Marconi Society Names Three 2020 Paul Baran Young Scholars

Innovative researchers create breakthroughs to scale next-generation wireless and quantum networks

Cleveland, OH, August 4, 2020 – The Marconi Society today recognized three outstanding young researchers who are harnessing the power of next generation wireless and quantum networks  to improve the lives of consumers everywhere. The Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award recognizes the world’s most innovative young engineers who are creating tomorrow’s information and communications technology in service of a digitally inclusive world.

“The power of connectivity, as well as the need to bring the opportunity of the network to everyone, has never been more apparent than it is today,” said Vint Cerf, Chair of the Marconi Society.  “Our Young Scholars are the braintrust that will put the speed, security and applications of next generation networks into the hands of billions.”

Dr. Yasaman Ghasempour

Dr. Yasaman Ghasempour of Rice University is recognized for her innovations to bring high-speed terahertz networks to consumers by efficiently connecting devices to these networks.  Ghasempour’s contributions will make it possible for people to easily and economically use new ultra high-speed wireless networks by coordinating the connections from devices, such as computers, mobile phones and autonomous vehicles, to the network and efficiently maintaining these connections in mobile environments.

The real-time, high-speed connections that Ghasempour’s innovations enable will be used for applications such as improving the safety of autonomous vehicles or locating people in need of evacuation during fires or other emergencies.  “With my technology, we can create a next generation Internet of Things (IoT) by interweaving many more devices — thousands of times more than are connected to today’s wireless web — and providing them with faster streams of data,” says Ghasempour.

Vikram Iyer

Vikram Iyer is a PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Washington, recognized for his creativity in developing bio-inspired and bio-integrative wireless sensor systems.  Iyer’s contributions enable traditionally stationary Internet of Things (IoT) devices to move, putting a new and scalable category of data collectors into the world to help us understand our environment at scale and with a fine degree of detail.

Iyer developed a wireless sensing platform light enough to be deployed on bumblebees. “We could use this platform to study micro-climates on large farms, to answer questions about insects’ behavior or to collect air quality data at a highly granular level so that we can understand the correlation between environment and demographics,” said Iyer.

Piotr Roztocki

Piotr Roztocki Marconi Young ScholarPiotr Roztocki, a PhD candidate at Canada’s Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), is honored for his ground-breaking work in developing scalable quantum resources that can be used within existing telecommunications networks.  Roztocki’s contributions take quantum photonics, which can offer major advances in next-generation information security, from the lab to global telecommunications networks.

These innovations may be key in ensuring that critical security infrastructures for banking, online transactions, and the like will continue to be safe, even as today’s public key cryptography approaches may become vulnerable to attacks from increasingly-mature quantum computing capabilities.  “While quantum mechanics gives rise to this security problem, we can also leverage its unique physics to help realize future-proof security,” says Roztocki.

Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar candidates are nominated by their academic advisors. Winners are selected by an international panel of engineers from leading universities and companies.

About the Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award

The Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award honors the world’s most innovative young engineers in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).  Presented to researchers who are 27 years old or younger to commemorate Guglielmo Marconi’s age when he made his first successful wireless transmission, this award recognizes researchers who have shown extraordinary technical acumen, creativity and promise for using ICT in service of digital inclusion.

About the Marconi Society

The Marconi Society envisions a world in which all people can create opportunity through the benefits of connectivity.  The foundation celebrates, inspires and connects individuals building tomorrow’s technologies in service of a digitally inclusive world. 


Paula Reinman