Marconi Society Announces 2012 Young Scholar Award Winners

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--()--The Marconi Society, the world’s leading organization devoted to honoring and encouraging scientific contributions in the field of communications and the Internet, has announced the three winners of its 2012 Paul Baran Marconi Young Scholar Awards. The awards are given to young researchers who are on track to become leading innovators contributing to the advancement both of science and humanity.

Stanford graduate student Aakanksha Chowdhery, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs research engineer Guilhem de Valicourt, Ph. D., and Keun Yeong Cho, a graduate researcher at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), will receive the awards at the Marconi Society’s annual Awards Dinner on September 6th, 2012, which also honors Dr. Henry Samueli, Broadcom co-founder and 2012 Marconi Prize Winner.

Chowdhery, 26, is the first woman researcher to win the prestigious award. An electrical engineering graduate of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT Delhi) in 2007 she earned the top rank in her department. She subsequently completed Stanford’s Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and is on track to receive her Ph.D. in December 2012. A recipient of the Stanford School of Engineering Fellowship for 2007-2008, she also received the Stanford Diversifying Academia and Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Fellowship 2010-2012.

Chowdhery’s research in the field of Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) for next-generation copper-access networks focuses on improving data rates and stability in digital subscriber lines (DSLs) suffering from intermittent noise effects. Her DSM research promises successful co-existence and deployment of next-generation copper networks that can deliver data-rates up to Gbps with legacy networks.

Cho, 27, who has been in the Integrated M.S. & Ph.D. program at KAIST since 2006, received his Bachelor of Science Summa Cum Laude in Electrical Engineering at Yonsei University in Seoul. His research has focused on Wavelength-division-multiplexed passive optical networks (WDM PON), long considered an ultimate solution for the broadband optical access network, working to overcome deployment cost limitations due to the installation and maintenance of necessary wavelength-specific lasers.

Like Cho, de Valicourt’s main research efforts have focused on novel semiconductor optical devices, in particular reflective semiconductor optical amplifiers (RSOAs). A Bell Labs researcher, the 27-year-old was hired in Alcatel-Lucent’s WDM Dynamic Networks Department in October 2011, immediately after completing his Ph. D. jointly at Télécom ParisTech, one of France’s top engineering schools and at III-V Lab (which brings together, in a single laboratory, staff and equipment from 3 partner institutions: 'Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France', 'Thales Research and Technology' and 'CEA Leti') . Among his achievements is demonstrating the first RSOA working at 10 Gbit/s without any electronic compensation and developing, fabricating and optimizing high-performance devices that are considered to be well beyond the state of the art. He demonstrated the feasibility of using RSOAs as future transmitters for high-speed optical WDM access networks, or backhaul systems connecting wireless base stations for wireless-optical convergence.

“Each of these Young Scholars has demonstrated the capacity to become a scientist who might well be worthy of the Marconi Prize in the future,” said Robert Tkach, Chairman of the Young Scholar selection committee and a 2009 Marconi Prize Winner. “They each stood out in an extraordinarily strong field of nominees.”

This marks the fifth year that Young Scholars Awards have been granted by the Marconi Society, which is best known for its annual $100,000 Marconi Award and Fellowship given to living scientists whose scope of work and influence emulate the principle of “creativity in service to humanity.”

In selecting its scholar recipients, the Marconi Society looks for those who not only have shown extraordinary early promise, but whose research already has been published and made an impact. As Marconi Society Chairman Emeritus Robert Lucky noted, “The selection committee looks for candidates who show the potential to win the Marconi Prize -- the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in communications science -- at some point in the future. As a point of reference, Marconi Fellows have been at the forefront of every modern advance in telecommunications and the Internet.”

The Young Scholar Awards include a financial stipend and an invitation and travel funds to attend the annual Marconi Award Dinner, to be held in September in Irvine and Newport Beach. For more information, please visit

About the Marconi Society

The Marconi Society was established in 1974 through an endowment set up by Gioia Marconi Braga, daughter of Guglielmo Marconi, the Nobel laureate who invented radio (wireless telegraphy). Through symposia, conferences, forums and publications, the Marconi Society promotes awareness of major innovations in communication theory, technology and applications with particular attention to understanding how they change and benefit society. Additional information can be found at


Marconi Society
Hatti Hamlin, 925-872-4328

Release Summary

The Marconi Society announced the award of three Paul Baran Young Scholar Awards to researchers on track to become leading innovators in communications science.


Marconi Society
Hatti Hamlin, 925-872-4328