2022 NATO STO Excellence Award for Dr Michael Wunder
The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) has honoured Dr. Michael Wunder, Head of the Research Department "Information Technology for Command and Control Systems" (ITF) at Fraunhofer FKIE, with the NATO STO Excellence Award 2022. The organisation recognises his outstanding contributions to the Information Systems Technology (IST) Panel, which the engineer and scientist most recently led for eight years as Vice-Chair and Chair.
"Dr Michael Wunder's dedicated contribution to the advancement of NATO research activities has contributed to the successful work of the IST Panel and numerous cross-panel initiatives," said Colonel Laura Reagan of the NATO STO Collaboration Support Office (CSO) at the official award ceremony at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. His overall focus and drive has been emerging technologies and developments to underpin better coalition interoperability for the future evolving threat landscapes, such as hybrid warfare.
Award for more than two decades of dedicated NATO work
The mission of the NATO STO is to meet the scientific and technological needs of the Alliance and its current 30 member states. To this end, the organisation promotes research projects and technological developments that support the Alliance in fulfilling its tasks. The NATO STO Excellence Award recognises awardees who have made outstanding contributions to this goal. "Dr Wunder’s technical expertise and dedicated leadership to IST Panel activities makes him a highly deserving recipient of the individual 2022 STO Excellence Award," the organisation emphasises in its official statement. In the more than 20 years of his NATO service, Dr Wunder was involved in more than 40 NATO research activities and took on many leadership roles in the IST Panel including serving as IST Panel Chair from 2013 - 2021. Through leading a number of Research Task Groups (RTGs), he made notable technical contributions. With foresight, he recognised the potential and wider NATO/cross-panel impact of the rapid developments emerging in Big Data (BD), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML), and spearheaded numerous IST Panel activities in that direction.
"Cooperation with NATO colleagues was a great enrichment"
Dr Wunder has been actively involved in NATO since 2000, since 2007 as a member of the NATO Information Systems Technology (IST) Panel. The IST Panel within NATO STO is a community of about 650 experts, soldiers, technicians and scientists who meet regularly in 20 to 25 working groups or at symposia and workshops. Twice a year, 30 to 40 representatives of the nations participating in the IST Panel meet to discuss NATO's concrete needs, define corresponding projects and coordinate the working groups and events. "The scientific work in the NATO STO is characterised, among other benefits, by a comparatively low-bureaucracy, lean and efficient way of working," explains the laureate, "for scientists who want to devote themselves in particular to research instead of looking after formalities, the STO is exceptionally attractive." He was also enthusiastic to meet "so many great people and excellent experts": "Working with them was a great enrichment for me and my working life. The international work in NATO has always yielded lots of yoy to me."