In 2012 for the first time in the Award’s history, the judging panel was unable to identify a clear winner, and is delighted to announce that the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award 2012 is made jointly to Doug Cutting and Professor David Hawking.
Doug Cutting has been working in the field of information retrieval for over fifteen years, beginning with five years at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) developing novel approaches to information access. Since then he has gone on to work for Apple's Advanced Technology Group and Excite, before developing the Lucene search engine and the open-source Hadoop framework. In July 2009, Doug Cutting was elected to the board of directors of the Apache Software Foundation, and in September 2010, he was elected its chairman; in 2011 he joined Cloudera to continue to develop the Hadoop software. The impact of Cutting’s work, both in developing Lucene and Hadoop, and his work at Apple, Excite and Yahoo on search development, is unparalleled in the history of search software development, and the judges had no doubt that he is a worthy recipient of the Award.
Dave Hawking has successfully mixed involvement in the commercial world of search engines with academic activities. For seven years he co-ordinated the VLC (very large collection) and Web tracks at TREC, during which time the TREC idea of laboratory experiments was successfully scaled up to near web scale. As a researcher, he has focused on enterprise and web search, on evaluation of search engines in realistic contexts, on the use of a variety of sources of information by search engines (for example anchor text or context), and on search efficiency. Over his career he has helped to develop a real sense of the ways in which different contexts offer both difficulties and opportunities to the designers of search engines. His enterprise search engine company Funnelback has developed an enviable client list. As with his co-winner, the judges had no hesitation in making the Award.