTENA), winners of the 2014 Community Awards.

Jan Meijer (UNINETT) and Stefan Winter (RESTENA) received this year's research and education networking Community Awards following open nominations and selection by a panel of judges. Karel Vietsch (late Secretary General of TERENA) was also, posthumously, awarded.

Dorte Olesen (Technical University of Denmark), a former TERENA president and now chair of the GÉANT NREN Policy Committee, presented the awards on behalf of the judges during the closing plenary session of the 2014 TERENA Networking Conference (TNC2014) on Thursday 22 May.

TERENA and the GÉANT project collaborated to open up these Community Awards to nominations from across the research and education networking community for the first time this year. The awards are designed to show gratitude and respect to teams or individuals who have shared their ideas, expertise and time with the community, recognising that such contributions are often provided voluntarily and through the good will of their employer national research and education network (NREN) or other organisation.

About the Laureates

Jan Meijer - FileSender

Jan Meijer was lauded for sharing the idea of a file transport service for research and education – an idea which was discussed in the TERENA task force TF-Storage chaired by Jan and then developed into the open-source FileSender software under Jan's leadership. This simple-to-use, federated, web-based application allows users to share arbitrarily large files with a private audience through a trusted intermediary. FileSender is now deployed by almost 40 NRENs, institutions and other organisations around the world. November 2014 marks the fifth anniversary of the first FileSender release. Data shows there has been a steady growth in use during the past five years. New releases planned for 2014 will improve the speed of uploads and the protection of downloads, and will add encryption and multi-file support. The FileSender project is funded by AARNet, Arnes, BELNET, CSC/FUNET, HEAnet, SURFnet, and UNINETT.

What the judges said:

"Our community has produced another great service that is useful and being widely used, thanks to Jan’s idea and leadership."

Stefan Winter – services to the development of eduroam

Stefan Winter was honoured for his dedicated work in helping develop the eduroam service and technology. With roles in the GÉANT project and the TERENA Task Force on Mobility and Network Middleware (TF-MNM), he has led standardisation work, striven for federated solutions, and proposed and developed tools such as F-Ticks for statistics collection and CAT, the universal eduroam configuration tool. Almost 600 institutions have now signed up to CAT, with almost half a million end users who are running a secure configuration that required no effort from them.

Stefan Winter is an author and co-author of several important Internet Drafts and RFCs that will lead the way for eduroam in the future. He also led a global community effort to understand the impact of Heartbleed, the recently identified Internet security issue, and to secure the eduroam RADIUS infrastructure from such attacks.

What the judges said:

"Stefan has been very active in the research and education networking community. The NREN Stefan works for, RESTENA, represents a very small country, but, by supporting Stefan in his work, the organisation and Stefan have both made a proportionately huge contribution to community collaboration and the development of eduroam."

Karel Vietsch – long-standing dedication to the community

In May 2013 Karel Vietsch received Dutch royal recognition for his outstanding contribution to research and education networking and the Internet in general, when he was appointed an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. His work had influenced SURFnet, RIPE NCC, the European Networking Policy Group (ENPG), the Co-operation for Open Systems Interconnection Networking in Europe (COSINE), and the GÉANT project, among others. At TNC2014 the panel of judges wished to also acknowledge Karel's extraordinary dedication to the community, by honouring him posthumously, after he passed away on 23 February 2014.

Karel had continued to provide information and support to the TERENA Secretariat staff and engaged with the wider community even while on sick leave. He further demonstrated his commitment by setting up the 'Vietsch Foundation' to help stimulate the research and education networking community in future. A first public announcement about the existence and aims of the Vietsch Foundation was made during the TNC2014 opening plenary session.

What the judges said:

"It will be difficult to find anyone else who can put so much effort into our community. Karel is a real example and role model and he will be sorely missed."

Further information

The 2014 panel of judges

In addition to Dorte Olesen, the 2014 panel of judges were:
Pierre Bruyère (Belnet) - TERENA President;
John Boland (HEAnet) - CEO of the TNC2014 host organisation;
Erik Huizer (SURFnet) - Chair of the TNC2014 Programme Committee.

TERENA presented the first community awards in 2012 and 2013 based on internal recommendations, with recipients being honoured online and during the annual TERENA Networking Conference (TNC). New nominations and judging procedures were introduced in 2014 thanks to financial support from the GÉANT project. These new procedures opened up the awards to greater community engagement within Europe, and invited nominations from and about people in other world regions.

Information about all Community Award winners is at http://www.terena.org/about/people/awards/index.php.

More information about FileSender, eduroam and eduroam CAT. For further information about the Vietsch Foundation, please contact Valentino Cavalli.