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Award for Public Service in the Field of Telecommunications Winner Biographies

Michael J. Marcus (2013)

Veena Rawat

"For pioneering spectrum policy initiatives that created modern unlicensed spectrum bands for applications that have changed our world."

Michael Marcus is a native of Boston and received S.B. and Sc.D. degrees in electrical engineering from MIT. Prior to joining the FCC in 1979, he worked at Bell Labs on the theory of telephone switching, served in the U.S. Air Force where he was involved in underground nuclear test detection research, and analyzed electronic warfare issues at the Institute for Defense Analyses.

At FCC his work focused on proposing and developing policies for cutting edge radio technologies such as spread spectrum/CDMA and millimeterwaves. Wi-Fi is one outcome of his early leadership. The total amount of spectrum he proposed for unlicensed use and directed the drafting of implementing rules was 8.234 GHz. He also participated in complex spectrum sharing policy formulation involving rulemakings such as ultrawideband and MVDDS.  Awarded a Mike Mansfield Fellowship in 1997, he studied the Japanese language and spent at year at the FCC’s Japanese counterpart.        

He retired from FCC in March 2004 after servicing a senior technical advisor to the Spectrum Policy Task Force and codirecting the preparation of the FCC’s cognitive radio rulemaking.  Immediately after retirement he lived in Paris France for 3 years, consulting for US and European clients. In 2006 he was appointed Special Advisor to Mrs. Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society & Media.

He is now Director of Marcus Spectrum Solutions LLC, an independent consulting firm based in the Washington DC area and focusing on wireless technology and policy.  He is also Adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech and the 2011-2013 chair of the IEEE-USA Committee on Communications Policy.  He was recognized as a Fellow of the IEEE “for leadership in the development of spectrum management policies” and also received IEEE-USA’s first Electrotechnology Transfer Award (1994).

 

Veena Rawat (2012)

Veena Rawat

"For outstanding public service through negotiating at international level access to radio frequency spectrum essential for wireless communication services and promoting a generation of youth, in particular women to study science and engineering."

Dr. Veena Rawat joined Research In Motion Limited in 2011 as Vice President and RIM’s Ambassador to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Dr. Rawat is a well-known expert in ITU technical circles and is responsible for representing Research In Motion as an ITU member company at the executive levels.

Dr. Rawat has 34 years of senior management experience with the Federal Government of Canada in managing spectrum engineering and regulatory programs and most recently served as President of the Communication Research Centre of Canada (CRC), a Canadian government agency responsible for conducting applied research radio communications, broadcasting and information technologies.

Dr. Rawat has led Canadian delegations and negotiations at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations, as well as CITEL, a constituent entity of the Organization of American States and with United States.

In 2003, she became the first woman to chair the World Radiocommunication (WRC) Conference of the ITU, where issues impacting billions of investment dollars in the communications industry are addressed. The Secretary-General of the ITU awarded Dr. Rawat a gold medal for her chairmanship. Other major recognitions include Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) Woman of the Year Award; the International Leadership in Government Award from the Wireless Communications Association International; and the Public service award of excellence from the Canadian Government in 2011.

Her efforts and contributions have led to a significant increase in the representation and recognition of women in leadership roles in national and international organizations.

 


Sasi P. Meethal (2011)

"For sustained contributions to low cost communications solutions for the masses and humanitarian needs."

Sasi Meethal

Sasi Pilacheri Meethal is working as Associated Director in Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), an application-oriented R&D center of Government of India in electronics and IT. He has served in various committees including  Executive Committee of International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) (2010 onwards), E-Governance Sectional Committee of Bureau of Indian Standards (2011),  Board of studies in Engineering of University of Kerala (2011), Governing Body and Executive Committee of Kerala State IT Mission, (2009-2010), Review Chair for IT Policy of Government of Kerala (2006) and Committee for formulating IT plan for Kerala for 11th Five year plan (2006).

He is a senior member of IEEE and member of IEEE Communications Society. He held various positions including Chair of Communications society Kerala chapter (2011,2008,2007), Vice Chair of R10 HTC (Humanitarian Technology Challenges) (2011) and Chair of IEEE Kerala section (2010, 2009).

Some of his major contributions to public services in telecommunications include:

  • Architected a wireless connectivity for rehabilitation activities along the 120 kms of coastline of Nagapattinam, India, which was devastated by Tsunami in December 2004. He was also directly involved in the implementation and monitoring of the network.

  • Architected a wireless connectivity in Malappuram district of India, providing blanket coverage for an area of  3500 sq kms, for Akshaya project of Government of Kerala. The main objective of the project is to provide computer literacy to 6.5 million people of the state. Akshaya project was later adapted as a model by Government of India in the CSC (Common Service Centre) scheme for setting up 100,000 such centres.

  • Was the communications expert selected by IEEE HTC (Humanitarian Technology Challenge) for architecting a communications solution for Ko Lipe islands of Thailand. He surveyed the island along with a delegation of National Telecommunications Commission and recommended the optimal connectivity scheme.

