The Founder's Award is a highly prestigious award presented annually to one distinguished member of INCOSE who has made a major contribution to INCOSE. The award recognizes outstanding individual contributions to INCOSE, be they a single event or a lifetime of significant efforts. These contributions are of a highly significant nature and contribute positively to the advancement of INCOSE or an INCOSE Chapter. Examples of such contributions include extending INCOSE's international growth, developing new Chapters, significantly advancing INCOSE's professional status and making significant personal commitments to INCOSE such as long-term service in a leadership role.

Year Recipient Award Citation


Steven H. "Steve" Dam


David D. "Dave" Walden

For his sustained service at every level as an INCOSE Chapter President, Great Lakes Regional Conference leader, CAB member and Chair, committee leadership, INCOSE Liaison to ISO and, perhaps most important to the advancement of Systems Engineering knowledge, as Lead Editor of the INCOSE SE Handbook.


Karl C. Geist

For his sustained contributions to INCOSE at the local, regional, and international levels, his significant contributions to the Certification Advisory Group, and the advancement of systems engineering throughout his professional career.


René Oosthuizen

For advancing INCOSE’s professional status through sustained contributions to INCOSE at the chapter, sector, and international level; your energy for Systems Engineering excellence; and your leadership and relentless drive in growing the South African chapter and helping other chapters and sectors to thrive.


Paul Schreinemakers

For your significant contributions to INCOSE as a servant leader in the Netherlands Chapter, the EMEA sector, and at the international level; your inclusiveness in increasing our impact in the world of engineering by embracing early career Systems Engineers, valuing and leveraging our diversity; and adapting Systems Engineering to address challenges in complexity and scale.


Azad M. Madni

For significantly advancing INCOSEs 'professional status' through sustained contributions to our organization.


Xinguo Zhang

For his significant contribution to the growth of INCOSE Beijing chapter, and continuously leading the practice and promotion of Systems Engineering in China.


George W. "none" Anderson none, none

For his significant long-term major contributions to INCOSE over the past 15 years. His high level of engagement includes impactful leadership that has been a catalyst for excellence at the chapter level, integration across INCOSE, and activities that have promoted the advancement of INCOSE, SE best practices, and certification.


William D. "Bill" Miller

For his long-term and diverse support to INCOSE that has enabled the organization to grow and evolve. He has driven a collaborative culture of engagement, one of working together in pursuit of INCOSE’s greater mission, constantly working as both an ambassador and a connector for both the profession and the organization.


Mark Schaeffer

For being a major advocate of INCOSE within the government sector and building a long-term relationship between the US Department of Defense (DoD) and INCOSE through participation on the Corporate Advisory Board, support of INCOSE strategic efforts, and including INCOSE for participation in the DoD SE Forum as one of three industry representatives.


Arthur B. "Art" Pyster

For many achievements that have significantly advanced INCOSE's professional status and recognition amongst other organizations. He has made significant personal commitments to INCOSE through long-term service in various leadership roles including leading the WMA Chapter, Chairing the Corporate Advisory Board, and his current role as Director for Academic Matters.


Paul R. Davies

For major contributions to INCOSE at international and national levels over two decades. His leadership and wise judgment have contributed to INCOSE's international growth, and to the UK Chapter's continued development and success.


Cecilia Haskins

For her dedicated long-term participation in the INCOSE Events Committee and Symposia, the Ways and Means Committee, her strong support of Region III (now the EMEA Sector) and her service since 1999 as New Chapter Coordinator.


Patrick C. "Pat" Hale

For countless contributions both local and international, spanning nearly 20 years of thoughtful, dedicated, and visionary service to INCOSE. Your efforts and initiatives established a strong, strategic financial foundation and continuously expanded INCOSE's reach.


Valerie M. Gundrum

For her extensive and very personal contributions to INCOSE from the very early years, in the field of communications, as first volunteer Editor of INSIGHT, as unofficial photographer, she has made lasting contributions at all levels of INCOSE.


Anne O'Neil

For her persistence in extending the growth of INCOSE in the Commercial Domains and for her efforts to foster and enable effective working groups across widespread international members. She is a connector, a catalyst and a mentor.


Ken Ptack

For exceptional service and sustained leadership to INCOSE, including helping to form NCOSE, founding the Southern Maryland Chapter, membership and lead of the Corporate Advisory Board, performing as the INCOSE President, obtaining his Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) certification, and being active in various Working Groups and Committees throughout his distinguished career, currently including the Requirements and Standards Working Groups.


