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IEEE Communications Society Industrial Innovation Award Winner Biographies

Thierry E. Klein (2016)

Thierry E. Klein

"For his vision and leadership in energy efficient and sustainable communications and networking technologies."

Thierry E. Klein is currently the Head of the Innovation Management Program for Vertical Industries within the Nokia Innovation Steering organization at Nokia. Prior to his current role, Thierry was the Program Leader for the Network Energy Research Program at Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent with the mission to conduct research towards the design, development and use of sustainable future communications and data networks. He also served as the Chairman of the Technical Committee of GreenTouch, a global consortium dedicated to improve energy efficiency in networks by a factor 1000x compared to 2010 levels. Since 2014, he is also a member of the Momentum for Change Advisory Panel of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC). He currently also serves as the Co-Chair of the IEEE Green ICT Initiative.

He joined Bell Labs Research in Murray Hill, New Jersey as a Member of Technical Staff in 2001 conducting fundamental and applied research on next-generation wireless and wireline networks, network architectures, algorithms and protocols, network management, optimization and control. From 2006 to 2010 he served as the Founder and CTO of an internal start-up focused on wireless communications for emergency response and disaster recovery situations within Alcatel-Lucent Ventures.

He earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Université de Nantes and the Ecole Centrale de Nantes in Nantes, France.  Thierry received a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He is an author on over 35 peer-reviewed conference and journal publications and an inventor on 36 patent applications. He is the recipient of a Bell Labs’s President Award and two Bell Labs Teamwork Awards. In 2010, he was voted “Technologist of the Year” at the Total Telecom World Vendor Awards.


Chih-Lin I (2015)

Chih-Lin I

"For leadership and innovation in next-generation cellular wireless networks."





Wen Tong (2014)

Rajiv Laroia

"For leadership in and contributions to 3G and 4G wireless communications systems."

Dr. Wen Tong is the Huawei Fellow, Head of Huawei Wireless Research and Executive Vice President of Huawei Canada R&D Center.

Prior to joining Huawei in March 2009, Dr. Wen Tong was the Nortel Fellow and global Head of the Network Technology Labs at Nortel. He received the M.Sc and Ph.D degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1986 and 1993 and joined the Wireless Technology Labs at Bell Northern Research in 1995. He has pioneered fundamental technologies in wireless with 240 granted US patents and more than 300 patents filings.

Dr. Tong has conducted the advanced research work spanning from 1G to 4G wireless at Nortel. From 1997 to 1999, he was the industry leader to create the 3G/4G foundational technologies and the framework for 3G/4G standards. From 1998 to 2006, he had been a driving force in developing foundational technologies for all the 4G wireless networks–OFDM-MIMO. He has been a key contributor to 3GPP (UMTS and LTE), 3GPP2, and IEEE802.16e (WiMAX) standards. Dr. Tong had been the director of Wireless Technology Labs from 2005 to 2007. Since 2007, Dr. Tong was the head of Network Technology Labs, responsible for Nortel’s global strategic technologies research and development in wireless RAN, advanced RF and antenna technologies, high performance IP routing, and enterprise networking.

In 2007, Dr. Tong was inducted as Nortel Fellow. Dr. Tong was Nortel’s Most Prolific Inventor.

Since 2010, Dr. Tong is the vice president of Huawei wireless research. He is accountable for advanced algorithms development, network planning and performance optimizations, 3GPP/IEEE/IETF standards, leading the largest wireless research organization in the industry.

Since 2011, Dr. Tong is appointed the Head of Communications Technologies Labs of Huawei, he spearhead to lead Huawei’s 5G wireless research and development.

In 2011, Dr. Tong was elected as Huawei Fellow. In 2014 Dr. Tong was elected as IEEE Fellow.

Dr. Tong serves as Board of Director of WiFi Alliance and Board of Director of Green Touch Consortium.


Rajiv Laroia (2013)

Rajiv Laroia

"For Innovations to Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access Cellular Wireless Data Communication Systems."

Rajiv Laroia is the cofounder and CTO of Tinz Optics, a company developing technology that miniaturizes lenses/cameras while preserving the quality. From September 2012 to March 2013 he was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Charles River Ventures. From February 2011 to September 2012 he was Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Sonus Networks. Prior to that he was Senior Vice President of Technology at Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM). In February 2000 he founded Flarion Technologies and was the CTO until it was acquired by Qualcomm for $805 million in January of 2006. Flarion was the first to developed OFDMA based all-IP mobile broadband technology which is now the basis of LTE. Before launching Flarion, Rajiv had been with Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories since 1992 when he joined the prestigious Mathematical Sciences Research Center. In 1997, he became head of Bell Labs' Digital Communications Research Department in the Wireless Research Center.

Rajiv has a very broad background that spans wireless communication networks, data transmission, information theory, VLSI design and architecture, analog mixed-signal and RF circuit design, high-speed AD/DA data converters, speech image & video processing/compression and optics.

