UC Davis Distinguished Emeritus/a Professor Award

Annual Award - Early Fall Call

Past Awardees
Description and Eligibility: 

This annual award honors outstanding contributions since retirement in all academic missions (e.g., research and creative work, teaching, and university/community service) performed by a UC Davis Senate Faculty or a member of the Academic Federation with emeriti status. The award will be presented at the Chancellor's Emeriti Luncheon and includes a plaque, a $1,000 award, and free lifetime membership in the UCDEA. A lecture to the UCDEA and University community by the award recipient is expected.



Nominators may include provosts, deans, department chairs, members of the active faculty, and emeriti colleagues.  Self-nominations are also permitted.   The nomination packet should include:  

1) A nomination letter that outlines the candidate's award-worthy accomplishments in the pertinent academic missions since retirement. 

2) A copy of the nominee's CV since retirement. 

3) Two letters of support are expected from individuals who can speak to the nominee’s accomplishments.


Evaluation and Selection:
  1. The packet will be evaluated by the Awards and Recognition Committee (ARC) for:
    1. Completeness:  All of the elements described above most be present in the packet for consideration for the award.  
    2. Quality of contribution: Quality as well as quantity of contribution will be considered.  The ARC will consider whether the nominee’s record is deemed outstanding and impactful, surpassing expectations for emeriti faculty, and whether the individual brings honor to UC Davis through their work.
  2. Based on their evaluation, ARC will select a nominee as the finalist.  In the uncommon circumstance where a single finalist cannot be selected, the committee can move forward multiple individuals for consideration to share the award.
  3. The ARC will present their finalist to UCDEA Executive Committee for final review and decision.
  4. ARC Committee members must recuse themselves, if nominated for this award, while serving on the committee.


College of Engineering Professors V. Ralph Algazi and George Tchobanoglous Honored with 2023-2024 Distinguished Emeriti Award


Two emeriti professors from the College of Engineering whose exceptional academic accomplishments since retirement have led to new audio technologies and entrepreneurship, and safer water worldwide are this year’s recipients of the Distinguished Emeriti Award from the UC Davis Emeriti Association (UCDEA).  

Ralph Algazi

Ralph Algazi PhD, Distinguished Professor emeritus of Electricial Engineering and Computer Science, is regarded as a world leader in multi-media signal processing whose work improves understanding of human interaction with technology.  He joined the department in 1965 and served as Chair from 1975 to 1986.  In 1989, he was the originator and founding director of the Center for Image Processing and Integrated Computing (CPIC). Since retiring in 1994, Algazi has continued a vibrantly active research program and provided valuable mentorship to graduate students. Nominator and Distinguished Prof. and Chair, Andre Knoesen states: “…..When he became an emeritus professor in 1994, Ralph’s research centered on the use of properties of human perception in the design of processing algorithms for the display, transmission, and storage of images and speech. Such human-focused designs played a significant role over the last few decades in how humans and technology interact. In collaboration with Richard Duda, Ralph focused his research on how sound is spatially perceived.” Based on his research in 3-D sound processing, Dr. Algazi started Dysonics, a small startup company, with former student Robert Dalton. It was acquired by Alphabet in 2020, then recently by Google, to bring advanced spatial audio media experiences to consumers. As a retiree, Dr. Algazi was also instrumental in establishing the Department of Biomedical Engineering.  He played a key role in the department’s formative years recruiting and mentoring new faculty and departmental leaders.  He continues to be active citizen of the scientific community through his participation in editorial boards and national organizations.

George Tchobanoglous