The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) has named Aspera co-founder and CEO Michelle Munson as the recipient of its 2016 Charles S. Swartz Award. The HPA Awards recognize creative artistry, innovation and engineering excellence in the professional media content industry, and the Charles S. Swartz Award honors the recipient’s significant impact across diverse aspects of the industry. The HPA Awards will be handed out on November 17 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
Munson is the co-inventor of Aspera’s Emmy award-winning FASP transport technology and is responsible for overseeing the company’s direction in collaboration with co-founder, Serban Simu. Munson was a software engineer in research and start-up companies, including the IBM Almaden Research Center before founding Aspera in 2004. She has dual B.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering and in physics from Kansas State University, was a Goldwater Scholar for achievement in science and mathematics, and later was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University where she received a postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science. She was also the youngest recipient ever of the KSU College of Engineering Alumni Fellow, which was awarded in 2006.
The Charles S. Swartz Award may be awarded to a person, group, or company that has made a significant artistic, technological, business or educational impact across diverse aspects of the media industry. The award was named in honor of the late Charles S. Swartz, who led the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California from 2002 until 2006, building it into the industry’s premiere test bed for new digital cinema technologies. In addition to a long and successful career as a producer, educator and consultant, Swartz served on the Board of Directors of the HPA. Past recipients of the Charles S. Swartz Award include Ben Burtt, Elizabeth Daley and Ray Dolby.