The William C. Carter PhD Dissertation Award in Dependability

Past winners of the W.C. Carter Award

Award Presentation

The William C. Carter Award is presented annually at the DSN Conference to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of dependable computing through his or her graduate dissertation research.

The IEEE TC on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance (TCFT) and IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance (WG 10.4) jointly sponsor the William C. Carter PhD Dissertation Award in Dependability.

Instituted in 1997 as the William C. Carter Award, it was reformulated in 2016, where the present name and eligibility requirements aim at recognizing an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of dependable and secure computing throughout his or her PhD dissertation.

The award commemorates the late William C. Carter, a key figure in the formation and development of the field of dependable computing. Bill Carter always took the time to encourage, mentor, and inspire newcomers to this field and this award honors and sustains this aspect of his legacy.

The award recipient will receive $1200 US as a contribution to travel expenses and a waived registration fee to attend the edition of the IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN) at which the award is presented. The recipient will be required to attend DSN to receive the award and will be invited to give a short presentation to DSN attendees.

Eligibility and Nomination

To be eligible for the award, the nominee’s PhD defense must be completed prior to the nomination deadline and must have occurred no more than 16 months prior to the nomination deadline. Previous recipients of the (old or renamed) Carter Award are not eligible.

Nominations are to be made by the nominee’s PhD advisor. The nominations package should include (in a single PDF file with the Dissertation last):

  1. A cover letter from the PhD advisor, including the name of the PhD granting institution, the date that the PhD defense was conducted and a brief nomination statement (1 page, 3000 characters max)
  2. One external reference letter whose primary affiliation is outside the PhD granting institution (2 pages, 6000 characters max)
  3. A two-page summary of the research work in English
  4. List of publications that resulted from the dissertation research (including those that are under review at the time of nomination)
  5. Copies of up to three papers resulting form the dissertation work among the list above<
  6. The complete dissertation in its original language

While not a requirement for consideration, publications in the Dependable Systems and Networks conference (DSN) are encouraged.

The letters should address the following:

  • Problem description and significance.
  • An assessment of the solution.
  • An argument supporting the innovative and quality aspects.
  • Potential impact in practice (not impact factor)

A special committee will evaluate all nominations made in the current year and choose the award recipient.

The committee Chair and the committee members will be appointed by the DSN Steering Committee Chair after the nomination deadline to avoid potential conflicts of interest. The Carter award committee shall not include members who have nominated someone for the award have served as a reference for a nominee. The committee chair and members will be published at the DSN and web pages.

Submission and Notification dates

Nominations for the award to be presented at the 2022 edition of DSN should be mailed to the DSN Chair (, no later than 11:59pm CET on December 19, 2022 (hard deadline). Make sure the words Carter Award are in the subject line. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt (try again if you don’t). If you have difficulties with the size of the file including the nomination package, you may provide a URL link for retrieval in your email. The winning work will be announced by Mid-April 2023.

List of Past Carter Award Winners

  • 2024: “Offensive and defensive approaches for wireless communication protocols security in IoT”, Romain Cayre
    • 2023: “Side Channel Security Risks in Commodity Microarchitectures”, Ben Gras
    • 2022: “Enabling Effective Error Mitigation in Memory Chips That Use On-Die Error-Correcting Codes”, Minesh Patel.
    • 2021: “When Memory Serves Not So Well: Memory Errors 30 Years Later”, Victor van der Veen.
    • 2020: “Approaches for Building Error Resilient Applications”, Bo Fang.
    • 2019: “Byzantine state machine replication for the masses”, João Catarino de Sousa.
    • 2018: “Aspect-Oriented Technology for Dependable Operating Systems”, Christoph Borchert.
    • 2017: “Data-Driven Resiliency Assessment of Medical Cyber-Physical Systems”, Homa Alemzadeh.
    • 2016: “Efficient Protocols for Replicated Transactional Systems,” Sebastiano Peluso.
    • 2015: “Δ-encoding: Practical Encoded Processing,” Dmitrii Kuvaiskii and Christof Fetzer.
    • 2014: “Reliability and Security Monitoring of Virtual Machines Using Hardware Architectural Invariants,” Cuong Pham, Zachary Estrada, Phuong Cao, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk, and Ravishankar Iyer.
    • 2013: “Hector: Detecting Resource-Release Omission Faults in Error-Handling Code for Systems Software,” Suman Saha, Jean-Pierre Lozi, Gael Thomas, Julia Lawall, and Gilles Muller.
    • 2012: “Taming Mr. Hayes: Mitigating Signaling-Based Attacks on Smartphones,” Collin Mulliner, Steffen Liebergeld, Matthias Lange, and Jean-Pierre Seifert.
    • 2011: “Modeling Stream Processing Applications for Dependability Evaluation,” Gabriela Jacques-Silva, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk, Bugra Gedik, Henrique Andrade, Kun-Lung Wu, and Ravishankar K. Iyer.
    • 2010: “Scalable RFID Systems: a Privacy-Preserving Protocol with Constant-Time Identification,” Basel Alomair, Andrew Clark, Jorge Cuellar and Radha Poovendran.
    • 2009: “Vulnerability & Attack Injection for Web Applications,” Jose Fonseca, Marco Vieira, and Henrique Madeira.
    • 2008: “SymPLFIED: Symbolic Program Level Fault Injection and Error Detection Framework,” Karthik Pattabiraman, Nithin Nakka, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk and Ravishakar Iyer.
    • 2007: “Failure Resilience for Device Drivers,” Jorrit N. Herder, Herbert Bos, Ben Gras, Philip Homburg, and Andrew S. Tanenbaum.
    • 2006: “Automatic Instruction-Level Software-Only Recovery Methods,” Jonathan Chang, George Reis, and David August.
    • 2005: “Fatih: Detecting and Isolating Malicious Routers,” Alper Mizrak, Yuchung Cheng, Keith Marzullo, and Stefan Savage.
            “Authenticated System Calls,” Mohan Rajagopalan, Matti Hiltunen, Trevor Jim, and Richard Schlichting.
    • 2004: “Diverse Firewall Design,” Alex X. Liu, and Mohamed G. Gouda.
    • 2003: “Definition of Software Fault Emulation Operators: A Field Data Study,” João Durães and Henrique Madeira.
    • 2002: “Robust Software – No More Excuses,” John DeVale and Philip Koopman.
    • 2001: “An Approach for Analysing the Propagation of Data Errors in Software,” Martin Hiller, Arshad Jhumka, and Neeraj Suri.
    • 2000: “On the Quality of Service of Failure Detectors,” Wei Chen, Sam Toueg, and Marcos Kawazoe Aguilera.
    • 1999: “The Systematic Improvement of Fault Tolerance in the Rio File Cache,” Wee Teck Ng and Peter M. Chen.
    • 1998: “RENEW: A Tool for Fast and Efficient Implementation of Checkpoint Protocols,” Nuno Neves and W. Kent Fuchs.
    • 1997: “COFTA: Hardware-Software Co-Synthesis of Heterogeneous Distributed Embedded System Architectures for Low Overhead Fault Tolerance,” Bharat P. Dave and Niraj K. Jha.
            “Fail-Awareness: An Approach to Construct Fail-Safe Applications,” Christof Fetzer and Flaviu Cristian.