Marconi Society Honors Shu Sun with The 2017 Paul Baran Young Scholar Award

NYU PhD student plays pivotal role in convincing regulators and industry that 5G millimeter wave communications are viable

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, September 12, 2017

2017 Young Scholar Shu SunThe Marconi Society, dedicated to furthering scientific achievements in communications and the Internet, will honor Chinese researcher and NYU PhD candidate Shu Sun with the 2017 Paul Baran Young Scholar Award. The 27-year-old researcher will receive the award at an awards ceremony in Summit, NJ on October 3, 2017.

Sun’s research focuses on making the case for the viability of 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) communications as the next generation of high capacity wireless communications that holds the promise of providing broadband access to people around the world, regardless of location. She was the lead student author of the 2013 seminal paper in the field, based on an analysis of NYU’s massive data sets, called “Millimeter Wave Mobile Communications for 5G Cellular: It Will Work.”

Sun has also led the 3GPP global standards body to adopt her close-in free space path loss model as an optional model and developed the world’s first open source channel modeling software, NYUSIM, which accurately recreates difficult-to-take field measurements on a computer and is relied upon by over 8,000 engineers worldwide to understand radio propagation for 5G mmWave frequencies.

“The ability to influence and change the minds of others who are ‘set in their ways’ or bound to legacy thinking is the hallmark of an entrepreneur. Shu Sun has demonstrated her ability to change minds and lead the world to completely new approaches that were once thought impossible or untenable,” said Theodore Rappaport, NYU WIRELESS Founding Director and David Lee / Ernst Weber Professor at NYU, as well as Sun’s PhD advisor and nominator for the award. “Were it not for her intellect and tenacity to attend conferences, work with industry leaders, and continually urge consideration for what she knew and that others had not yet come to accept, we probably would not now be talking about 5G millimeter wave wireless communications.”

An accomplished researcher with over 35 major publications and more than 4000 Google scholar citations to her credit, Sun is the co-author of three prize-winning papers that have helped the world understand the propagation characteristics of mmWave channels and the potential of directional beam antennas to improve the capacity of mmWave communications. Dr. Robert W. Heath Jr., Cullen Trust Endowed Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and one of Sun’s co-authors, states, “Shu Sun’s publication record is among the best I have seen from a PhD student in wireless communications. She has all the ingredients of a Paul Baran Young Scholar: excellence in research and demonstrated leadership potential.”

Sun’s work addresses how mmWave signals propagate in various scenarios such as urban, rural and indoor scenarios and how to ensure that these signals are reliably and consistently available for high bandwidth applications in any environment. “This is important because it underpins the near future of wireless and greatly impacts how we communicate with each other and with things around us, such as vehicles and electronics,” says Sun. “The work that my teammates and I are doing will help alleviate the spectrum crunch problem in current microwave bands and will allow for much higher data rates and channel capacity for 5G wireless.”

This work and the confidence it has instilled that 5G will be the wave of the wireless future has helped to drive significant investment in the industry by communications providers, equipment manufactures and device makers.

“Receiving the Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award is a huge honor for me,” said Sun. “It encourages me and inspires me to continue working hard to obtain further achievements in the spirit of my role models, Dr. Marie Curie and Dr. Nieng Yan, a microbiologist at Princeton University.”

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.

Sun will receive her award at the same event where former Bell Labs chief Arun Netravali, regarded as the “father of digital 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