The National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, has presented its 2000 William P. Slichter Award to Fernando L. Podio. Podio is an electronics engineer in NIST's Information Technology Laboratory.
The agency recognized Podio for his key role in the unification of several industry and government groups developing biometric applications. Biometric systems use identifying characteristics such as fingerprints or retinal patterns to identify people.
The alliance that Podio helped form, the Biometric Consortium, has grown to more than 700 members under his leadership.
Podio also significantly contributed to the adoption of a voluntary industry standard that makes it easier for biometric devices to communicate with one another.
In NIST's ITL, Podio manages the Biometrics Laboratory, which develops methods to test new systems for the rapidly growing industry.
The NIST Slichter Award, established in 1992, recognizes outstanding achievements by NIST staff in building or strengthening ties between NIST and industry.