Ray Simar Jr., professor in the practice of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) at Rice University, has been named a Distinguished Engineer for 2013 by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
Simar was honored for his more than 25 years in the semiconductor industry, working in the then-emerging field of digital signal processing at Texas Instruments. He led teams developing computer architectures for digital signal processing (DSP), and when he left TI in 2009, Simar was the principal architect of its programmable single-chip DSPs.
He was among the 40 researchers from 10 countries named Distinguished Engineers, Scientists or Educators by ACM, honored for their “professional experience as well as significant achievements in the computing field.”
Vinton G. Cerf, president of the ACM, described Simar and the other recipients as “the problem solvers, prophets, and producers who are powering the future of the digital age.”
Simar earned a B.S. in bioengineering from Texas A&M University in 1981 and a master’s degree in ECE from Rice in 1983. That same year he went to work for TI in Houston.
“By the time I was a senior at A&M, I knew I wanted to move in a different direction. Great people were working here at Rice in the area of digital signal processing. I was in it when DSP was just beginning,” said Simar, who 30 years ago was a member of one of the first DSP application teams in the industry.
In 2009, Simar was made a Senior Member in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and two years later was named a IEEE Fellow. He also serves as Industry Co-director of the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership. He holds 27 patents in the U.S. and three international patents.
Founded in 1947, ACM is the world's largest scientific and educational computing society, with more than 100,000 members worldwide. The members honored this year represent such fields as high-performance computing, computer architecture, data management, user interface, cybersecurity, wireless network management, software engineering and innovative instruction.