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FAQs on Engineers’ Choice Awards

Engineers’ Choice Awards: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: 8/5/2020


Q: Who can nominate products for the 2021 Engineers’ Choice Awards program?

A: Manufacturers (or their representatives) of products released between Nov. 1, 2019, and Oct. 31, 2020, that were not previously nominated will be eligible for the 2021 program.

Q: How do I nominate a product?

A: Products are nominated through CFE Media’s New Products for Engineers platform. Detailed instructions and access to this form are be available on the Engineers’ Choice Awards Official Rules page.

Q: What products should be nominated?

A: New or significantly modified hardware, software, and combination products introduced and available in North America between November 2019 and October 2020 that were not nominated for the 2020 program. Products must fall into one of the categories shown below, which may change, depending on entries received. (Categories below are based on the final categories in the 2020 program. Control Engineering reviews all entries and category assignments and reserves the right to change assignments/category names as needed.)

Hardware – HMI, Operator Interface, Thin-Client
Hardware – Industrial PCs, CNCs
Industrial Internet of Things Connectivity – Edge Controller
Industrial Internet of Things Connectivity – Gateway
Machine & Embedded Control – PLCs
Machine Vision, Code Readers
Motion Control
Motion Control – Drives
Motion Control – Drives, Servo
Motion Control – Linear Transport
Motion Control – Pneumatics
Motion Control – Robots, Robotics
Network Integration – Data Acquisition
Network Integration – Ethernet Hardware, Switches
Network Integration – I/O Systems
Network Integration – Signal Conditioning
Network Integration – Wireless
Power – Energy, Power Protection
Power Supply, UPS
Process control – Process Sensors, Transmitters
Process Control Systems
Safety – Machine Safety
Safety – Process Safety, Intrinsic Safety
Software – Asset Management, Reporting
Software – Control Design
Software – Data Analytics
Software – HMI Software
Software – Industrial Internet of Things Connectivity
Software – Mobile Apps

Q: What is the process for nominating, selecting, and awarding the Engineers’ Choice Awards?

A: Beginning on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, and continuing until 5 p.m. CT on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, Control Engineering solicits entries for the 2021 competition via a combination of e-mail newsletters and direct outreach. Once all nominations are received, eligibility is then assessed, Finalists are selected, and ballot is created. Invitations to vote/submit ballots are sent to Control Engineering electronic mailing lists, based on Control Engineering print subscription demographics (see and include subscribers from our opt-in e-mail lists who indicated that they are responsible for or influence control/automation technology purchases. Votes are cast online via CFE Media’s New Products for Engineers platform.

Q: How can I make the ballot as compelling as possible?

A: It is critical that the product description and product features be factually convincing, clearly differentiating benefits in the voting criteria: technological advancement, service to the industry, and market impact. We observe that engineers often appreciate quantified benefits more than adjectives.

Q: Should I include registration marks and trademarks with products in the description?

A: It is our magazine and website style to not include trademarks.

Q: How do I know the entry form is complete?

A: Completing the entry form questions in a word-processing document is recommended, in case there’s an Internet disruption while completing the form. A complete entry form includes the form filled out truthfully and completely. An entry is complete when all of the required information is provided, including product image and press release, and the entry fee of $495 per product is paid.

Q: How should images be prepared?

A: It should be one image, high resolution, submitted via the online form.

  • 300 dpi PNG or TIF at 4 by 5 in. named “CE-Company_Name-Product_Name-print.jpg”

Recommendation: If the product is a software, often a screen shot close-up of a compelling software feature can be more convincing than image of a shrink-wrapped software box.

Q: Is there payment?

A: Yes, there is a processing fee for 2021 Engineers’ Choice Award nominations. Please complete the payment process online, after completing the product submission form. The fee is $495.00 per product. (If payment isn’t received, the entry will be void.)

Q: How many products compete for awards?

A: It depends on how many products are nominated. Typically, 85 to 120 are nominated, with 3 to 10 products per category. One winner from each subcategory is based on subscriber votes. Submitting more than one product per category may split the vote and decrease chances. For the 2020 awards, 119 products from 57 companies (or major divisions) were nominated in 29 categories—117 Finalists (qualified entries) were named—resulting in one Grand Award to one company, 29 Engineers’ Choice Awards to 20 companies, and 28 Honorable Mentions to 20 companies.

Q: What happens when my product is named a “Finalist”?

A: All Finalists are notified of their status via email from the Control Engineering team at least one month prior to the Finalist announcement on All Finalists get additional exposure through subscriber and reader voting. All Finalists receive a Finalist logo (EPS and JPG formats) and will be listed online at In October’s monthly edition, e-newsletters, and online, qualified subscribers will be encouraged to review and vote on the Finalists. Leading vote-receivers among subscribers get an Engineers’ Choice award; runner-ups get an Honorable Mention plaque; each receive an appropriate logo (EPS and JPG formats) to use in association with the product.

