Theodore S. Rappaport named to Wireless Hall of Fame

Theodore S. Rappaport, a New York University professor and founding director of the research center NYU WIRELESS will be inducted into the Wireless History Foundation (WHF) Wireless Hall of Fame at the Foundation’s Awards Dinner in Los Angeles on October 23rd, 2019. Rappaport  also recently became the recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)  2020 Eric E. Sumner Award, named in honor of the late IEEE President Eric E. Sumner, who was instrumental in developing early switching systems. He will receive the Sumner medal at the 2019 IEEE Global Communications Conference in Hawaii in early December.

Both the IEEE and Wireless History Foundation are recognizing Rappaport — who also founded academic wireless research centers at the University of Texas and Virginia Tech — as one of the preeminent thought leaders in the wireless field and for groundbreaking academic research and entrepreneurship that have blazed a path for modern wireless communication systems.

Others to be inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame in October are Android founders Rich Miner, Andy Rubin, Nick Sears and Chris White; and pioneer of two-way voice systems and paging Lawrence D. Garvey (posthumously).

Rappaport’s research in radio wave propagation, wireless communication system design, and broadband wireless communications circuits and systems at millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies (30 to 300 gigahertz) paved the way for the commercialization of fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology. As 5G rolls out, it will bring broadband speeds to wireless communication, thereby potentially revolutionizing medicine, enabling autonomous vehicles, and inexpensively connecting rural communities to the digital world.

Before Rappaport published his seminal 2013 paper, “Millimeter Wave Mobile Communications for 5G Cellular: It Will Work,” in an IEEE journal, few experts acknowledged the possibilities of tapping that underutilized spectrum. Now, NYU WIRELESS, which Rappaport launched upon arriving at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in 2012, is moving well beyond 5G research.

Rappaport’s latest comprehensive overview, “Wireless Communications and Applications above 100 GHz: Opportunities and Challenges for 6G and Beyond,” highlights the technical challenges and opportunities for the coming decades, particularly in the terahertz (THz) electromagnetic spectra. Along with other NYU WIRELESS researchers, he is exploring THz for ultra-fast, high-capacity data transmission and revolutionary applications for communications, medical imaging, precise position location, semiconductor testing, and new kinds of spectroscopy.

“Ted Rappaport has been a linchpin in making NYU a world leader in the field of wireless communications, as well as an educator who has inspired and nurtured the next generation of innovators in the field,” said NYU Tandon Dean Jelena Kovačević. “We congratulate him on these latest well-deserved honors from IEEE  and the Wireless History Foundation and are eager to watch as he helps usher in the new era of 5G and beyond.”

Rappaport is the David Lee/Ernst Weber Professor of Electrical Engineering at NYU Tandon, a professor of computer science at NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and a professor of radiology at the NYU School of Medicine. He is serving his third term on the Technological Advisory Council of the Federal Communications Commission and was recently elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Among his other honors are the 1990 Marconi Young Scientist Award, 1999 IEEE Communications Society Stephen O. Rice Prize, 2002 Fredrick E. Terman Outstanding Electrical Engineering Faculty Award from the American Society for Engineering Education, 2005 IEEE Vehicular Technology Society Stuart F. Meyer Award, 2011 IET Sir Monty Finniston Medal for achievement in engineering and technology, 2015 IEEE Donald G. Fink Paper Prize Award, 2017 IEEE VTS Neal Shepherd Memorial Best Propagation Paper Award, and 2018 Armstrong Medal from the Radio Club of America. He has more than 100 U.S. or international patents issued or pending and has authored, co-authored, and co-edited 18 books, including the world’s best-selling books on wireless communications, millimeter wave communications, and smart antennas.