Past Awards

Wilfried Woeber Receives 2018 Rob Blokzijl Award

Yesterday at RIPE 76 in Marseille, the Rob Blokzijl Foundation presented the first Rob Blokzijl award to Wilfried Woeber "For more than thirty years of contributions to the development of the Internet: building and interconnecting networks, sharing knowledge, connecting people, building consensus and helping others to contribute and succeed."

The Rob Blokzijl Award honours the memory of Rob Blokzijl, the first Chairman of RIPE. The award recognises individuals who made substantial and sustained technical and operational contributions to the development of the Internet in the RIPE NCC service region and supported or enabled others. The awardee receives EUR 10,000 from the Foundation.

Speaking for the 2018 Award Committee, Daniel Karrenberg said: "We received a total of ten excellent nominations from the community. It speaks for our community that all of them had considerable merit and the final choice was not an easy one."

On behalf of the Foundation, he thanked the members of the Award Committee for their work in soliciting and evaluating nominations. He also thanked the RIPE NCC and specifically Mirjam Kühne for the excellent support in making this first award a success.

In a short ceremony, Lynn Blokzijl presented the award to Wilfried, who was visibly moved at receiving this honour. Wilfried, who is officially retired from Vienna University, has built networks in the RIPE region for more than 30 years. More importantly, he has shared his knowledge and experience with many others within RIPE, the NREN community and notably the emerging efforts in Eastern Europe when the iron curtain started to be penetrated by networking efforts. Later, Wilfried contributed significantly to some of the first deployments of IPv6.

Besides his technical work, Wilfried also served in various governance functions; notably he was a long-time chair of the Database Working Group, a RIPE NCC Arbiter, and a member of the NRO Address Council. Last but not least, Wilfried has supported quite a number of young students who have gone on to become successful members of the RIPE community, making their own contributions to our shared success.


Photo Matthijs Mekking

Award Committee

Jaap Akkerhuis

Jaap Akkerhuis

Jaap Akkerhuis has been instrumental in the development of the Internet in the Netherlands and Europe since the early 1980s.

After a period of seven years in the U.S., where he was active at the Information Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, software company mtXinu, and AT&T Bell Labs, Jaap returned to the Netherlands where he joined the NLnet Labs, the first independent ISP in the Netherlands. Later Jaap worked as a technical advisor for Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland, the registry of the .NL country code top-level domain.

Jaap went back and forth between scientific institutes, research labs, Internet service providers and registries in Europe and across the U.S., playing a key role as a global connector in the technical community.

Throughout his career, Jaap has spent a generous amount of time sharing his knowledge with others and playing key roles in organisations such as the European Unix User Group, Advanced Computing Systems Association (USENIX), the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Society, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE) and The Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries.

Currently, he is a research engineer in the research and development group at NLnet Labs, focusing on IT development.

In 2017 Jaap got inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.

Eva Frölich

Eva Frölich

Eva Frölich started her career with the incumbent Swedish telco in 1985. In 1997, she was the first employee of Network Information Centre SE (NIC-SE) and has since then been Internet faithful.

During 1999-2002, Eva was on the board of CENTR, the Council of European National Top-Level Registries.

During 2004-2007, Eva served on the Board of Public Interest Registry (PIR), the registry for the top-level domain (TLD) .org, now also .ngo and .ong. She was the Chair of the Board 2004-2005 and was acting CEO during 2007 while a process of appointing a new CEO took place.

Eva has been active within ICANN and held a board seat at ccNSO until the change of year 2005/2006.

Eva has also been active in the Swedish Association of Registrars - works for a healthy and serious domain names market, as well as working together with the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority and the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, to ensure the TLD .se is the best TLD worldwide.

During 2010-2013 Eva took a seat on the Internet Society (ISOC) Board of Trustees and at the annual meeting 2012 she was appointed the first female Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Eva´s day-to-day job, in parallel with her international engagements, is to run a domain name registrar and hosting company in Sweden - Frobbit!

Elise Gerich

Elise Gerich

Elise Gerich began her career in networking at Merit Network, a consortium of state funded universities in Michigan. She was a member of the team that built and operated the NSFNET T1 and T3 networks. While at Merit she was the Associate Director for National Networking and was a Principle Invesitgator for NSFNET's T3 Backbone Project and the NSFNET's Routing Arbiter Project.

In addition, Elise was co-founder of the North American Network Operators' Group (NANOG), the US National Science Foundation's representative on the Federal Engineering Planning Group, a member of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and served as co-chair of the Internet Planning Group (IEPG).

After Merit, Elise worked as Director of Operations for the @Home Network which built and operated the first national backbone for delivery of Internet Services by North American cable operators. Following @Home, she was Director of Software Product Management at Juniper Networks for nine years before joining ICANN. Elise served as ICANN's Vice President of IANA for seven years and was named the first President of Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) ICANN's affiliate when ICANN's contract with the US government expired. She served both as President of PTI and Vice President of IANA until her retirement in January 2018.

Daniel Karrenberg

Niall O'Reilly