Practitioner Award

The SIGGRAPH Practitioner Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the practice and advancement of Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. The award recognizes the very best and most influential applications and practitioners. The award includes a $2,000 cash prize.

Current Recipients

Ken Museth


For the creation and continued development of OpenVDB.

ACM SIGGRAPH is pleased to recognize Ken Museth with the 2023 Practitioner Award.  The Practitioner Award is given annually to practitioners who have had a significant impact on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

Ken built the core VDB data structure and many of the algorithms based on his previous ideas for DB+Grid.  The OpenVDB library was released as open source and allowed for efficient access to impressive resolutions of volumetric data.  The library has become an industry standard for visual effects, but has also found use in many other areas including industrial design, robotics, medicine, rocket design, scientific visualization and real time graphics in games.

Ken continues to lead development of OpenVDB, which was the first project adopted by the ASWF.  Recently, he released NanoVDB, a GPU-friendly and portable VDB structure for real-time rendering.

Ken’s engagement in the community, presenting courses or running birds of a feather helps not only other practitioners, but also artists and users understand the concepts and best practices for using and adopting OpenVDB.

For his work on OpenVDB, ACM SIGGRAPH is proud to give the 2023 Practitioner Award to Ken Museth.

Previous Recipients

  • 2022 Íñigo Quílez
  • 2022 Pol Jeremias
  • 2021 Brent Burley
  • 2020 Elizabeth Baron
  • 2019 Stephen Hill
  • 2018 Bill Reeves


  • Impact to Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques based on practical application in methods, products, services or systems.
  • Cumulative, demonstrable contributions to the field directly and through leadership of others
  • Innovation and the stimulation of innovation through practice
  • Influence on the work of others, and acceptance of practice by the ACM SIGGRAPH community

Nomination Procedure

The Practitioner Award Committee evaluates nominations based on the outlined criteria. ACM SIGGRAPH members are encouraged to submit their nominations to the Practitioner Award Chair by January 31.


  • Contact information of the candidate
  • Contact information of the nominator
  • A brief summary (English, maximum one page) explaining how the candidate meets the criteria of the award
  • Contact information of at least two people knowledgeable about the qualifications of the candidate and who are willing to submit letters in support of the nomination upon request