Brian M. O’Connell Award

The Brian M. O’Connell SSIT Distinguished Service Award

This award was established in 2006 as the SSIT Distinguished Service Award to recognize distinguished service to the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) over the years. It was renamed the Brian M. O’Connell SSIT Distinguished Service Award in honor of Brian M. O’Connell following his untimely death in 2008. One award is given at most annually to an SSIT member who has served the Society with distinction as a board member, contributor to publications, conference organizer, or any combination of these or other activities. Criteria for judging are length, breadth, and impact of service to SSIT. The awardee is recognized with a plaque to be presented at a meeting of the Society.

Brian O’Connell was a former President of IEEE-SSIT. He received his B.A. from Trinity College, Hartford, in Philosophy and Psychology, and J.D. from the University of Connecticut School Of Law. Following a successful career as an attorney he joined the faculty of Central Connecticut State University with a joint appointment in Computer Science and Philosophy. Brian was a noted scholar in the field of computer law and ethics and was the 1999 recipient of the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression from the National Communication Association.

Brian served SSIT as an elected member of the Board of Governors (2000-2002), as Vice-President (2002-2003), and as President (2004-2005). He was 2001 Program Chair of SSIT’s International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) in Stamford, CT. A Senior IEEE Member, Brian held offices or committee positions in several other IEEE groups including the Computer Society, Connecticut Section, Technical Activities Board, and Sensors Council. He worked tirelessly to develop membership, to expand SSIT’s influence by forging alliances with other groups within and outside of IEEE, and to grow the circle of leadership within the society.

If you know of a candidate for the Brian M. O’Connell Award, please submit a Nomination Form to the SSIT Awards and Recognition Chair by July 1 in the year of the award. Two to four additional endorsers are required.


Past Recipients are:

  • Katina Michael (2017)
  • Lew Terman (2016)
  • Bob Whelchel (2012)
  • Clinton Andrews (2009)
  • Norm Balabanian (2008)
  • Joe Herkert (2007)