Newly named Mojgan A. Amini Operational Excellence Award honors legacy of Carmel Valley resident

Mojgan Amini
(Courtesy of Mojgan Amini)

Carmel Valley resident Mojgan Amini was one of about 9,000 technologists who attended the UCTech Conference at UC San Diego from Aug. 15-17.

The conference is held each year at different University of California campuses “to celebrate and promote innovation and collaboration within the technologist community,” according to the event’s website. This year, there was a new award category: the Mojgan A. Amini Operational Excellence Award.

According to the UC IT Blog, the award recognizes an individual or team that transformed a business process (via reliability, speed, scale, efficiency and/or effectiveness), whether through business process design, automation, customer service, digital transformation or another initiative.

Amini, who has lived in Carmel Valley for 15 years, said the recognition was meaningful “especially for the youth or girls who may be inspired to pursue the tech field.” She serves as the director of process management and continuous improvement at UC San Diego’s IT services

“This year the organizers decided we’re going to have a couple more award categories going forward, in addition to the one innovation award,” she added. “We all knew about that, none of them were named, then I got a call a couple days before the conference and I was told that the award that was called ‘operational excellence’ would be named after me. I was kind of stunned and really honored and a little speechless and just excited. Lots of emotions going through because this is going to live on.”

This theme of the 2022 conference was “40 Years of Connections,” a nod to its inaugural year in 1982. Amini said that even though she learned before the conference that the new award would bear her name, she had to keep it a secret until the official announcement was made at the conference.

“It was really neat to see it in action,” Amini said. “It was a surreal feeling that this was actually happening,”

Other awards from the conference include the Larry L. Sautter Award for Innovation in Information Technology, which recognizes a team for implementing an innovative technology project that benefits the UC community; and the IT Security Award, which recognizes an individual or team that advanced IT security at UC through ways such as awareness, training and policy.

“The draw for me to come to UC San Diego was the mission of a university is always very appealing, we’re making a difference in teaching and learning,” Amini said. “There’s a lot of research and innovation.”