DesignCon lauds Samtec signal integrity, cabling standards expert as 'Engineer of the Year'

April 19, 2022
DesignCon 2022 this month honored Richard Mellitz of Samtec with it prestigious "Engineer of the Year" award.

DesignCon, the annual conference and expo for chip, board, and systems design engineers in the high-speed communications and semiconductor communities, this month announced that Richard Mellitz, distinguished engineer at Samtec, was selected by peers as recipient of DesignCon's 2022 Engineer of the Year Award.

Richard Mellitz is presently a distinguished engineer at Samtec, supporting interconnect signal integrity and industry standards. Before this, he was a principal engineer in the Platform Engineering Group at Intel. According to a DesignCon statement, "Amongst a field of brilliant and renowned engineers, Mellitz took home the well-earned title for his nearly 40 years as an engineer, producing work that has changed the course of interconnect signal integrity and industry standards."

Mellitz was a principal member of various Intel processor and I/O bus teams, including Itanium, Pentium, PCI Express, SAS, and Fabric (Ethernet, IB, and proprietary). Additionally, he has been a key contributor to the channel sections IEEE802.3 backplane and cabling standards and for the time domain ISI and return loss standards for IEEE802.3 Ethernet, known as COM (Channel Operating Margin) and ERL (Effective Return Loss), which are now an integral part of Ethernet standards due to Mellitz's leadership.

Also, Mellitz founded and chaired an IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries) committee delivering IPC's first PCB loss test method. Prior to this, he led industry efforts at IPC to deliver the first TDR [time domain reflectometry] standard, which is presently used throughout the PCB industry. Mellitz holds many patents in interconnect, signal integrity, design, and test. He has delivered numerous signal integrity papers at electronic industry design conferences.

The award ceremony took place at DesignCon 2022, April 5-7 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, which brings together thousands of design engineers for three days of technical education, networking, and deal-making. celebrating the best in engineering and new product advancements at the chip, board, or system level, with a particular emphasis on signal integrity and power integrity. DesignCon said it will present a $1,000 grant or scholarship to the educational institution of Mellitz’s choice in recognition of his achievements.

"We could not be more excited to welcome Richard Mellitz into the Engineer of the Year hall of fame," remarked Suzanne Deffree, group event director, DesignCon. "His work plays a significant role in changing the direction of the industry and shaping much-needed progress as emergent high-speed digital technologies and societal change continues to bring new challenges to the application of signal integrity. Congratulations on the well-deserved win, Richard."

Finalists for the Engineer of the year award were selected by the editors of Design News and DesignCon staff, and the DesignCon community voted the winner. (Award finalists also included Scott McMorrow, who currently serves as CTO for Samtec's Signal Integrity Group, Inc. As a consultant for years too numerous to mention, McMorrow has helped many companies develop high-performance products while training signal integrity engineers.)

"It's an honor to be the recipient of this year's Engineer of the Year Award – a well-known and highly respected distinction in our industry," said Mellitz. "This year's applicant pool was outstanding, showcasing the breadth of talent and ingenuity foundational to industry advancement. Thank you to the DesignCon team for organizing such a successful event and for the award recognition; I'm truly appreciative."

To learn more about the award, visit

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