Marconi Society Honors Wenhan Dai with The 2017 Marconi Society Young Scholar Award

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D. candidate developed efficient localization and navigation networks exploiting spatiotemporal cooperation

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, September 12, 2017

Wenhan Dai 2017 Marconi Young ScholarThe Marconi Society, dedicated to furthering scientific achievements in communications and the Internet, will honor Wenhan Dai, a Ph.D. candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a 2017 Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award for his work on network localization and navigation (NLN). The 27-year-old researcher will receive the award at a ceremony in Summit, NJ on October 3, 2017.

Dai’s research focuses on network localization and navigation (NLN), which enables services that touch the lives of many people daily through applications ranging from conveniences like finding an open restaurant nearby to mission-critical search and rescue operations. By solving a challenging problem in this area – how to prioritize different nodes and measurement links for maximum resource efficiency – Dai’s innovations significantly improved localization and navigation performance, doubling the network lifetime.

“In fact, Wenhan has gone beyond theory by implementing his solution in a real system, and he has demonstrated that node prioritization can significantly improve the efficiency of a localization network,” says Dr. Santiago Mazuelas of Qualcomm Technologies.

Dai has already transitioned his work on efficient NLN into a wideband radio testbed for technology-readiness, and has filed two patents stemming from his work.

“Wenhan Dai is a young researcher who has made exceptional contributions to the field of communication and localization by implementing localization systems that exploit joint spatial and temporal cooperative techniques,” says MIT Professor Moe Win, Dai’s advisor. “His entrepreneurial character is evident in his consistent efforts to translate theoretical research into implementable solutions.”

This effort is evident as Dai continues to work on optimizing and miniaturizing his innovative NLN system. The current generation achieves better performance than the commercially available systems, at a cost of less than $50. Dr. Mazuelas says, “My experience in the localization industry leads me to believe that Wenhan’s innovations are ideal for a start-up company, given its readiness for technology transfer as well as the enormous market size of the localization industry.”

Dai has nearly authored a dozen papers in premier journals and presented twenty papers in flagship conferences. The team he led won the top prize in the IEEE Communications Society’s Student Competition, which recognized the group as one that demonstrates “the capacity to improve the lives of people, through application of communication technology and the development of projects that meet the human needs of people.”

“I am honored to receive the Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award and to join the Marconi Society,” Dai says. “This award provides me with opportunities to communicate with Marconi Fellows and other Young Scholars. I will also take the momentum to work hard and prove myself worthy of the Young Scholar title.”

 A graduate of Tsinghua University, the top-ranked engineering university in China, Dai has dual Bachelors’ degrees in mathematics and in electronic engineering, and received first-class fellowships over three consecutive years. Last year, he was the recipient of the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Student Abroad.

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 also selected this year.

Dai will receive his award at the same event where former Bell Labs chief Arun Netravali, regarded as the “father of video,” 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.org. Subscribe. Follow: Twitter and Facebook

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Hatti Hamlin