Q: Who is allowed to vote in the competition?

A: Voting is strictly limited to qualified print and/or digital subscribers of Control Engineering brand products (i.e. magazine, e-newsletters, etc.). Only one vote per subscriber will be counted towards the final tally. Employees of product manufacturers with a finalist in the 2021 program and their properties, agencies, vendors, and representatives are not eligible to vote, hence any votes received from these parties will not be counted toward the final tally.

Q: How many individuals vote in the competition?

A: Again, it varies; for 2020, 316 ballots were received and tallied.

Q: How long has Control Engineering been awarding technologies?

A: Control Engineering has previously called this competition the “Editor’s Choice” awards and had the editorial team select the most noteworthy products since 1987. In 2006, we decided to open up the balloting to those who had the most hands-on experience with the products: subscribers. The competition is now called the Engineers’ Choice Awards.

Q: Has numbering of the years changed?

A: Yes, the date sequence of the awards was changed in 2009 so that the award year reflects the year in which the awards are announced, rather than the year in which the products were introduced (as had been the practice). As such, there are no “2009” award recipients; those awards announced in February 2010 were the 2010 Engineers’ Choice Award winners.

Q: When will the winners be announced publicly?

A: For the 2020 Engineers’ Choice program, once results are tallied, winning companies will be notified via e-mail early January 2020. Results are embargoed until Feb. 3, 2020, which is the same day Control Engineering will announce the winners online at After that date, the official logo for award winners can be included in advertising, newsletters, online media and other promotional items. The February 2020 monthly issue and newsletters will highlight winning technologies; links to all products remain on the awards page.

For the 2021 Engineers’ Choice program, once results are tallied, winning companies will be notified via e-mail early January 2021. Results are embargoed until Feb. 1, 2021, which is the same day Control Engineering will announce the winners online at After that date, the official logo for award winners can be included in advertising, newsletters, online media and other promotional items. The February 2021 monthly issue and newsletters will highlight winning technologies; links to all products remain on the awards page.

Q: What do winners receive?

A: Companies with winning products receive a crystal award for display purposes, as well as a unique awards logo that can be used on advertising and promotional materials. Winning-product descriptions and photographs appear in the Control Engineering February 2020 issue to North American subscribers. The cover story feature article about the winners is also digitized and promoted to the magazine’s newsletter subscribers and website visitors. Cross linking between and company websites is encouraged.

Q: Is there an awards presentation?

A: Yes, there’s an awards ceremony with photographer present as part of the Engineering Awards in Manufacturing dinner. The 2020 Engineers’ Choice Awards will be presented at this dinner on Monday, April 27, 2020. Details are sent to the award winners by early February.

Q: Can I get an editorial quote from Control Engineering to include in a press release announcing the achievement?

A: Yes. Please contact Control Engineering’s Mark T. Hoske at mhoske(at) for more information.

Q. Is there a sample press release to help draft an announcement for the 2020 Engineers’ Choice Award winners?

A: Yes. See text below.

If you have won a 2020 Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award and choose to distribute a release about your achievement, here’s information you may want to include in your release:

<Your product name> by <your company name> won a Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award, the publication announced on Feb. 3, 2020.

Control Engineering, part of CFE Media, awarded products in 29 categories of control, instrumentation, and automation products introduced in 2019, as chosen by print and online subscribers. This is the 33rd year of product recognition for the publication, highlighted in the February 2020 monthly edition, in several newsletters and at

“Innovative solutions such as <your winning product name here> make manufacturing and other control engineering applications more efficient through smart applications of new technologies. Investments in the best products and software can help solve the most pressing challenges in automation, control, and instrumentation,” according to Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering content manager.

<<< If you choose to link to your posted product at, the URL is available at NOTE: The URL for your product will remain the same >>>

“Continuous improvements among leading technology providers ensure that manufacturers, machine builders, and automation system integrators can achieve the levels of agility, efficiency, and effectiveness necessary to compete—and win—in today’s global economy,” Hoske said.

About the recognition

More than 100 product nominations from 57 companies were entered for consideration in the 2020 Engineers’ Choice Awards. Control Engineering subscribers voted to identify the products they felt were the most exceptional based on technological advancement, service to the industry, and market impact. Engineers’ Choice Award winners and honorable mentions were named in 29 categories. Awards will be presented as part of the 2020 Engineering Awards in Manufacturing event held on April 27, 2020, in Chicago.

About Control Engineering

Control Engineering ( is the leader in connecting the global industrial engineering audience through the coverage of and education about automation, control and instrumentation technologies in a regionally focused, actionable manner through online and print media and in-person events. Control Engineering, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, and Plant Engineering are part of CFE Media LLC, located in Downers Grove, Ill. CFE stands for Content for Engineers (

If you require additional information not in this document, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mark Hoske at mhoske(at)

Return to the Control Engineering Engineers’ Choice Award program page.