California Disaster Planning Award Winners Announced for Tech and Mobile Projects at CrisisCampSiliconValley-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

California Disaster Planning Award Winners Announced for Tech and Mobile Projects at CrisisCampSiliconValley

Competitors Comprised Individuals, Community Groups and Start-ups in San Francisco Bay Area Dedicated to Technology Innovation for Disaster Management and Response

  • CrisisCampSiliconValley was held March 26-28, 2010 at Moffett Field to focus on disaster preparation for California
  • Prizes were awarded by Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley and its Disaster Management Initiative (DMI) partners at the close of CrisisCampSiliconValley on Sunday, March 28
  • Photographs of award winners: DMI Innovator Awards and Clearwire Awards

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. — March 31, 2010 — Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley announced the winners of the Disaster Management Initiative (DMI) Innovator Awards at the close of CrisisCampSiliconValley at Moffett Field, running this past weekend March 26-28, 2010.

Four prizes were awarded to further develop technology and collaborative projects that will prepare California for its next disasters (i.e., fires, earthquakes, landslides, storms, accidents). Winners were based on presentations and weekend collaboration at CrisisCampSiliconValley. Projects included: information management, data fusing and filtering for Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), incorporating citizen input; remote tele-diagnosis for disasters; ways of leveraging the Twiki agile platform for an EOC; approaches to address the lack of motivation for disaster preparedness by citizens; and approaches to engage funding agencies and community organizations.

Prizes were offered by Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley and the DMI to aid development of outstanding concept-stage and prototype-stage projects. Also, Clearwire Corporation offered prizes to aid development of mobile broadband 4G crisis applications using WiMAX technology.

DMI Innovator Awards: Design and review sessions with a specially convened committee of experts to provide detailed feedback, facilitated by Martin Griss, Director, Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, and Robert Dolci, Chief, Protective Services, NASA Ames Research Center.

Photo of Winners:

  • Award: DMI Innovator Award for Innovation in a Concept-Stage
    Project: A specific approach to designing, implementing and piloting a system for fusing, prioritizing and visualizing multiple data streams in a map-based Emergency Operations Center
    Recipients: Sumathi Lingappa, Project Manager, Motorola; and Kiran Vaka, Software Engineer
  • Award: DMI Innovator Award for Innovation in a Concept-Stage
    Project: Demonstrating how a flexible Wiki-based environment can be customized for collecting, prioritizing and managing multiple events during a disaster
    Recipient: Peter Thoeny, Founder and CTO, Twiki, Inc.

Clearwire Awards: Clearwire sponsored prizes for excellence in mobile applications that address crisis response needs. Allen Flanagan, Clearwire 4G WiMAX Innovation Network Manager, presented the prizes to finalists, which included: a WiMAX mobile modem, technical support to further develop the idea, and an exclusive team invitation to participate in a showcase at the June 15, 2010 4G WiMAX symposium in Palo Alto. Two outstanding wireless broadband project proposals were recognized for the final awards.

Photo of winners:

  • Award: Clearwire Award for Excellence in Mobile Applications
    Project: A novel tele-diagnosis system for disasters, requiring high performance wireless communication
    Recipient: Melanie Swan, Research Fellow, MS Futures Group
  • Award: Clearwire Award for Excellence in Mobile Applications
    Project: Defining the architecture and proposed implementation of a new widget-based context toolkit to enable the construction of mobile situation-aware applications for disasters
    Recipient: Senaka Buthpitiya, ECE Ph.D. student, Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley

In light of recent disasters in California, Haiti, Chile, New Guinea, Cuba and Japan, and with the 104th anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake approaching on April 18, the CyLab Mobility Research Center of Carnegie Mellon kicked off its Disaster Management Initiative by hosting the first barcamp-styled event focused on disaster preparation. CrisisCampSiliconValley was free to everyone in the community interested in improving California’s response to disaster. Following the principles of Crisis Commons, CrisisCampSiliconValley brought together domain experts, developers and first responders to improve technology and practice for humanitarian crisis. See the related announcement at

For more information on CrisisCampSiliconValley, please visit For more information on the Disaster Management Initiative and the workshop, please visit and For more information on Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, please visit and follow on Twitter at @cmusv or on Facebook at

About Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley

Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley is dedicated to educating its students to become leaders in global technology innovation and management and to performing innovative research that connects it to local, national, and global high-tech companies. Long known for its leadership in engineering and computer science research and education, Carnegie Mellon has established a natural branch in the Silicon Valley, one that integrates the rich heritage of the Pittsburgh campus with the opportunities available in the innovative and entrepreneurial Silicon Valley. Offering graduate programs in software engineering, software management, information networking, innovation and mobility, each program provides the appropriate mix of technical, business and organizational skills critical to our students' success. With research that focuses on a suite of new technologies, Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley is committed to creating and implementing solutions for real problems. For more information on Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, please visit and follow on Twitter at @cmusv or on Facebook at


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Cara Porchia
TECHMarket Communications for Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley

Sylvia Leong
Director of External Relations and Admissions
Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley