Marconi Fellows Receive an Unprecedented Number of Prestigious Honors

“Selecting a Marconi Fellow is quite difficult…because we look for someone with great ingenuity, great intelligence and great success in science. But at the same time, we’re also looking for someone who has made a tangible difference to the community and to society at large.”

— Sir Eric Ash, 1984 Marconi Fellow

The Marconi Prize is a pinnacle achievement in communications and engineering. For many Fellows, though, the Prize is a jumping-off point for other prestigious awards.

Because the Marconi Prize recognizes not only scientific achievement – it salutes creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit used to benefit people around the world – Marconi Fellows are prime candidates for some of the industry’s highest honors.

We are proud to share that our Fellows, along with our Lifetime Achievement Award winners and Board members, have received an unprecedented number of those awards over the past six months, each for achievements that have changed the world and motivated generations of upcoming scientists.

Dr. Vinton CerfVinton Cerf, 1998 Marconi Fellow recognized for the technical achievements and ambassadorial leadership which have been such major factors in the creation and evolution of the Internet, and Dr. Robert Kahn, 1994 Marconi Fellow recognized for his pioneering work and sustaining leadership in the development of ARPNET and its successor, the Internet, will receive the 2018 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science from the Franklin Institute for enabling the Internet by developing TCP/IP, the set of methods that allows effective communication between millions of computer networks.

Robert KahnAccording to Dr. Kahn, “It is indeed an honor for us to be included among the many incredible individuals that have been honored by the Franklin Institute over the years. The Internet was (and still is) a grand collaboration of so many folks around the world that helped (or are helping) to make it a reality.”

“It’s an unexpected honor to join the lists of previous honorees,” agrees Dr. Cerf. “The award reminds me that major accomplishments are truly collaborations of the like-minded and Internet is surely exactly that.”

Dr. Andrea Goldsmith, member of the Marconi Society Board of Directors, received the UC Berkeley Distinguished EECS Alumni Award and was named the 2018-2019 Athena Lecturer by the ACM for contributions to the theory and practice of adaptive wireless communications, and for the successful transfer of research to commercial technology.


Dr. Thomas Kailath, 2017 Marconi Lifetime Achievement recipient recognized for his transformative contributions to information and system science and his sustained mentoring and development of new generations of scientists, was elected as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society “for contributions to information theory and related areas, and for applications.”

“I am particularly appreciative of this honor because is based largely on individual work that I did in the 1960s using at the time fairly new results in martingale theory and Hilbert spaces developed mostly by Japanese, French and Russian mathematicians,” said Kailath. “I applied them to get some nice results in signal detection theory (one of which was recognized by an Information Theory Society Golden Jubilee paper award) and estimation theory. Later, with my students, I developed some novel results (Displacement Structure Theory) on fast algorithms in linear algebra, which has led to a large body of work by many others over the years. It was recognized by election as a Fellow of SIAM (Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics).”

Brad Parkinson

Dr. Bradford Parkinson, 2016 Marconi Fellow recognized for technical leadership in the design and development of the Global Positioning System, will receive the IEEE Medal of Honor “for fundamental contributions to and leadership in developing the design and driving the early applications of the Global Positioning System.”



Dr. Arogyaswami PaulrajArogyaswami Paulraj, 2014 Marconi Fellow recognized for his pioneering contributions to developing the theory and applications of MIMO antennas, is inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for inventing MIMO technology.



David N. PayneSir David N. Payne, 2008 Marconi Fellow recognized as a research leader in photonics, was awarded a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for “the many decades of inspired innovation by the University’s Optoelectronics Research Centre, a vibrant community of over 200 staff and postgraduate students working on cutting-edge research in photonics – the science and technology of light – to provide solutions for real-life problems.”

“Despite 50 years of research, photonics today is still in its infancy,” Sir David says.  “Much like the early days of electronic computing, photonics is not yet integrated, and data to our homes is still serviced largely along copper wire. The next big challenge in photonics is how we make everything smaller, more complex, more functional, and cheaper.”

Dr. Ronald L. RivestRonald L. Rivest, 2007 Marconi Fellow recognized for his pioneering work in the field of cryptography, computer and network security, is inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for inventing RSA cryptography and received the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award for “fundamental contributions to modern cryptology, an area of a tremendous impact on our everyday life.”


Dr. Henry Samueli, 2012 Marconi Fellow recognized for his pioneering advances in the development and commercialization of analog and mixed signal circuits for modern communication systems – in particular the cable modem – was elected to both the National Academy of Inventors for his foundational work that led to the explosive growth of the consumer broadband industry and to the US News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame for his leadership in technology and STEM education.


Dr. Gottfried UngerboeckGottfried Ungerboeck1996 Marconi Fellow recognized for inventing trellis coded modulation which led to significant increases in bandwidth over the existing phone network, will receive IEEE Information Theory Society’s Claude Shannon Award “for consistent and profound contributions to the field of information theory.”

“I am very pleased and feel deeply honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Ungerboeck. “My contributions would not have been possible without the path-breaking achievements of many of my professional colleagues. I appreciate still being remembered years after my retirement.”

Dr. Andrew J. ViterbiAndrew J. Viterbi, 1990 Marconi Fellow recognized for his achievements in the field of digital communications in many adverse environments, particularly through his widely used algorithm, was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his groundbreaking Viterbi Algorithm, which changed the face of mobile communication and is used today in all standards of digital cellular communication.


Martin CooperMartin Cooper, 2013 Marconi Fellow recognized for being a wireless visionary who reshaped the concept of mobile communication, will receive the Wireless Pioneer Award at the Brooklyn 5G Summit, for contributions to technology in the wireless communications industry for over 60 years as an inventor, entrepreneur and executive. 

We look forward to many future honors to come for our distinguished award winners and board.