University of Melbourne Electrical & Electronic Engineering PhD student Desmond (Ke) Wang has been awarded the coveted 2013 Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholars Award.

Desmond is the first Australian to receive this prestigious award for his specialist work in optical-wireless technology. He is involved in on-going his research at NICTA, Australia’s Research Centre of Excellence in information and communications technology.

The Marconi Society is the premier organisation recognising the achievements of scientists in the field of communications science and the Internet. Young Scholars are individuals who have, at an early age, already demonstrated exceptional engineering or scientific research and entrepreneurial capabilities with the potential to create significant advances telecommunications and the Internet.

Desmond's research involves optical-wireless technology for ultra-broadband in-building communications and reconfigurable optical interconnects. Over the past three years, he has been first author on over 40 publications in top journals and conferences and received a number of conference awards.

 “Desmond has demonstrated an exceptional academic quality and independence in research,” said Professor Christina Lim, one of Desmond’s research supervisors at the University of Melbourne.

“He has an amazing capacity to understand and analyze complex optical theories and applies these theories in practical demonstration. In addition, he has developed excellent practical hands-on and strong experimental skills in the design, construct and development of optical subsystems and systems for his research work. There’s no doubt he will make significant research contributions in the years to come and will be a future leader in the field of optical communications.”

Desmond will be honored at the Marconi Society’s annual gala in Bologna, Italy, on Tuesday 1 October.