The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) presented its 2008 Emerging Technologies awards Tuesday at its Conference on Emerging Technologies in Los Angeles.

The recipients are Greg Griffis of Cox Communications, who received the IP Innovator Award, sponsored by Juniper Networks; Charlie Elliott of Rogers Cable Communications, who was given the Polaris Award, sponsored by CommScope; and Esteban Sandino of Comcast, who received the Star of Integrity Award, sponsored by Arris

The IP Innovator Award recognizes an SCTE member who, as an engineer or a manager, has displayed innovative achievement and creativity in the advancement and development of IP networking.

Griffis – a senior network design engineer who focuses on designs for the backbone with Cox Business Services and Cox Digital Telephone – is an expert in IP/MPLS networking technology. Among other accomplishments, he designed the policy that allowed Cox’s packet-switched network to be used as a converged transport for real-time voice, video, business VPN and high-speed Internet, and he aligned the Cox organization to support this initiative across all access, metro and backbone networks.

“He simply understands the big picture,” said Jon Dill, VP of cable sales for Juniper, who handed Griffis the award.

The Polaris Award honors an SCTE member who, as an engineering manager, shows achievement and commitment to the development and/or deployment of HFC networks. CommScope, the award’s sponsor, is also donating $5,000 in Elliott’s name to the educational institution of his choice.

Elliott, VP of network implementation with Rogers, has managed the upgrade, rebuild and new build activity of Rogers’ HFC network. Recently, Elliott implemented a unique deployment of deep fiber architecture in Rogers’ greenfield deployments, allowing the Canadian operator to go 100 percent node plus zero.

Elliott, who is transitioning to retirement, said that receiving the award was a healthy way to go out.

Finally, the Star of Integrity Award recognizes an SCTE member, who as an engineer or manager, has contributed to the efficiency and effectiveness of next-generation networks in delivering on-demand services.

Sandino, the director of engineering for Comcast, was the lead engineer for the design and implementation of on-demand networks in the MSO’s West Division. He is currently the principal engineer responsible for the trial and implementation of switched digital video (SDV) utilizing new IP multicasting techniques, new session resource manager (SRM) and edge resource manager (ERM) interface standards and techniques, and new electronic program guide (EPG) interfaces. Sandino is also directing Comcast’s efforts to test next-generation on-demand techniques using the SRM and ERM methods.

The recipients – who will grace the cover of CED’s March issue – were honored during the Emerging Technologies Awards Luncheon, held as a part of the conference. The forward-thinking conference focuses on the technical future of the cable and telecom markets, taking attendees about three to five years into the future of those markets.

“The cable industry is looking at a bright future,” Griffis said, adding that he can’t wait to see what is in store for the market in the next five-or-so years.

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