H. W. Sweatt Award

The H. W. Sweatt Award is Honeywell’s highest award for Engineers/Scientists. It is awarded to only the top .3% of the engineers and scientists. As shown in pages from the nomination brochure the criteria are stringent and demanding. And as shown below team and second awards are even tougher to be awarded. The award for my TotalHomeĀ® work was as part of a team in addition to being a second award.

The questions and answers below come from a brochure that describes the Awards Program and outlines the nomination procedure. It is intended for the information and guidance of managers and supervisors with the responsibility for originating and approving nominations for H.W. Sweatt Awards.

H.W. Sweatt, 1892-1980

Harold W, Sweatt devoted his business career of more than 50 years to Honeywell. As President, and as Chairman of the Board, from 1934 until 1961, he led the Company through years of continuing technological advancement and rapid growth.

The H. W. Sweatt Engineer-Scientist Awards Program pays tribute to the creative engineering and research he respected and encouraged.

Scope and Purpose of the H.W. Sweatt Awards Program

Honeywell was founded and shaped by inventive technical people. Creative technology is our image, and we must maintain that image if we are to continue to grow and prosper in an increasingly complex world. E.W. Spencer, Honeywell’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, expressed this vitality when he said, “We cannot achieve progress without making changes…Innovation and change provide the creative thrust that makes our Company a stimulating place to work…” The H.W. Sweatt Awards for outstanding engineering and scientific achievement are designed to encourage this vital technical creativity.

The Awards are our highest tribute to an individual for technical accomplishment at Honeywell. These Awards are made on an extremely selective basis, acknowledging only those accomplishments of superior ability and effort that are significant to Honeywell and to the technical community at large. The total number of Awards given each year is very small. As a result, being selected is truly a mark of technical distinction, depicting the success that has traditionally been identified with Honeywell.

Who is eligible for an Award?

All permanent full-time, non-supervisory engineers, scientists, staff engineers, staff scientists and fellows throughout Honeywell, its subsidiaries and any affiliated company it controls.

Are supervisors eligible?

The H.W. Sweatt Award is for non-supervisory personnel. A person with direct responsibility for performance appraisal and salary administration is not eligible for the H.W. Sweatt Award. It is possible for a person promoted to a supervisory position during the year to receive an Award, providing the work was dearly completed prior to promotion. It is extremely unlikely that a person promoted in a previous year can be eligible for the H.W. Sweatt Award.

Are teams eligible?

The purpose of the H.W. Sweatt Award is to recognize the most meritorious technical achievements by individuals.
Although joint Awards are permitted, it is essential that the contribution of each individual is meritorious in its own right. There is strong bias towards individual Awards and against team Awards.

May an Award winner get a second Award?

Past Award recipients may be considered for an Award in any later year, provided the work being nominated is different from that which won the previous Award, or so significant an extension of that work to justify nomination on its own merits. The criteria for a second Award are the same as for a first, but are applied more critically.
The candidate should be in the top few percentile and unanimous agreement of the Awards Committee members is required.

What work is eligible?

The Award recognizes outstanding individual technical creativity, innovation and invention in research and development of products, processes, and systems solutions. The Sweatt Award is not intended simply to recognize a successful product in the absence of the above factors. Technical accomplishments that are culminated or which produce a significant result during the calendar year in which the nomination is submitted are eligible for Award consideration. The actual work leading to the result may have extended over several years. Consistent outstanding accomplishment over an extended period of time which brings credit to the Corporation as well as to the individual may be recognized. However, the nomination should be made at the time the individual is responsible for some significant accomplishment.
If an accomplishment is completed too late in the year to permit a timely nomination, the individual may be nominated the following year. The status of technical completion should be sufficiently advanced to preclude a technical reversal that would nullify the basis for the Award.

How are nominations originated?

The employee’s supervisor originates the nomination. Division management must inform appropriate supervisors of the existence and meaning of the Award and encourage them to submit nominations for worthy candidates. Each nomination must substantiate the nature of the achievement and the degree to which the nominee is responsible for it. Sufficient detail must be included so that the achievement may be evaluated as to technical level, uniqueness of approach, and significance as a contribution to the state of the art, as well as to Honeywell. Nomination forms indicating key elements to consider for selection are available. Completeness is essential for the nominee to receive proper consideration. The nominations are proprietary.

What are the criteria for nomination?

  1. Technical accomplishment of unusual excellence resulting in technical or product leadership for Honeywell.
  2. Technical accomplishment of unusual excellence which solves a significant problem in producibility, quality, cost reduction, application, or service.
  3. Breadth of application of the accomplishment.
  4. Patentability or proprietary advantage of the accomplishment.
  5. Suitability for publication of the accomplishment in reputable technical journals.


The appropriateness and relative weight of these criteria vary, depending upon whether the accomplishment under consideration is in research, or one of the fields of engineering such as design (both hardware and software), evaluation, quality, process application, or field service. The achievement should represent a high level of difficulty and ingenuity. It should afford the individual recognition by others in the same technical field.

How are nominations submitted?

Local division, subsidiary, or center management selects nominations they believe are worthy of an Award and forwards them through the head of the division, subsidiary or center to the H.W. Sweatt Engineer-Scientist Awards Committee. Usually not more than one or two accomplishments a year in any division or subsidiary qualify for consideration by the Awards Committee. Each division or subsidiary, therefore, must maintain the highest standards in determining whether its accomplishments are worthy of consideration.

How are the Award winners selected?

The H.W. Sweatt Award Committee selects Award winners based on:

  1. Outstanding technical accomplishments which establish Honeywell technical leadership. (Although technical excellence helps increase sales volume and profit,, these are not necessarily a measure of technical accomplishment.)
  2. Excellence in the application of technical processes to engineering or research. (This may be a “break-through” into a new area of technology or a fresh approach in some part of a thoroughly engineered, long-established area.)

Evaluating and weighing accomplishments involves assessing such factors as the technical level and degree of complexity, the amount of individual creativity or inventiveness, the aggressiveness of the individual in seeing the project from concept to fruition and the value of the accomplishment to the Corporation in both tangible and intangible ways.

The Awards Committee views the achievement from an overall Corporate position. What might be an achievement in one location may be routine in another. The stature of the achievement throughout the entire scientific and engineering community must also be considered.

A complete description of the achievement and its significance is essential for full consideration of the nominee.
Adequate screening of candidates by divisional management permits optimum utilization of Awards Committee resources.

Occasionally Awards are made to more than one eligible engineer or scientist if more than one member of a team has made an outstanding technical contribution to the team’s accomplishment. When Awards are made to a team of two rather than to an individual, unanimous agreement of the Awards Committee members is required.

How many Awards will be given each year?

Because superior accomplishment is the only basis for an Award, the selection process tends to limit recognition to accomplishments that are truly outstanding. In recent years, the total number of Awards in a single year has been in the twenties. No set number of Awards is contemplated. The number will vary according to the quality of nominations.