2024 NCS Hall of Fame Honorees Announced

12 June 2024

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The National Center for Simulation (NCS) has announced its 2024 inductees for the Modeling & Simulation (MS&T) Hall of Fame: Carolina Cruz-Neira, Ph.D., the late Navy Capt. Daniel Holsenbeck, Ph.D., and Daryl Holt.

These individuals will be inducted into the NCS Modeling & Simulation Hall of Fame at a ceremony in the Hall of Fame’s prominent display at the Orange County Convention Center’s (OCCC) South Concourse on 23 October.

Cruz-Neira is a professor at the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) College of Engineering and Computer Science. Her NCS Hall of Fame inclusion recognizes her pioneering work grounded in modeling and simulation, which has a strong emphasis on visual and interactive tools, as well as hardware and software technologies. Cruz-Neira’s work has been instrumental in facilitating data analysis, decision-making, design reviews, and training and education.

She has earned global acclaim in the MS&T community for creating the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment virtual reality system, and her efforts have become standard tools recognized by professionals in government, industry, and academia. Cruz-Neira has also made significant contributions to the fields of virtual reality, interactive visualization, high-performance computing, and digital twins.

Holsenback served in the Navy on active duty and in reserve status for over 30 years and retired as a captain. He joined UCF in 1985 and eventually became vice president of university relations and director of government relations before retiring in December 2019. During his tenure, Holsenback played a significant role in securing support for several facility-related projects that were critical in protecting and further developing Central Florida’s MS&T community.

During his 34 years at UCF, he was a key leader who secured community support and state funding to address infrastructure threats to the military’s MS&T presence in the Orlando area and establishing conditions for future growth. Holsenback also assembled groups throughout the region (with unrelated interests) to support initiatives such as perimeter security upgrades and the facilities that eventually became the Partnership Complex. These efforts solidified the collaborative spirit that is a defining trait of the “Team Orlando” ecosystem and has helped make Central Florida the MS&T epicenter.

Holt is vice president and group chief operating officer at Electronic Arts (EA) in Orlando. He has led the development of award-winning sports simulations for 20 years and has become a widely respected leader in Central Florida’s technology industry. As an EA senior vice president, he is responsible for a popular collection of games that have influenced pop culture and gaming culture, such as the “Madden NFL” franchise, “EA Sports GPA Tour,” the “EA Sports College Football” game series, as well as intellectual property in the development of high-definition, mobile and emerging platforms.

Adhering to his philosophy of “move forward together,” Holt serves on the Orlando Economic Partnership’s executive board of directors as well as the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, and he chairs the Innovate Orlando board. A variety of business publications have recognized his leadership multiple times over the years, and his contributions to the MS&T industry have helped establish Central Florida as a tech hub with unlimited potential. Holt’s work has set him apart as a local and industry leader, which has allowed EA to cement its legacy in interactive entertainment and inspired the world to play.


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