Kent Engström wins GÉANT 2015 Community Award

NORDUnet congratulates Kent Engström (SUNET and Linköping University) with being awarded the 2015 GÉANT Community Award. Kent was honoured for his contributions to the Trusted Certificate Service (TCS – formerly known as TERENA Certificate Service), which helps to increase security in online transactions by facilitating the deployment of digital certificates. The award was presented during the closing plenary of the 2015 TNC conference.

Kent developed and maintained the 'Djangora' software that was a vital part of the service for around six years and the means for delivering thousands of certificates across Europe. This work was voluntary and that's an outstanding contribution. Most system administrators in TCS member countries and virtually all central IT staff in institutes and universities have seen Djangora, worked with it, and used it to secure their services - probably without much thought as to why that software came to be, and why it continued to work through the many changes needed to maintain publicly trusted certificates. The fact that Kent did this work without seeking the limelight was seen as a plus by the judges when giving the award.

Maria Häll, SUNET CEO said: "Kent has been and continues to be an invaluable asset to SUNET and to the European IT Security Community. During the establishment of the second TCS service, Kent quickly established himself as a hands-on leader who rolled up his sleeves and produced the tools that turned TCS into one of the most successful services in the history of European research and education networking. Kent truly walks the walk of common infrastructure and understands the value of delivering simple and effective services."

Patrick Norman, Director of the National Supercomputer Centre at Linköping University, said: "The supercomputing centre uses the research and education network infrastructure and services on a daily basis for its national, regional and global work. I am delighted that, through Kent and our collaboration with Sunet, we have helped to contribute something so useful back to the networking community."

With the advent of the new TCS service from 1 July 2015 Djangora will no longer be required. However, Kent has continued to dedicate his time and expertise to the new service. ​Alessandra Scicchitano, Project Development Officer at GÉANT explains: "Kent has participated actively in the transition phase, testing the main features of the new TCS, giving suggestions about new features and how to improve the service, on a voluntary basis. Through this transition, his work has been invaluable for me and for the entire community."

Read more about the award at the GÉANT website.