John Warnock, a University of Utah alumnus from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a pioneer of the information age, has been named by President Barack Obama to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation—one of the highest honors bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers, and inventors. Warnock received the honor along with his Adobe Systems Co-founder Charles Geschke and four other recipients in a White House ceremony in October 2009. Other award recipients at the ceremony received the National Medal of Science.

Warnock was given the award for his “outstanding contributions to the promotion of technology for the improvement of the economic, environmental, or social well-being of the United States,” according to a White House press release.

“These scientists, engineers and inventors are national icons, embodying the very best of American ingenuity and inspiring a new generation of thinkers and innovators,” Obama said of the recipients. “Their extraordinary achievements strengthen our nation every day—not just intellectually and technologically but also economically, by helping create new industries and opportunities that others before them could never have imagined.”

Warnock pioneered the development of world-renowned graphics, publishing, and Web and electronic document technologies that have revolutionized the field of publishing and visual communication. He was previously president and then chairman and CEO at Adobe. He is currently co-chairman of the Board of Directors of Adobe. Earlier this year, Warnock was elected to the American Philosophical Society in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences class.

Warnock and his wife, Marva, provided the cornerstone gift of nearly $6 million for the John and Marva Warnock Engineering Building at the University of Utah, after previously donating two Presidential Endowed Chairs. The Warnocks gave an additional $1.3 million for the remodeling and modernization of the Engineering and Mines Classroom Building, which was incorporated into the Warnock Engineering Building as a combined physical plant.

Warnock holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, all from the University of Utah. Marva holds a B.S. in sociology from the University of Utah.