Cynthia Furse, associate vice president for research at the University of Utah and professor of electrical and computer engineering, is this year’s recipient of the Days of ’47 Pioneers of Progress Award for Science and Technology, the latest in a string of U professors to receive the honor.

She is one of five Utahns to receive the Pioneers of Progress Award in 2016, each honored in a number of categories including Sportsmanship and Athletics; Creative and Historic Arts; Business and Enterprise; and Health, Education and Humanitarian Assistance. A sixth award, the President’s Award, was given this year to the 1966 Marine platoon 1071 for its military service during the Vietnam War.

Furse was honored in part for her pioneering work in developing a system to locate intermittent electrical wiring faults, which led to her startup company, LiveWire Innovation. Her technology can monitor live electrical systems for faulty wiring and can be used on airliners, high-speed trains, as well as in manufacturing lines and power stations. Her research also includes the development of antennas to communicate with medical implants, and methods to predict statistical variability in bioelectromagnetic applications.

Furse is a Fellow of the IEEE and the National Academy of Inventors. She also is a pioneer of the flipped classroom model in which the time for lectures and homework are reversed, and she has received numerous teaching and research awards including the Harriett B. Rigas Medal for Excellence in Teaching.

The awards, sponsored by the Days of ’47, are presented annually for service and achievements that reflect Utah’s pioneering spirit. “Since 1995, we have looked for individuals who have excelled in their areas and for being a modern-day pioneer in one way or another,” said Margo Ayre, chairwoman for the Days of ’47 Pioneers of Progress.

Furse is the latest in a line of University of Utah faculty who have been honored with the award in the science and technology category, including electrical engineer and digital sound pioneer Thomas G. Stockham, neonatologist August Jung, Nobel recipient and geneticist Mario Capecchi, TheraTech co-founder Dinesh C. Patel, and former U College of Engineering dean Gerald Stringfellow.

She and the other recipients will be honored at a dinner July 12 at the Salt Lake City Center Marriott, 220 S. State St. They also are invited to participate in the Days of ’47 parade, which will be held Monday, July 25. To see a list of all of this year’s recipients, go to