​Overview of​ winners


The first Community Award was presented in 2012, under the auspices of TERENA (now part of GÉANT). From 2014 sponsorship has been provided by the GÉANT Project (which is managed by the part of the GÉANT organisation that was formerly known as DANTE). This sponsorship provides administrative support for the awards, which allows them to be opened up to nominations from across the community and facilitates the selection of winners by a panel of judges.


Since TERENA and DANTE joined forces to become the GÉANT organisation in late 2014, the Community Awards have continued to be presented as a sign of recognition for the individual efforts that make up our community collaboration.


The awards are presented during each year's networking conference, TNC​.​

Submit a nomination for the 2017 Community Awards!


2016​    2015​     2014 ​    ​​2013     2012



2016 winners:

john-dyer.pngJohn Dyer (GÉANT)

for an influential career in research and education networking.

John’s career included 10 years with the UK’s national research and education networking organisation JANET/UKERNA (now Jisc) and 20 years with the European R&E networking association now known as GÉANT. In the latter organisation, then known as TERENA, John became instrumental to the Task Force on Management of Service Portfolios (TF-MSP), led the ASPIRE foresight study, and produced the ‘Case for NRENs’ document that is still being actively cited around the world 7 years after its publication. The judges felt it was timely to thank John for all his contributions after he retired on 31 March 2016.

stanislav_sima.pngStanislav Šima (CESNET, Czech Republic)

for sharing many important ideas with the community.

During his long affiliation with the Czech national research and education networking organisation, CESNET, Stanislav had helped to establish, Stanislav designed the first optical network in Europe and came up with the idea of customer-empowered fibre networks, among other achievements. The panel of judges as a ‘significant contributor’ who had ‘started a lot of things in Europe’. With CESNET celebrating its 20th anniversary on home soil during TNC16, it was timely to posthumously honour Stanislav’s contributions; he passed away on 16th October 2015 so his award was presented to his family. 

scott-cantor.pngScott Cantor (Ohio State University, InCommon)      

for long-term dedication to federated identity management.

Scott was commended for his special dedication to ensuring that the software behind federated identity management really worked, during many years of effort. He led and became almost synonymous with the Shibboleth project. Taking into account the major global impact of this area of work on mobility and access to online services, which have become increasingly vital in recent years, the judges recognised that although many contributors have played a role in developing this area, Scott’s contribution has been outstanding. 

​2015 winner:

Kent Engström (SUNET and Linköping University, Sweden)

for significant contributions to the Trusted Certificate Service (TCS).



​​​TCS helps to increase security in online transactions by facilitating the deployment of digital certificates. In 2009 the then TCS provider's web interface proved too complicated, so Kent programmed 'Djangora' on top of the secure API and then maintained it with new versions. Djangora was a vital part of the service for around six years. It was credited as the essential piece of software that made scaling up delivery of server certificates and code-signing certificates p​​ossible, and with turning out more than 100,000 certificates.


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​​​2014 winners:

Jan Meijer (UNINETT, N​​orway)

for sharing the idea of a file transport service for research and education, which developed into FileSender.



Jan's idea was discussed in the TERENA task force TF-Storage, which he also chaired, and then developed into the open-source FileSender software under Jan's leadership. By 2014, FileSender was deployed by almost 40 NRENs, institutions and other organisations around the world and November that year marked the fifth anniversary of the first FileSender release. There had been a steady growth in usage during those five years. New releases planned for 2014 would improve the speed of uploads and the protection of downloads, and add encryption and multi-file support.


Stefan Winter (RESTENA, Luxembourg)

for dedicated work in helping to develop the eduroam service and technology.




With roles in the GÉANT Project and the Task Force on Mobility and Network Middleware (TF-MNM), Stefan had 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. 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 Internet security issue, and to secure the eduroam RADIUS infrastructure from such attacks.


Karel Vietsch (TERENA)

for extraordinary dedication to the research and education networking community.



 In May 2013 Karel had 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. The 2014 Community Awards judges wished to also acknowledge Karel's extraordinary dedication to the community, by honouring him posthumously, after he passed away on 23 February 2014. He 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.


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2013 winner​​​​:

Milan Sova (CESNET, Czech Republic)

for significant contributions to a wide range of community activities.




Milan was a much-respected community member and contributed over many years to the development of eduroam, PKI and federations worldwide, as well as being a highly valued contributor to the task forces TF-MNM and TF-EMC2 and to REFEDS and TCS. He was also a valuable member of several international working groups in TERENA, IGTF, EUGridPMA, OGF and the GÉANT Project. Within the Czech national research and education networking organisation, CESNET, he formed the Czech identity federation eduID.cz and the CA and eduroam services. In 2012 Milan joined the TNC Programme Committee and so should have been present as a session chair during the 2013 conference. Sadly however, he passed away unexpectedly on 31 December 2012. In a speech during the closing plenary session, Nicole Harris (GÉANT) shared some of the memories and anecdotes that community members had told her about Milan and presented a small gift to CESNET in memory of Milan and the contributions that he had made with the organisation’s support.


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2012 w​​inner:

Klaas Wierenga (Cisco)

for sharing the original idea for eduroam while employed at SURFnet, Netherlands.


 A celebration of eduroam's ten-year anniversary during TNC2012 gave special recognition for the role of Klaas, who had shared the original idea for eduroam in an email sent on 30 May 2012. He had been "getting annoyed by the fact that whenever I visited a university I had to register​ my wireless card or borrow one from the local IT department to get online." He realised that "there was no reason why visitors from SURFnet-connected institutions should not get access to the campus and SURFnet network" and, following some initial experimentation, he emailed his idea to experts from the wider European NREN community, who were participating in the Task Force on Mobility (now TF-MNM). Ten years on, eduroam® had become a significant player in the wireless access industry, had reached 54 territo​ries around the globe and was continuing to grow and develop.