Shattering the Silicon Ceiling: 2020 Marconi Prize Awarded to Wireless Innovator Dr. Andrea Goldsmith
First Woman to Win Top Communications Science Award is Honored for Her Ground-Breaking Work to Deliver High-Performing Cellular and WiFi Services
The Marconi Society awarded the 2020 Marconi Prize to Dr. Andrea Goldsmith for her pioneering contributions to the theory and practice of adaptive wireless communications. She is the first woman to win the award in the 45 years that it has been given.
Goldsmith’s technical innovations that have shaped the fundamental performance of cellular and WiFi networks, combined with her leadership to radically improve diversity and inclusion in engineering, have changed both the consumer experience and the profession.
“Andrea has enabled billions of consumers around the world to enjoy fast and reliable wireless service, as well as applications such as video streaming and autonomous vehicles that require stable network performance,” said Vint Cerf, Chair of the Marconi Society and 1998 Marconi Fellow. “As the Stephen Harris Professor of Engineering at Stanford University, Andrea’s personal work and that of the many engineers who she has mentored have had a global impact on wireless networking.”
Goldsmith has been shattering silicon ceilings in engineering for decades and is an influential voice in creating an inclusive profession. As the first woman to be President of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Information Theory Society, to win the IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award for outstanding contributions to communications technology and the IEEE Communications Society Armstrong Technical Achievement Award, Goldsmith has made it a priority to create opportunities for highly qualified women and to help under-represented groups compete on an equal playing field.
Goldsmith is donating her $100,000 Marconi Prize to the Marconi Society to start an endowment that will fund technology and diversity initiatives.
“I am so deeply honored and humbled to become a Marconi Fellow. The Marconi Fellows are my professional heroes and the people I have looked up to my entire career for their immense impact on the communications technologies we have today,” said Goldsmith. “The honor is particularly meaningful to me at this moment in time, when our information and communications technologies are enabling our universities, companies, and the entire social ecosystem to function in a suddenly all-online world, as well as calling attention to the critical importance of digital inclusion. The value of connectivity could not be more apparent.”