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ECE Doctoral Student Christopher Merola Wins IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Student Paper Competition

Christopher Merola

Christopher Merola

Doctoral student Christopher Merola of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department was the winner out of 171 entries in the 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S) Student Paper competition, taking place on July 10 at the 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting in Boston. Merola’s paper is titled “A Class of Cavity-Based UWB Multi-Beamformers with Applications to Sub-6 GHz 5G,” and his advisor is ECE Professor Marinos Vouvakis.

As Merola described his paper, “The next iteration of cellular network, 5G, will require a technology called massive MIMO. This technology uses spacial multiplexing to greatly increase the data bandwidth of a cell tower, but requires a large number of antennas and a complex signal feed network. My paper is on a compact and efficient feed network for these towers, which can be constructed with the same form-factor as a computer processor.”

After Merola’s win, ECE Department Head Christopher Hollot said that “It’s one thing to be a finalist for the Antennas and Propagation Society Student Paper Competition – which ECE Ph.D. student Christopher Merola was! It’s another thing to predict that one would win the competition – which Chris did at the ECE Banquet ’18. And then it’s a super thing to win the competition – and that’s what Chris Merola has just accomplished! Congratulations, Chris!”

To choose the finalists, three independent blind reviewers from around the world were assigned to each entry paper, and the total scores were then used to rank the papers. The reviews, the recording of the scores, and the selection of the finalists and honorable mentions were organized and monitored by the Student Paper Competition Committee as charged by the AP-S Society Education Committee.

“As a finalist, you are required to bring a poster presentation of the research you described in your submission,” as the AP-S Student Paper Competition Committee wrote to Merola. “The Student Paper Competition Interactive Forum (poster session), where the finalists’ posters/presentations will be judged by leading members of our society.” There they chose Merola as the winner of the prestigious and judiciously reviewed competition.

This 2018 IEEE International Symposium is the premier international forum for the exchange of ideas on state-of-the-art research in antennas and propagation and radio science. Through a range of technical and social activities, it provides the opportunity to interact with the world's leading experts in antennas and propagation and radio science from academia, industry, and government. (July 2018)