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Vikram Iyer Named 2020 Marconi Society Paul Balan Young Scholar

Press Release

The Marconi Society Aug. 4 recognized three outstanding young researchers who are harnessing the power of next generation wireless and quantum networks to improve the lives of consumers everywhere, including Indian American Vikram Iyer.

The Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award recognizes the world’s most innovative young engineers who are creating tomorrow’s information and communications technology in service of a digitally inclusive world, according to a press release from the Cleveland, Ohio-based Society.

“The power of connectivity, as well as the need to bring the opportunity of the network to everyone, has never been more apparent than it is today,” said Vint Cerf, Chair of the Marconi Society. “Our Young Scholars are the brain trust that will put the speed, security and applications of next generation networks into the hands of billions.”

Iyer is a Ph.D. candidate in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Washington, recognized for his creativity in developing bio-inspired and bio-integrative wireless sensor systems. Iyer’s contributions enable traditionally stationary Internet of Things (IoT) devices to move, putting a new and scalable category of data collectors into the world to help us understand our environment at scale and with a fine degree of detail.

Iyer developed a wireless sensing platform light enough to be deployed on bumblebees. “We could use this platform to study micro-climates on large farms, to answer questions about insects’ behavior or to collect air quality data at a highly granular level so that we can understand the correlation between environment and demographics,” said Iyer, who has a B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley.

“Vikram is a one-of-a-kind creative interdisciplinary researcher who is also humble,” says Shyam Gollakota, associate professor at the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and Iyer’s advisor. “He develops creative solutions that are at the intersection of hardware, software and biology. In so doing, he transforms what was once science fiction into reality.”

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