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NYU’s George MacCartney, Jr. Honored With Marconi Society Young Scholar Award

By Paula Reinman

Developing “foundational knowledge’ to change the future of wireless communications

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, September 14, 2016

Marconi Young Scholar George MacCartney, Jr.

George MacCartney, Jr.

The Marconi Society, dedicated to furthering scientific achievements in communications and the internet, will honor George MacCartney, Jr., a Ph.D. candidate at New York University (NYU), with the 2016 Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award. The 27-year-old American researcher is being honored for his outstanding academic achievements and his work in millimeter wave wireless communications.

“George has developed foundational knowledge that has truly changed the future of wireless communications,” says NYU WIRELESS Professor Theodore Rappaport, MacCartney’s advisor. “Using novel measurement equipment that he built from scratch, he proved to the world that millimeter wave wireless communications could work well in urban non-line-of-sight conditions at frequencies above 70 GHz — something that was not believed to be true before he did it. He literally has influenced the world’s standard bodies with his work.”

The FCC’s recent vote approving millimeter wave communications above 70 GHZ is based partly on this work, according to Dr. Rappaport.

MacCartney has always been fascinated with cell phones and their potential to help people all over the world communicate. He earned a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering at Villanova University, then left graduate school to work at Lockheed Martin. But he missed his academic life, and sought out the opportunity to work with Prof. Rappaport, who had just joined NYU, with the desire to conduct research for the next generation of wireless (5G).

From the start, MacCartney’s approach was hands-on. For his Ph.D. project he developed one of the world’s first channel sounders with 1 GHz of RF bandwidth at a carrier frequency above 70 GHz. His channel sounder design and millimeter wave measurements influenced NYU WIRELESS industrial affiliate sponsors, such as National Instruments, to develop their own millimeter wave channel sounders with similar features. MacCartney went on to publish seminal work on radio propagation and channel modeling at millimeter wave frequencies – the part of the radio spectrum that will allow radio channel bandwidths to exceed hundreds of megahertz for the first time ever in the mobile industry. He demonstrated that these frequencies could work at vastly faster data rates than ever before imagined, then collaborated with industry representatives inside the 3GPP standards body to include his models in the recent release of the world’s first mobile channel model above 6 GHz in 3GPP. His work has resulted in 25 major papers in top peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

As MacCartney continues his work on millimeter wave wireless communications, other goals loom. He hopes to continue to teach and remain in academia, in part because of the great teaching he has experienced, but also aspires to use his graduate school training and tutelage from Dr. Rappaport to start his own company in the wireless space.

Of being selected as a Young Scholar, he says, “It’s been a humbling experience to be selected among my peers—to even be considered among them. There are so many great young scientists in this group and society and I will continually strive to prove that I deserve to be among them.”

Young Scholar candidates are nominated by their academic advisors. Winners are selected by an international panel comprised of engineers from leading universities and companies, and receive a $4000 prize plus expenses to attend the annual awards event. Three other Young Scholars were selected this year and will receive their awards at the same event where Brad Parkinson, considered the “father of GPS,” will be honored with the $100,000 Marconi Prize.

About the Marconi Society

Established in 1974 by the daughter of Guglielmo Marconi, the Nobel Laureate who invented radio, the Marconi Society promotes awareness of key technology and policy issues in telecommunications and the Internet, and recognizes significant individual achievements through the Marconi Prize and Young Scholar Awards. More information may be found at www.marconisociety.orgSubscribe. Follow: Twitter and Facebook