Linda M. Northrop

Software Architecture Award

Nomination Form Coming Soon


The Linda M. Northrop Software Architecture Award is given to an individual or team that has used software architecture to significantly improve practices, outcomes, or both in an organization or in the software-development community.

The winner of the 2018 award is Eoin Woods of Endava. He received the award and presented Software Architecture as Systems Dissolve at SATURN 2018.

The winner of the 2017 award was Ruth Malan of Bredemeyer Consulting. See her 2017 SATURN Conference presentation on Visual Architecting.

The winner of the 2016 award was Eltjo Poort of CGI. See his 2016 SATURN Conference presentation on Adapting Architecture Practices to Changing Times.


The award is named for Linda M. Northrop, who led the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) program that was instrumental in the creation and development of the field of software architecture.

SEI software architecture methods are in wide use today throughout the world, documented in a series of highly acclaimed books and disseminated by means of a software architecture curriculum and certificate programs. To date, more than 17,000 people from more than 1,400 organizations have attended courses in the SEI Software Architecture Curriculum, and more than 2,200 people have earned software-architecture-related certificates from the SEI.

success through architecture

Success Through Architecture

Significant, influential use of architecture as a critical factor in the successful launch of a product or system



Leadership in motivating others in an organization or in the community to adopt an innovative software architecture practice

Persistent Change

Persistent Change

Product or innovative software architecture practice that produced a persistent change in behavior and results



Emergence of a new or different perspective on software architecture


December 12, 2018

Call for Nominations opens

March 15, 2019

Call for Nominations closes

April 26, 2019

Award decision made

Eligibility Requirements

  • The award may be presented to an individual or a group, but the recipient or recipients can be no larger than a team; that is, the award will not be presented to an entire organization.
  • Recipients are most often employees of a target organization. If not, recipients may work for an organization that provided benefits to the target organization. For example, the recipient organization may be an organization that provides consulting services related to software architecture to the target organization, or it may be an association that supports activities related to software architecture that benefit one or more target organizations.
  • The work described and awarded may be for-profit, not-for-profit, or non-profit; for an industrial, academic, or government organization or foundation; and need not be based in the United States.
  • Current and former SEI employees may nominate others, but are not eligible to receive the award.
  • There are no restrictions on the time frame during which the work conducted by the nominee and cited in the nomination took place.


  • A nomination must be supported by two endorsements from people other than the submitter who are familiar with the work described and have been positively affected by it. The submitter should provide context for the endorsements, by explaining why they are important or relevant.
  • None of the data and information in the nomination materials may be proprietary or confidential.
  • If selected as an award recipient, the nominee or one representative from the winning team will make a presentation at the SATURN Conference that is held in the year in which the award is conferred and will make themselves available to receive the commemorative plaque when the award is announced at SATURN.


  • A successful product or system that owes and explicitly attributes its success to software architecture
  • Publication of a book or influential article explicating an innovative practice for easy adoption by others
  • Development of the first instance of a groundbreaking product or practice that was later replicated successfully by others
  • Influential book or article that articulated a fresh or new perspective

Nomination Materials

  • Submit the nomination form plus at least two endorsements (see "Conditions").
  • Form and endorsements should provide tangible, measurable, and verifiable evidence and a full explanation of how the nominee meets at least one of the Award Criteria. They may include evidence for more than one criterion, but they should describe at least one in generous detail.
  • The publication of results may be cited as evidence, but publication is not a requirement for the award. When evidence is provided in the form of a reference to a paper or web article, the submitter or endorser should provide a synopsis of the evidence and how it validates assertions made in the nomination or endorsement.


  • Free admission to SATURN, with all expenses covered (travel, lodging)
  • Opportunity to share experiences and insights in an invited talk, and consequent positive publicity
  • Award, to be presented at the SATURN Conference
  • Co-authorship of a SATURN Blog post, and consequent positive publicity
  • Ability to cite the award in organizational public relations and marketing