Working groups are the driving force behind Bluetooth® technology, delivering innovations that unify, harmonize, and power the vast range of connected devices all around us. Working group members collaborate to define new specifications and enhance adopted specs, which determine the functionality, capabilities, and interoperability of future wireless devices.

At this year’s Working Group Summit, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) awarded the annual Working Group Awards to working groups, committee members, and contributors who were recognized by their peers for their impact and dedication to advancing Bluetooth technology. Their devotion throughout the year and commitment to making a difference is what keeps Bluetooth technology at the forefront of the IoT.

2019 Working Group Award Winners

Working Group/Committee Chair of the Year  

Mayank Batra, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Senior Staff Engineer, Core Specification Working Group Chair 

A senior staff engineer within the standards and technology group of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTIL), Mayank currently serves as the Chair of the Core Specification Working Group (CSWG).

Mayank contributed to most features in development within the CSWG over the last 8 years and was also the editor of the Angle of Arrival, Angle of Departure, Bluetooth LE Link Layer Topology, and Bluetooth LE Secure Connections features in the past. He also contributes to features currently in development within the Direction Finding Working Group.

A member of the Bluetooth SIG Security Experts Group, Mayank takes a keen interest in security and has made significant contributions to the security aspects in both Bluetooth BR/EDR and Bluetooth LE Secure Connections.

What Mayank’s Peers Say

“Mayank is a great technical leader with a great way of communicating technically relevant information to the appropriate groups in a timely manner.” 

“Core Specification Working Group (CSWG) is the largest working group, and the chair is familiar with all the topics relating to the core specification. He manages the group very well.” 

“Mayank is always up to date on everything that happens in the CSWG and does a great job of organizing everything.” 

“Always precise, polite, helpful, and technically prepared.” 

“Leading the CSWG towards the Milan release.”

Working Group/Committee Chair of the Year 

Szymon Slupik, Silvair, Inc. President, CTO, and Co-Founder, Mesh Working Group Chair

A member of the Bluetooth SIG since 2012, Szymon serves as the president and CTO of Silvair, Inc. Realizing that Bluetooth LE is an ideal foundation for mesh networking, Szymon has been a significant contributor to the Bluetooth Mesh Networking and Core Specifications since 2014.

Szymon has served as the Mesh Working Group Chair (2016) and Mesh Working Group Vice-Chair (2015), and he has been recognized multiple times for technical contributions and organizational efforts that have made Bluetooth mesh a ground-breaking technology.

What Szymon’s Peers Say

“Mesh is probably the best-organized working group, and the contributors are extremely motivated to work with Szymon. Szymon not only takes care of the group activities but also helps shape the roadmap for Bluetooth mesh, identifying the gaps and opportunities that result in new and updated specifications being created. Szymon has also been extremely effective managing over 20 active working group projects, assuring super-effective allocation of relatively limited resources.” 

“Szymon has been the key driver, efficiently managing a vast amount of development projects. His calm, dedication, and focus enabled huge progress in developing technology that will allow Bluetooth to extend its range to lighting control and building automation.”

Outstanding Technical Contributor of the Year

Danilo Blasi, STMicroelectronics Senior Design Engineer, Mesh Working Group

A consultant for Bluetooth mesh technology at STMicroelectronics, Danilo recently joined a group of test engineers to verify the behavior of components for their chip products based on Bluetooth LE technology.

Danilo joined the Mesh Working Group in May 2015 and has played a key role defining the Bluetooth Mesh Profile and Models. He has been active in the definition of the Mesh Directed Forwarding functionality that will be part of the Mesh Profile v1.1, he provides feedback for specification development guidelines, and he has created a list of requirements for tools to be used by Bluetooth SIG working groups that simplify and accelerate specification development.

What Danilo’s Peers Say

“His contribution to Mesh MDF (Mesh Directed Forwarding) specification is epic.” 

“Has been a key contributor to the message directed forwarding specification that will add routing capabilities to Bluetooth mesh.”

Outstanding Technical Contributor of the Year

Kanji Kerai, Bluetooth System Architect – Sivantos GmbH, Core Specification Working Group

Since 2004, Kanji has been an active member of the Core Specification Working Group and provided significant contributions to the development of Secure Simple Pairing of v2.1. He served as a BARB Associate Councilor from 2007 to 2015 and played a key role in encouraging hearing aid companies to join the Bluetooth SIG and develop audio over Bluetooth LE.

Since 2015, Kanji has been the editor of the Isochronous Channels Specification as a member of Widex A/S and now Sivantos GmbH.

What Kanji’s Peers Say

“He has been working on the Isochronous Channels features in the Core specification Working Group. He has resolved thousands of comments from reviewers and made enormous progress on completing the ISOC specification to the CR stage.” 