  • Designed and implemented a low cost mobile telemedicine system for the rural population of Cherthala,  India using a low cost communication system, by teaming multiple lines of CDMA 2000 1x (WLL) offered by the telecom operator.

  • Architected Kerala State Wide Area Network, for connecting all the Government offices in the state of Kerala, which provided coverage of the whole state with wired and wireless access.

  • Architected “FRIENDS”, the integrated utility payment system for Government of Kerala, which has been adjudged as the best citizen-friendly IT initiative of Kerala so far.

  • Developed a base station which supports both TETRA and WiMAX users. Also developed a terminal, which supports both TETRA and WiMAX features.

  • Instrumental in the formation of Comsoc Kerala chapter, while he was the Secretary of IEEE Kerala section
Played major role in organizing various International and National conferences in the area of Communications.

 


David Falconer (2009)

"For outstanding public service in advancing the theory and practice of wired and wireless data communication and mentoring a generation of communication engineers."

David Falconer (Life Fellow) is Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Systems & Computer Engineering at Carleton University, which he joined in 1980. He received the B.A.Sc. degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Toronto in 1962 and the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T. in 1963 and 1967 respectively.  After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, he was with Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, New Jersey from 1967 to 1980.  During 1976-77 he was a visiting professor at Linköping University in Sweden. He was Founding Director of Carleton’s Broadband Communications and Wireless Systems (BCWS) Centre from 2000 to 2004.

His research career has mainly focused on adaptive signal processing for wired and wireless modems, and currently, next-generation broadband wireless communications systems. He and his over 70 Carleton masters and doctoral graduates have made significant contributions to advanced wireless systems through participation in the Telecommunications Research Institute of Ontario (TRIO), the Canadian Institute for Telecommunications Research ( CITR), the IEEE 802.16 wireless MAN standards group and in the European Union WINNER Project. He was the elected Chair of Working Group 4 of the Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF) in 2004 and 2005.

Dr. Falconer received awards for papers published in IEEE Communications Transactions and IEEE Vehicular Technology Transactions in 1983, 1986 and 1992.   From 1981 to 1987 he was Editor for Digital Communications of the IEEE Transactions on Communications. He was Vice Technical Chair of the IEEE VTC Conference in 1998, Honorary Conference Chair of the CNSR Conference in 2007, and Executive Chair of the IEEE WCNC Conference in 2008. He received the 2008 Canadian Award for Telecommunications Research and a 2008 Recognition Award from the IEEE Technical Committee on Wireless Communications and the IEEE Canada 2009 Fessenden Award (Telecommunications). In 2009 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Edinburgh.

 


Sam Pitroda (2007)

"For exceptional contributions in developing indigenous systems and telecommunications infrastructure in India."

Mr. Sam Pitroda is an internationally respected development thinker, telecom inventor and entrepreneur who has spent 40 years in Information and Communications Technology and related human and national developments. His experiences include working in the private and public sectors and working with governments around the world.  A reputation built from many years of work, Sam Pitroda brings enormous professional weight and credibility to his projects and operations.

Credited with having laid the foundation for and ushered India’s technology and telecommunications revolution in the 1980s, Mr. Pitroda has been a leading campaigner to help bridge the digital divide.  During his tenure as Advisor to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s Mr. Pitroda headed six technology missions related to telecommunications, water, literacy, immunization, dairy and oil seeds. And, he was also the founder and first chairman of India’s Telecom Commission.

Currently, Mr. Pitroda is chairman of India’s National Knowledge Commission which reports directly to the Prime Minister. The commission’s mandate is to offer a series of recommendations to the government on access, concepts, creation, application and services related to knowledge to help build excellence in the education system to meet the challenges of the 21st century and increase India's competitive advantage.
He owns close to 100 patents. He is widely regarded as one of the earliest pioneers of handheld computing because of his invention of the Electronic Diary in 1975. He was also among the pioneers in digital telephone switching technology in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The decade of 1990 saw Mr. Pitroda explore the world of mobile phone based transaction technology and telecom developments in emerging markets.

Mr. Pitroda is also founder of the US based company, C-SAM, Inc.  C-SAM provides a robust software platform for conducting secure payment and non-payment transactions in the physical and virtual world using a mobile device.  C-SAM is committed to the vision of a digital wallet which is tightly integrated with value added services and applications and resides on a consumer’s mobile device.

 

David D. Clark (2006)

"For outstanding service to governmental bodies in helping them understand the Internet and its applications for the betterment of society."

David Clark is a Senior Research Scientist at the M.I.T. Laboratory for Computer Science, where he has worked since 1973, when he received his PhD there. Since the mid 70s, Dr. Clark has been leading the development of the Internet; from 1981-1989 he acted as Chief Protocol Architect in this development, and chaired the Internet Activities Board. Recent activities include extensions to the Internet to support real-time traffic, explicit allocation of service, pricing and related economic issues, and policy issues surrounding the Internet, such as local loop deployment. New activities focus on the architecture of the Internet in the post-PC era. He has also worked on computer and communications security. Dr. Clark is chairman of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council, and has contributed to a number of studies on the societal and policy impact of computer communications.