Doctoral Dissertation Award

Award given to outstanding doctoral dissertations whose results have been published at ETAPS.

The ETAPS International Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software Association has established a Doctoral Dissertation Award to promote and recognize outstanding dissertations in the research areas covered by the four main ETAPS conferences (ESOP, FASE, FoSSaCS, and TACAS).

Doctoral dissertations are evaluated with respect to originality, relevance, and impact to the field, as well as the degree of reproducibility (where this applies). The award winner will receive a monetary prize and will be recognized at the ETAPS Banquet.


Eligible for the award is any PhD student whose doctoral dissertation is in the scope of the ETAPS conferences and who completed their doctoral degree at a European academic institution in the period from January 1st, 2023 to December 31st, 2023.


Nominations should be submitted by 15 January 2024 via EasyChair.

Send Nomination

Award candidates should be nominated by their supervisor. Members of the Award Committee are not allowed to nominate their own PhD students for the award.

Nominations consist of a single PDF file (extension .pdf) containing:

  • name and email address of the candidate
  • a short curriculum vitae of the candidate
  • name and email address of the supervisor
  • an endorsement letter from the supervisor
  • the final version of the doctoral dissertation
  • institution and department that has awarded the doctorate
  • a document certifying that the doctoral degree was successfully completed within the eligibility period
  • a report from at least one examiner of the dissertation who is not affiliated with the candidate’s institution
  • (optional) extra endorsement letters

All documents must be written in English. Nominations are welcome regardless of whether results that are part of the dissertation have been published at ETAPS.

Nominations should be submitted via EasyChair.

The deadline for nominations is 15 January 2024.

Award Committee

  • Caterina Urban (chair)
  • Nobuko Yoshida (representing ESOP)
  • Reiko Heckel (representing FASE)
  • Andrzej Murawski (representing FoSSaCS)
  • Kim G. Larsen (representing TACAS)
  • Marieke Huisman
  • Kaushik Mallik


All questions about submissions should be emailed to the chair of the award committee, Caterina Urban.

Award Winners


The 2024 ETAPS Doctoral Dissertation Award was won by Yotam Feldman for his 2023 Tel Aviv University dissertation Towards a Theory of Learning Inductive Invariants.

Yotam Feldman’s PhD dissertation is a milestone in invariant-based verification of computer programs. Establishing deep and even surprising connections across very different computer science areas such as formal verification and learning theory, it made impressive and elegant theoretical contributions, opening the door for several future theoretical and practical developments. The thesis was supervised by Sharon Shoham and Mooly Sagiv.

Award Committee

Caterina Urban (chair), Nobuko Yoshida (representing ESOP), Reiko Heckel (representing FASE), Andrzej Murawski (representing FoSSaCS), Kim G. Larsen (representing TACAS), Marieke Huisman, Kaushik Mallik


The 2023 ETAPS Doctoral Dissertation Award was won by Kaushik Mallik for his 2022 Rheinland-Pfälzische Technische Universität Kaiserslautern-Landau dissertation Pushing the Barriers in Controller Synthesis for Cyber-Physical Systems.

Kaushik Malliks’ PhD thesis made impressive theoretical and algorithmic contributions towards advancing controller synthesis for cyber-physical systems. The guiding theme of Kaushik’s work can be seen as taking ideas from software model checking and applying them to the synthesis problem. This required surprisingly elegant and seemingly natural novel theoretical insights. The result are new algorithmic ideas based on abstraction, CEGAR, and assume-guarantee reasoning that not only lead to competitive tools that redefine the state of the art but also present new avenues for the synthesis of stochastic and concurrent systems. Beside the theoretical and practical advancements, Kaushik’s PhD thesis presents the results in a very clear way, providing thorough high-level intuitions and descriptions for the technical development.

Award Committee

Caterina Urban (chair), Nobuko Yoshida (representing ESOP), Mariëlle Stoelinga (representing FASE), Andrew Pitts (representing FoSSaCS), Holger Hermanns (representing TACAS), Marieke Huisman, Ralf Jung


The 2022 ETAPS Doctoral Dissertation Award was won by Sebastian Wolff for his 2021 Technische Universität Braunschweig dissertation Verifying Non-blocking Data Structures with Manual Memory Management.

The committee was very impressed by the results in Dr. Sebastian Wolff’s dissertation, which makes a landmark breakthrough in the verification of concurrent data structures. The committee also really appreciated that his dissertation both contains fresh theoretical insights and goes all the way to a tool that can verify practical data structures as well as to extensive and reproducible results.

Award Committee

Caterina Urban (chair), Nobuko Yoshida (representing ESOP), Mariëlle Stoelinga (representing FASE), Andrew Pitts (representing FoSSaCS), Holger Hermanns (representing TACAS), Marieke Huisman, Ralf Jung


The 2021 ETAPS Doctoral Dissertation Award was won by Ralf Jung for his 2020 Saarland University dissertation Understanding and Evolving the Rust Programming Language.

The committee found that Dr. Ralf Jung’s dissertation is very well-written and makes several highly original contributions in the area of programming language semantics and verification. The committee was also particularly impressed by the dissertation for its technical depth, the quality and quantity of the associated published work, as well as its relevance and impact both in academia and industry.

Award Committee

Caterina Urban (chair), Luís Caires (representing ESOP), Andrzej Wasowski (representing FASE), Andrew Pitts (representing FoSSaCS), Dirk Beyer (representing TACAS), Marieke Huisman, Oded Padon


The 2020 ETAPS Doctoral Dissertation Award was won by Oded Padon for his 2019 Tel Aviv University dissertation Deductive Verification of Distributed Protocols in First-Order Logic.

Dr. Padon’s dissertation received the best marks among several truly excellent submissions. The committee found that his dissertation is extremely well-written and makes original, surprising, and practically useful contributions to the automated verification of distributed systems, which is a difficult and very relevant topic today. The committee was also extremely impressed by the quality and quantity of the published work associated with the dissertation as well as the practical integration of the results into tools widely used both in academia and industry.

Award Committee

Caterina Urban (chair), Amal Ahmed (representing ESOP), Dirk Beyer (representing TACAS), Andrew Pitts (representing FoSSaCS), Perdita Stevens (representing FASE), Marieke Huisman