Rajiv received his Ph.D. and Master's degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, all in electrical engineering. His thesis also contributed to V.34, the ITU voice-band modem international standard. He has coauthored the book "OFDMA Mobile Broadband Communications: A Systems Approach" with Dr. Junyi Li and Dr. Xinzhou Wu. He has over 230 issued patents and more than 200 pending. Rajiv has won numerous industry awards. He was inducted to the Innovations Hall of Fame, University of Maryland, College Park, in 2006. In 2007 he received the IIT Delhi Distinguished Alumni Award and in 2013 the Distingished Alumni Award from the University of Maryland, EE Department. Rajiv is a Fellow of theIEEE.


Stephen Alexander (2012)

Stephen Alexander

"For innovative industry contributions to optical communications technologies, systems and architectures."

Steve Alexander is currently Ciena’s Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President, Products and Technology.  He has held a number of positions since joining the Company in 1994, including General Manager of Ciena's Transport & Switching and Data Networking business units, Vice President of Transport Products and Director of Lightwave Systems.  From 1982 until joining Ciena, he was employed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he last held the position of Assistant Leader of the Optical Communications Technology Group.  He is currently an Associate Editor for the IEEE/OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking. He has served as a member of the Federal Communications Commission Technological Advisory Council, has been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Lightwave Technology and was a General Chair of the conference on Optical Fiber Communication (OFC) in 1997. Mr. Alexander received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He has been granted 17 patents and has authored a text on Optical Communication Receiver Design as well as numerous conference and journal articles.


Lawrence Bernstein (2011)

"For innovations in software engineering and project management in support of supplying telephone service to the public."

Lawrence Bernstein

Lawrence “Larry” Bernstein received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1961 and his Masters of Electrical Engineering from New York University in 1963.

He is a software engineer introducing Software Project Management to Bell Labs in 1979/80.  He is a Professor of Software Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology and Stevens Institute of Technology, Software Engineering.  Larry was a distinguish speaker for the IEEE Computer Society.  He is a speaker on the design of reliable software for the IEEE Reliability Society. 

Larry had a 35-year distinguished career at Bell Laboratories, managing large software projects.  At one point he managed the software and systems work of more than 2000 professionals.  At Bell Labs he became a Chief Technical Officer of the Operations Systems Business Unit and an Executive Director.  In parallel with these Bell Labs positions he was the Operations Systems Vice President of AT&T Network Systems from 1992-1996.  Larry is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).  He is a member of the honor societies Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu.  He was awarded the coveted Bell South “Eagle” for seminal contributions to their automatic telecommunications operations support systems.  Mr. Bernstein holds eight patents.

Mr. Bernstein joined Bell Laboratories in 1961.  He was involved in computer software throughout his career that included the design of algorithms for parallel processing and software manufacturing.  He was named a Director in 1978. He successfully built, and deployed  a distributed software system that automated the 6 million paper records telephone companies used to keep track of telephone lines to people’s homes. This is the innovation cited for the IEEE Communications Society Industrial Innovation Award.  Through his leadership, new database algorithms were discovered implemented and patented.  He led the development and deployment of a software-controlled, computer-automated order-processing system that trebled productivity, and saved telephone companies $1 billion annually.


David Belanger (2009)

"For pioneering, innovating, and leading the interdisciplinary execution of information systems that transform massive online data streams into actionable information for service businesses"

David Belanger is currently the AT&T Labs Chief Scientist, and  Vice President of Information,  Software and Systems Research at AT&T Shannon Labs in Florham Park, NJ.  As Chief Scientist, he is responsible to the AT&T Labs President for: identifying pre-product technology important to the future of AT&T, evaluating technology, building alignment within AT&T on technology directions, and serving as AT&T liaison to external technical communities, specifically universities, government agencies and industrial laboratories.  The Information, Software, and  Systems Research Lab conducts research in:  large scale and real time information mining related to operations of a (communications) service business; interactive, information visualization; scaleable, dependable software systems; and new, information based, communications services.  It is also responsible for delivery and operations of very large scale (e.g. >400TB) near real time service management capabilities to AT&T and its customers, as well as a wide variety of analytic and information mining services.

Dave joined Bell Telephone Laboratories (later AT&T Bell Labs then AT&T Labs) in 1979 working in the area of database technology for economic analysis.  This was followed by research on large scale data and information systems, and program generation for data manipulation systems.  He has subsequently conducted research and led research efforts in software systems and engineering, and information mining and visualization.  In 1996, Dave created the AT&T InfoLab which has become a leader in research in use of data, at scale, and in new technology to support those activities.

Prior to joining AT&T, Dave was on the Mathematics and Computer Science Faculty at the University of South Alabama, a consultant for a variety of organizations, and co-founder/VP of Gulf Coast Data Systems (a computing services company).  He received his B. S. from Union College (NY) in Mathematics, and an M. S. and Ph.D., also in Mathematics, from Case Western Reserve University.

In 1998, Dave was awarded the AT&T Science and Technology Medal for his contributions in very large scale information mining technology.  In 2006, he was named an AT&T Fellow for “lifetime contributions in software, software tools, and information mining”.  He is a Distinguished Engineer in ACM, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a member of the TechAmerica Board of Directors.