Ashutosh Sabharwal, professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), has been named to the endowed chair, Ernest Dell Butcher Professor of Engineering, effective July 1.
Sabharwal earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Ohio State University in 1999 and joined the Rice faculty that same year. He works in two distinct research areas: fundamental principles and novel experimental platforms for advanced wireless networking, contributions which led to his elevation to IEEE Fellow status in 2014.
He is the founder of WARP (Wireless Open-Access Research Platform), a scalable, programmable wireless platform used to prototype advanced wireless networks. WARP spawned Mango Communications, founded by Sabharwal’s Ph.D. student Patrick Murphy, and has been adopted by more than 150 organizations worldwide. He was awarded the 2019 ACM (Association of Computer Machinery) Test-of-Time Award for the WARP project.
Sabharwal said of his recent appointment, “It is a great honor to join the ranks of chaired professors at Rice. I look forward to accelerating our innovations in research, education and broader outreach to address some of the most pressing societal challenges of this century."
Outside of Rice, Sabharwal is known for inventing full-duplex wireless, which doubles wireless network capacity and has been adopted for next-generation cable modems. For it, he was given the 2017 IEEE Jack Neubauer Award and the 2018 IEEE Communications Society Award for Advances in Communications. He leads RENEW (renew-wireless.org), an NSF-sponsored National Wireless Testbed project, and co-leads the ARL-Rice RUNSRA Center.
Sabharwal, who is also the Chair of ECE since July 2019, said of his ECE team, “ECE is one of the most exciting departments on campus, which combines ambition with generosity and support at all levels of operation, and is a culture throughout our faculty, students and staff. Our faculty continue to set new standards in excellence, be it education, research or translational impact. In short, it is humbling to be a part of this amazing group of people."
Sabharwal’s appointment to an endowed chair was announced alongside the appointment of Sibani Lisa Biswal. Biswal, who is presently a professor and associate chair of chemical and biomolecular engineering (ChBE), will become the William M. McCardell Professor in Chemical Engineering, effective July 1.