Gerard J. Foschini Ph.D. ’67: Wireless Communications Technology Pioneer
It's sometimes hard to imagine what life was like before wireless communications.
That's a credit to researchers and innovators like Gerard J. Foschini Ph.D. ’67, who helped create the transformation of communications through his research on point-to-point and network communication systems for wired, wireless and optical applications. Foschini, a renowned telecommunications pioneer, spent more than 50 years with Bell Laboratories and today holds 18 patents. His work with colleague Mike Gans on wireless communications employing schemes using multiple antennae underpins much of the wireless communications research that followed, work that helped enable cell phones, wireless devices and Wi-Fi.
Foschini joined Bell Labs in 1961 and held the position of Distinguished Inventor in Bell’s Wireless Research Laboratory in Crawford Hill, New Jersey, until his retirement in 2013. He taught at Princeton and Rutgers, publishing more than 100 papers and journal articles, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has been selected as a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Bell Labs.
In 2002, Foschini received the prestigious Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, an honor given to a New Jersey resident who has changed the world with his or her inventions. He also received the 2000 Bell Labs Inventor’s Award, the 2006 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award, the 2008 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal and the IEEE Communication Theory Committee Technical Achievement Award during his career. In 2015, his doctoral alma mater recognized Foschini with the Stevens Distinguished Alumni Award – Engineering during the third Stevens Awards Gala.