Prof. Hermann Ney Receives the Prestigious IEEE 2019 James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award


Professor at RWTH Aachen University recognized for his life's work in the research of automatic speech recognition and machine translation


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hermann Ney, holder of the RWTH Chair of Computer Science 6 (Human Language Technology and Pattern Recognition), has been awarded the James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award 2019 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world's leading professional association of electrical engineers, "for pioneering contributions to statistical and computational modeling for speech recognition and machine translation." ( Source )

Established in 2002, the prize is awarded annually to a person that has made an outstanding contribution to the further development of speech and/or audio signal processing. With the selection, Prof. Ney belongs to an elite group of scientists from some of the world's leading research institutions such as James Baker of Carnegie Mellon University, Janet Baker of Saras Institute, Victor Zue of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sadaoki Furui of Tokyo Institute of Technology and other former award winners. With Prof. Gunnar Fant from KTH Stockholm and Prof. Steve Young from the University of Cambridge only two Europeans have received this award.

Prof. Ney is Professor of Computer Science at RWTH Aachen University, the largest technical research university in Germany. His interests lie in statistical methods of pattern recognition and human language technology and their specific applications in speech recognition (ASR), machine translation (MT) and image object recognition. More than fifty of his former PhD students have advanced the technology at industry leaders, including Hassan Sawaf, who leads Amazon Web Services AI, Franz Och, who started and led Google Translate and is now at Facebook, and other leading scientists at Amazon, Apple, AppTek, eBay and Nuance. They bear witness to his unprecedented influence on human language technology, which is playing an increasingly important role today.

Prof. Ney became known for his work on dynamic programming and discriminative training for speech recognition, speech modeling and data-driven approaches to machine translation. His research has led to more than 700 conference and journal articles; he is one of the most cited scholars for machine translation. In 2005 Prof. Ney received the Technical Achievement Award of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, in 2010 the Senior DIGITEO Chair at LIMIS/CNRS in Paris, France and in 2013 the Honorary Award of the International Association for Machine Translation. Prof. Ney is a Fellow of the IEEE and the International Speech Communication Association.