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Telenor’s Research Prize 2006 to Professor Petri Mähönen


(Trondheim, Norway, 5 October 2006) The Telenor Research Prize of NOK 250,000 has been awarded to Professor Petri Mähönen at the RWTH Aachen University, Germany. The winner was presented by Morten Karlsen Sørby, Head of Telenor’s Nordic Operations at the Technoport Awards event in Trondheim 4th of October.

The Telenor Research Prize is awarded each year. A theme for the prize is selected by an international award committee. By this prize Telenor wishes to further emphasise the importance of research and innovation within Information and Communication Technology. The theme for the prize in 2006 has been “Innovative solutions for emergency communications” and the award committee decided to award the prize to Professor Petri Mähönen.

As grounds for the jury’s decision the committee has noticed Dr. Mähönen’s work on architectures for high capacity wireless systems and self organizing networks, which combined with ad hoc routing, provide capability to make easy and rapid deployments of radio systems into emergency areas. Equally important for this is his work on embedding intelligence in to the wireless systems to optimize the use of scarce resources. He has been one of the pioneers in developing this paradigm towards cognitive wireless networks.

The utilization of cognitive radio in an emergency situation may be exemplified in the following fictitious scenario:

A serious accident has happened in a crowded part of a city. Emergency personnel are gathering, together with journalists and private persons. At that specific place and time the cellular networks and other available wireless networks are overloaded. There may be a number of wireless networks in the area, belonging to companies, organizations or private persons, which are nearly unused but not available for communications by the crisis teams. These networks are typically assigned to specific services, but can not be used by non-licensed users. If such systems are opened for usage in emergency situations, without causing any interference to the original services, this will introduce far more flexibility in capacity consumption depending on time and place, and it may be crucial when handling an emergency situation.

The use of this technology requires authorization by regulatory bodies in each country.

“Dr. Mähönen has made substantial contributions in several areas of wireless communications. He has obtained impressive results within a wide variety of topics on multihop and adaptive wireless communications, including applications, systems and transport issues. Wireless technologies have great importance for emergency operations in general. Professor Mähönen has contributed to extend the applicability of radio systems for that purpose”, says Morten Karlsen Sørby.

The Telenor Research Prize is awarded to persons or research groups for contributions within technology, user behaviour, economy or other areas. A unanimous award committee decided to award the prize to professor Mähönen.

This is the tenth Telenor Research Award. Previous winners have been:
Professor Ramjee Prasaad at the University of Aalborg (2005), Professor Claes Wohlin at Blekinge Institute of Technology (2004), Dr Haakon Bryhni, Birdstep Technology ASA (2003)Professor Christian Jensen, University of Aalborg (2002), Professor Jon Bing, University of Oslo (2001); Professor Peter Andrekson, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg (2000), The Telepathology Group in Tromsø (1999), Professor Stephen Pink, University of Luleå (1998) Dr. Gisle Bjøntegaard, Telenor (1997);

About Petri Mähönen: Professor Petri Mähönen holds a chair of wireless networks at the RWTH Aachen University, a research group which he has also founded. He is very active on collaborative research and strongly disseminates his research, not only through academic publications, but also through public and confidential prototyping projects with industry and governmental organizations. He is also known to be a strong supporter for bridging the gap between theoretical long-term academic work and industrially relevant experimental work.
Professor Petri Mähönen holds a Finnish citizenship. He has worked and studied in Germany, the United Kingdom, the USA and Finland.


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