IEEE Awards Booklet - 2020 - 16

2020 IEEE MEDALS

IEEE Edison Medal

IEEE Alexander Graham
Bell Medal

Sponsored by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Sponsored by Nokia Bell Labs

Rajiv Laroia

Frede Blaabjerg

For contributions to cellular wireless
data systems

For contributions to and leadership
in power electronics, developing a
sustainable society

Rajiv Laroia's development of Flash-OFDM was integral to transitioning cellular voice access systems to the wireless data access
systems that have mobilized our access to the Internet via smartphones, tablets, and wireless modems. He realized that the nature of Internet data traffic demanded a redefinition of wireless
connectivity and thus developed Flash-OFDM (fast low latency
access with seamless handoff-orthogonal frequency division
multiplexing). Unlike voice calls, which require a persistent but
relatively low rate connection, Internet traffic requires intermittent bursts at high rates, and the system needed to be agile enough
to quickly reassign air-link resources according to widely and rapidly varying traffic demands. The key to Flash-OFDM is that the
overall channel resource is divided into very fine-grained timefrequency slots that each user can access orthogonally without
interference from another. Prior to Flash-OFDM, cellular wireless connectivity was circuit-switched. He saw that the migration
from cell phones to smartphones was creating capacity demand
that could not be met by circuit-switched networks and developed a packet-switched architecture. In patented work, he described a wireless system in which terminals support various states
of operation (on-state, hold-state, sleep-state, and access-state). In
the hold-state a mobile device is put into a low-power, passive
state to free up system resources and preserve battery life but can
quickly transition into a communicating state. Other patented
work addressed assigning traffic resources by mapping active users to data resources so that users would not maintain an active
uplink, fractional frequency reuse, and beacon signals that allow
detection of hand-off candidates and timing correction at long
range for efficient hand off between cells and across frequencies.
These aspects of Flash-OFDM, plus many other concepts developed by Laroia and his teams, helped form the basis for the LTE
and 4G systems that are powering today's mobile broadband communications.
An IEEE Fellow and recipient of the 2018 Eduard Rhein
Technology Award, Laroia is the founder and chief technology
officer of The Light Company, Far Hills, NJ, USA.

The pioneering and innovative accomplishments achieved by
Frede Blaabjerg over the past 30 years in applying power electronics technology for efficient control and conversion of electric
power are playing a key role in reliably connecting renewable
energy sources to the power grid, thus helping to create a more
sustainable society. The power converters he developed for wind
turbine systems have addressed the challenges of scaling up from
megawatts to multimegawatts. He also developed new topologies
and interfacing techniques for photovoltaic (PV) systems that include both module-integrated inverters and string inverters. His
grid-interfacing techniques for renewable energy systems such
as synchronization, smart monitoring, and design and control of
LCL filters have been implemented around the world. He has
also proposed a power electronics-based active damper device to
detect resonances in the grid and that can damp the oscillations
at a specific frequency. This technology has provided more reliability in PV systems, wind farms, and transmission and distribution systems. His innovations involving adjustable speed drives
include techniques for reducing noise in heating and cooling
systems, and he has helped lower the cost of industrial drives by
reducing the sensors needed while still maintaining failure protection. This work has helped save large amounts of energy and has
enabled full-scale industrial automation. He has also developed
several energy-optimal control strategies for induction motors,
permanent-magnet motors, and switched-reluctance motors used
for commercial drives that that have improved efficiency by 15%
to 20% compared to standard control methods. Blaabjerg founded
the Center of Reliable Power Electronics (CORPE) at Aalborg
University, which is a strategic research center bridging academia
and industry together to develop the next generation of reliable
power electronics technologies.
An IEEE Fellow and recipient of the 2014 IEEE William E.
Newell Power Electronics Award, Blaabjerg is a professor with
the Department of Energy Technology at Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.

Scope: For exceptional contributions to communications and networking sciences and engineering.

Scope: For a career of meritorious achievement in electrical science, electrical engineering or the electrical arts.

16 | 2020 IEEE AWARDS BOOKLET



IEEE Awards Booklet - 2020

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IEEE Awards Booklet - 2020 - 1
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