Garry J. Roedler

For extraordinary and sustained leadership service to INCOSE, including contributions to the harmonization of systems engineering and software standards, leadership of the production of several INCOSE measurement products, co-founding of the Delaware Valley Chapter and support to the Corporate Advisory Board through the continued advocacy of systems engineering at Lockheed Martin.


Ralf Hartmann

For extraordinary and sustained leadership service to INCOSE: at a national level through the GfSE; at a regional and international level through European conferences, committee service and active membership of the Corporate Advisory Board; at a technical level through leadership in both standards and modelling & tools; as principle INCOSE delegate to the global GEOSS initiative, and as a true INCOSE ambassador.


James N. Martin

For extraordinary and sustained service to INCOSE as a leader across the technical breadth of INCOSE initiatives, including the international standards community, technical paper review, working group leadership, and prolific high-quality contributions to INCOSE symposia.


David A. Long

Washington Metro Chapter President, First Chair of the Member Board, Director for Communications, and sustaining supporter of INCOSE and our members


Donna H. Rhodes

For extraordinary service to INCOSE as Technical Board Chair, President, and Director for Strategic Planning


Allen G. Fairbairn

Founding Member of the UK Chapter, Helped Establish the Netherlands Chapter, UK Chapter President, Technical Chair of IS99, co-founder of the Intelligent Enterprise Working Group and unrelenting supporter of INCOSE


Eric C. Honour

First Technical Board Chair, First President of Space Coast Chapter, President INCOSE, Director of SECOE and unrelenting supporter of INCOSE.


Sarah A. Sheard

For her founding work on the Communications Committee, her inaugural editorial role on INSIGHT, her leadership in the INCOSE Technical Community, and her role as an outstanding contributor to INCOSE Symposia


Jeffrey O. "Jeff" Grady

For his seminal role in the founding of NCOSE, and his service as it's Secretary, for his leadership in inaugurating and editing the Systems Engineering Journal, and his major contributions to Systems Engineering education


Bernard G. "Barney" Morais

A Founding Member and unrelenting supporter of INCOSE from its inception, he helped organize the first annual meeting of NCOSE, served as its first Treasurer, and as its first Executive Director


Lawrence D. "Larry" Pohlmann

A Founding Member and unrelenting supporter of INCOSE from its inception, he helped start the first Technical Board, and served on the Board of Directors as a Regional Director and a Director at Large


Virginia A. "Ginny" Lentz

An unrelenting supporter of INCOSE from its inception, she helped start INCOSE itself as well as the first Corporate Advisory Board, served as INCOSE's fifth President, and chairs the Events Committee


George Friedman

not available


Brian Mar

not available


Jerome G. "Jerry" Lake

not available


Carl Spiegelberg

not available

The Origin of the Red Sweater

Barney Morais, [email protected]

The tradition of the red sweater came from the first meeting of "The Gang of Thirty" that met for the initial forming of NCOSE in 1990. There was a very stimulating individual who would not let any vague statement pass without his challenge. This encouraged other attendees to either defend or add some additional data that may reveal other facts that supported a different conclusion. The first Red Sweater was awarded at the First Symposium with that acknowledgement of how his drive (the initial red sweater wearer) for facts and goals that could be achieved formed the thrust that went into creating the vibrant and dynamic organization that is INCOSE.
The INSIGHT editorial staff searched through their archives and located an article by Larry Pohlmann that fills in the details of the history.

INCOSE Historical Note

Larry Pohlman, [email protected]

Why is a red sweater a part of the INCOSE Founder's Award?
The founding meeting of INCOSE (then it was called NCOSE) occurred in July of 1990, at Battelle Northwest in Seattle. A team of two people, Mr. John Howe of TRW and Mr. Carl Spiegelberg of Boeing coauthored our charter statement at that meeting. During both days of the meeting, John wore a bright red sweater - bright enough to be noticed and commented on by several of the 34 attendees at this founding meeting. When the first Founder's Award was made to Carl Spiegelberg in 1992, it was decided to include a red sweater as part of the award. Again the brightly colored sweater drew comments. Our leadership at the time, which included Dr. Jerry Lake, decided that the red sweater tradition should be continued. So, this summer as a Founder's Award was presented to Dr. Lake, he also received a red sweater. We hope that Jerry, and all future Founders Award recipients, will enjoy their red sweaters!

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