“To recognize Kanji’s relentless efforts and dedication as owner of the Bluetooth LE Isochronous Channels specification.”

Outstanding New Contributor in Bluetooth SIG Groups

Ravi Bamidi, Silvair, Inc. Consultant, Mesh Working Group

An R&D Consultant Engineer for Silvair, Inc., Ravi made key contributions to the Mesh Private Beacons feature, Mesh Asset Management and Tracking feature, and Mesh Subnet Bridge and Mesh Directed Forwarding Specifications. He has also helped identify errors and propose resolutions for the Mesh Remote Provisioning Specification.

In addition to his specification work, Ravi creates Bluetooth mesh prototype implementation features for the Silvair Bluetooth mesh stack. 

What Ravi’s Peers Say

“New contributing member of the Mesh Working Group. His contribution to MDF, RPR (Remote Provisioning), and especially PRB (Mesh Private Beacons) is invaluable.” 

“Has added immense value to multiple Mesh specifications that are being developed. His analysis and reviews have been extremely thorough and helpful. The specifications he contributed the most to are: Mesh Remote Provisioning, Mesh Directed Forwarding, Mesh Asset Management and Tracking, Mesh Private Beacons, and Mesh Energy Harvesting Sensors.” 

Chairman’s Award

Robert Hughes, Intel, Vice Chair of the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors

A new award created this year, the Chairman’s Award, is presented at the sole discretion of the Chair of the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors to recognize an individual or individuals for extraordinary service to the Bluetooth community. The inaugural recipient of the Chairman’s Award is Robert Hughes.

“Hughes serves as Intel’s representative on the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the board. In 2017, the Bluetooth SIG recognized an opportunity to address inconsistencies across its governing documents, better aligning the operations of the Bluetooth SIG with those governing documents, and making a number of process improvements. The board of directors created the Alignment and Process Improvement Task Force (APITF) to undertake this important work. Hughes stepped up and offered to chair the task force.

While many Bluetooth SIG participants and staff contributed innumerable hours of work to the APITF, the completion of updates to the bylaws and the Specification Management Process Document was driven. His persistence and dedication — including chairing many meetings and processing many comments (even when on vacation or sabbatical) were invaluable. The entire Bluetooth community has benefited from this work. Under leadership, the APITF has moved on to update the Errata Process Document and the Working Group Process Document — and he’s taken on the interim chairmanship of the Specification Automation Task Force as well. On behalf of the entire Bluetooth community, we greatly appreciate Hughes’s energy, dedication, and hard work!”

— Toby Nixon, Chair of the Board of Directors

Working Group of the Year 

Mesh Working Group

“The Mesh Working Group has had its busiest time ever, for the last 12 months. The group jointly totaled 2,000 man hours of conference calls and 3,000 man hours of face-to-face meetings. This is an unprecedented engagement that translates to solidifying Bluetooth as the leading low-power wireless standard. The group has also been very creative in allocating resources to projects – running multiple, regular task-oriented conference calls on a weekly basis. Mesh has also pioneered the new formula for combined IOP and face-to-face events during which prototyping is mixed with specification development, bringing agility to accelerate specification development.”

— Bluetooth Working Group Member

Market Development Award

Szymon Slupik, Silvair, Inc. President, CTO, and Co-Founder, Mesh Working Group Chair

The Market Development Award, presented by the Bluetooth SIG promotion team, recognizes an individual from a member company that has gone above and beyond in promoting and evangelizing the adoption of Bluetooth technology within new markets. Over the last few years, this individual has been a tireless promoter of Bluetooth technology, and has worked to drive the adoption of Bluetooth mesh networking capability, especially within the lighting control market. Not only has he been a frequent public speaker and author on this subject, he has operated as a behind-the-scenes influencer, driving the promotion and adoption of Bluetooth within many other standards organizations to achieve this goal, including ANSI, DiiA, IEC, IES, IETF, NEMA, and OCF. Thanks to Szymon’s efforts, Bluetooth mesh networking is well on its way to being adopted as a key technology within the lighting control market.

Thanks to all the Working Group Members who voted and commented on the commitment of their awarded peers. Congratulations to all our award winners.

Join a Working Group

If you’re interested in influencing the direction of wireless technology and want to help shape the IoT, a Bluetooth working group is the place for you. Learn more about joining a Bluetooth working group.



Outstanding New Contributor in Bluetooth SIG Groups


Himanshu Bhalla, Intel Corporation

“Drove the Generic Audio Working Group towards consensus about ASCP procedures of Unicast Audio Stream Control. He clarified multiple flows about PAC Discovery and ASE Configuration, audio topology, and architecture. The procedures which he defined are a corner stone for next generation audio and stream management.” — Bluetooth Working Group Member


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