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Harold Sobol Award for Exemplary Service to Meetings & Conferences 2008 - Roberto de Marca

"For making WCNC the premier wireless communications conference and a sustained record of service to conference activities."

Roberto de Marca was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Southern California, where he earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.  Since 1978 he has been on the faculty of the Catholic University, Rio de Janeiro, having held several leadership/administrative positions including Associate Academic Vice President.  Professor de Marca has lectured in several institutions in Europe and North America and twice, when on leave of absence, he served as Scientific Consultant with AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Professor de Marca has been a very active leader in the Communications Society, including serving as President in 2000-2001 and in the conference activities for which he is now honored.  He is the principal founder of WCNC and has been Chair of its Steering Committee since its inception, growing it into the large and leading conference it is today.  He has organized and chaired many other conferences, notably GLOBECOM 1999 in Rio de Janeiro.  In other ComSoc activities, he served two terms as Vice President – VP International Affairs and VP Membership Affairs.  He chaired the Strategic Planning Committee, Fellow Evaluation Committee, and many other boards, effectively working with headquarters staff in support of member programs.  He is currently IEEE Vice President of TAB (Technical Activities Board).

A technical leader in Brazil, Dr. de Marca served as Scientific Director of the Brazilian National Research Council, where he managed a 300 million dollar research funding program and authorized the startup money for the national research network that led the way to the widespread use of Internet in Brazil.  He was the founding President of the Brazilian Telecommunications Society and is a full member of the Brazilian National Academy of Sciences since 2001.

Professor de Marca was elected IEEE Fellow in 1995 “for for leadership and contributions to international communications.”  He was awarded the IEEE Communications Society Donald W. McLellan Meritorious Service Award in 1998 and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000.