2011 Ritva Kangasperko
2008 Ronald Q. Smith
2007 Alan Hood
2006 Michael Stroeing
2005 Gary Lauk
2005 Ray Colaianni
2004 Dave Yost
2003 Steve Koss
2001 Steve Affeldt & Scorpion Team
About Avinash: The sudden death of Avinash Thukral on January 23, 2001 has taken away a Unisys employee who contributed greatly to the success of the UNITE conferences. During most of his 16 years (1985-2001) at Unisys, Avinash was a liaison to user groups, and he worked tirelessly to advance the common interests of Unisys and UNITE.
He was born in India on November 14, 1944 and earned a BS in Physics in 1965 from Delhi University. After that, he came to the United States for further education, receiving a BSEE in 1968 from Cornell University and an MBA in 1977 from American University, Washington, DC.
After working for NCR from 1977 to 1985, Avinash went to work for Sperry just before the merger which formed Unisys.
Avinash was responsible for conference planning for the UNITE and UUA user groups at the Unisys Roseville Software Development Center. He was always striving to bring forward the best Unisys content to the user group conferences and fought many battles within Unisys to get the right speakers on the right topics. At the same time, he tried hard to persuade the UNITE conference planning officials to make room on their agendas for new products which were part of Unisys strategic directions. Often he found himself pulled one way by Unisys marketing, another by Unisys engineering, and yet another by UNITE officials, but he was able to handle this with courtesy and humor.
Avinash also worked on less visible tasks which were still very important to UNITE and Unisys. He was responsible for coordination, monitoring and publishing of New Feature Suggestions (NFSs). Handling these requests for enhancements to Unisys products was very tedious for everyone involved (especially in the old days when the UNITE membership could vote on them), yet they were vital in helping to shape the future direction of Unisys software. Avinash also coordinated the publication and distribution of the User Conference Notes for all platforms. These publications provided a complete status report on all Unisys hardware and software products and were an indispensable reference.
Avinash scheduled and coordinated the semi-annual meetings of the 2200/IX Advisory Council.
The council provided an opportunity for the customer members and Unisys product developers to discuss and shape Unisys long range plans for its 2200/IX product line. These meetings were beneficial to both Unisys and the customers who were involved.
Avinash is survived by his wife, Ranjana, and three children: Avesh, Tara, and Renu. He was a very warm and friendly person, and often invited UNITE officials to dinner at his house when conferences or planning meetings were held in Minneapolis. His graceful presence will be missed by all of us at UNITE who knew and appreciated him.
Georgia Technology Authority
254 Washington Street Room G-24
Atlanta GA 30334
The Avinash Thukral Award, established in 2001 in memory of Avinash Thukral, is given for outstanding contributions to the UNITE/Unisys Community. Avinash Thukral was a major supporter of and contributor to UNITE and a tireless worker for the Unisys user community at large. Avinash’s contributions were many, including coordinating Unisys sessions at UNITE, working with the NFS process and UNITE requirements, production and distribution of the Unisys User Conference Notes, and organizing User Advisory Councils. Avinash attended every UNITE conference and every UUA conference and was a beloved presence at the conferences.
The award is presented from time to time and is given to the recipient at the opening business session at the annual UNITE Technology Conference.
UNITE invites nominations for this award from any member of UNITE. The nominee should be a current or former employee of Unisys, a Unisys third party vendor, or an organization using Unisys hardware, software, or services. The nomination should be supported by a minimum of three letters describing the nominee’s contributions and explaining why these contributions are deserving of this special recognition. It is important that the letters contain information describing the candidate’s specific accomplishments. Explain why this person’s achievements merit this special recognition. How has this person’s work changed the landscape? How has what this person did made an impact?
Letters supporting the nominations should be sent to the UNITE Business Office. Nominations and supporting letters are due at least 3 months prior to the opening date of the annual conference. Any nominations received after that date may be carried over and considered for the following year’s award.
Letters supporting the nomination may be used as sources for quotations about the recipient and his/her accomplishments in published articles and during the award ceremony.