India-born scientist and Professor (Emeritus) Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj, Stanford University, has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Marconi Society Prize. He received the prize for developing the theory and applications of MIMO antennas. His idea suggested using multiple antennas at both transmitting and receiving stations. Current high speed WI-FI and 4G mobile systems work on the same principle.
Celebrating its 50th year in 2014, The Marconi Society, founded by radio inventor Guglielmo Marconis daughter Gioia Marconi Braga, recognizes one or more scientists every year who pursue advances in communications and information technology for the social, economic and cultural development of all humanity.
"Paul has made profound contributions to wireless technology, and the resulting benefit to mankind is indisputable. Every wifi router and 4G phone today uses MIMO technology pioneered by him," Chairman of the Marconi Society Professor Sir David Payne said. He further added, "MIMO will soon be pervasive in all wireless devices.Moreover, Paulraj's work has provided fertile ground for thousands of researchers to explore and advance MIMO's potential to enhance wireless spectrum efficiency,"
The Marconi Society winners receive a $1,00,000 prize and include scientists whose mathematical theories and inventions have shaped the Internet and broadband access, public key encryption, Web search, wired and wireless transmission, multimedia publishing, optical fiber and satellite communications.
With characteristic modesty, Paul says, “MIMO technology is today embedded in 4G mobile and WiFi. It has taken the effort of thousands of engineers and researchers around the world, many of them truly eminent, to make this happen. My contribution, in comparison, is indeed small.”
Paul (as he is commonly known) has also won the Padma Bhushan in 2010 and the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal in 2011, making him the only India born scientist who has won all the three awards including the Marconi Society Award.