Microwave Journal
Ted Rappaport

Armstrong Medal Honors Founder of NYU WIRELESS Research Center

October 10, 2018

The Radio Club of America (RCA) announced that Professor Theodore “Ted” Rappaport, founding director of NYU WIRELESS and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, will receive the Armstrong Medal for demonstrated excellence and lasting contributions to radio arts and sciences.

Rappaport has conducted seminal research, most recently in the millimeter wave radio spectrum. He advanced commercialization of this 5G technology that will bring broadband speeds to wireless communications — potentially revolutionizing medicine, helping enable autonomous vehicles and inexpensively connecting rural communities to the digital world.

The RCA, the oldest worldwide organization of wireless communications professionals, also cited Rappaport for his lifelong contributions as an educator. In addition to his position as the David Lee/Ernst Weber Professor of Electrical Engineering at NYU Tandon, he is also on the faculty of the NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and the Radiology Department of the School of Medicine.

Rappaport joins a distinguished group of past recipients of the Armstrong Medal — all luminaries in the wireless industry, including Arthur Collins, Walter Cronkite, Harold Beverage, Morgan O’Brien and Major Edward H. Armstrong, who laid the foundations for much of the modern radio, including circuitry and the FM radio system.

In 1991, at the age of 30, Rappaport was named an RCA Fellow, making him one of the youngest in recent history.

In 2012, Rappaport launched NYU WIRELESS at NYU Tandon, the first U.S. academic center to merge wireless engineering research with computer science and medicine. Since its founding, NYU WIRELESS has remained at the frontier of next-generation mobile technology, with undergraduate, graduate and faculty researchers transforming the wireless field through research into millimeter wave technology, channel modeling, massive MIMO, beyond-5G technologies, circuits and nano devices. The center pioneered millimeter wave frequencies for mobile communications and acted as an accelerant for the technology, by bringing together leading businesses, institutes and academic researchers at the annual Brooklyn 5G Summit.

Before Rappaport’s seminal paper, “Millimeter Wave Mobile Communications for 5G Cellular: It Will Work!,” many researchers disregarded the potential of themillimeter wave spectrum. It was Rappaport’s research that demonstrated the viability of millimeter wave radio frequency bands, central to implementing 5G wireless technology.

In addition to the Armstrong Medal, Rappaport has received many prestigious honors throughout his career, including the Marconi Young Scientist Award (1990) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology Sir Monty Finniston Medal (2011). In addition to authoring and co-authoring more than 200 papers and 20 books on wireless communications, Rappaport holds more than 100 U.S. and international patents, founded two of the world’s largest academic wireless research centers, prior to NYU WIRELESS, and founded and advised multiple wireless companies.

“Ted Rappaport has shown the world the future of wireless communications, not only through his work on millimeter wave technology, but as a leader, researcher and educator in the wireless field. The RCA’s recognition of Ted, particularly with the Armstrong Medal, demonstrates how instrumental his work is on a global scale. His immense contributions have placed NYU Tandon on the map as a leader in wireless technology.” — Jelena Kovačević, dean of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Rappaport will receive the Armstrong Medal at the club’s November 17 banquet and awards ceremony in New York City, where he will also give the keynote presentation.