Computer Graphics Achievement Award

The computer graphics achievement award is given to an individual for outstanding achievement in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The award includes a prize of $2,000.

Current Recipient

Michiel van de Panne

University of British Columbia

ACM SIGGRAPH is delighted to present the 2022 Achievement Award to Michiel van de Panne, for his fundamental work in computer animation, particularly on the simulation and control of physics-based characters.

Michiel is a pioneer of physically-based motion synthesis and control, which combines physics simulation, control theory, and machine learning to synthesize natural locomotion and other movement skills. 

His landmark paper in 1993 proposed the idea of “sensor-actuator networks.” Considerably ahead of its time, it re-imagined both neural networks and reinforcement learning for computer graphics through an architecture that used physics simulation to generate and validate candidate motions within an environment. 

Michiel continued to push and refine motion synthesis via physically-based controllers that could be composed and concatenated with his “SIMBICON” work and extensions thereof. This demonstrated that a set of simple rules leads to robust and emergent balancing behaviors for a wide range of biped locomotion tasks and styles.

Michiel’s most recent work focuses on applying reinforcement learning to the generation of robust and versatile virtual agents.  His work in this area, like DeepLoco and DeepMimic, often starts with a new ambitious task in computer graphics, and finishes with an insightful piece of new knowledge that extends the state of the art in machine learning and robotics.

Michiel is remarkable not only for the impact his ideas have had on computer graphics and related fields, but also for the standards he has set for how to perform and evaluate research within the SIGGRAPH community.  He also co-founded the Symposium on Computer Animation and has served and advised in many capacities over its twenty year history. During this time, this symposium has become a strong focal point for the computer animation research community. 

For these reasons, I am pleased to present Michiel van de Panne with the 2022 SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award.

Previous Recipients

  • 2021 Doug L. James
  • 2020 Kavita Bala
  • 2019 Denis Zorin
  • 2018 Daniel Cohen-Or
  • 2017 Ramesh Raskar
  • 2016 Frédo Durand
  • 2015 Steve Marschner
  • 2014 Thomas Funkhouser
  • 2013 Holly Rushmeier
  • 2012 Greg Turk
  • 2011 Richard Szeliski
  • 2010 Jessica Hodgins
  • 2009 Michael Kass
  • 2008 Ken Perlin
  • 2007 Greg Ward
  • 2006 Thomas W. Sederberg
  • 2005 Jos Stam
  • 2004 Hugues Hoppe
  • 2003 Peter Schröder
  • 2002 David Kirk
  • 2001 Andrew Witkin
  • 2000 David H. Salesin
  • 1999 Tony DeRose
  • 1998 Michael F. Cohen
  • 1997 Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz
  • 1996 Marc Levoy
  • 1995 Kurt Akeley
  • 1994 Kenneth E. Torrance
  • 1993 Pat Hanrahan
  • 1992 Henry Fuchs
  • 1991 James T. Kajiya
  • 1990 Richard Shoup and Alvy Ray Smith
  • 1989 John Warnock
  • 1988 Alan H. Barr
  • 1987 Robert Cook
  • 1986 Turner Whitted
  • 1985 Loren Carpenter
  • 1984 James H. Clark
  • 1983 James F. Blinn

Nomination Procedure

ACM SIGGRAPH members are encouraged to nominate individuals for the Computer Graphics Achievement Award by sending an email to the Technical Awards Chair ( by January 31 of each year.


  • Name, address, phone number, and email address of the nominator
  • Name and email address of the candidate
  • Suggested citation (maximum of 25 words)
  • Nomination statement (maximum of 500 words in length) addressing why the candidate should receive this award

Your nomination should describe a candidate’s most significant research contribution(s), and optionally describe industrial impact, community service, and/or other contributions to computer graphics and interactive techniques. The Technical Awards Committee uses nomination statements as the main basis for their selections, so a concise and clear statement is strongly encouraged. Descriptions of a small number of contributions (one is acceptable) are preferable to a long list of activities.