Inspiring New Generations of Students


Dr. Roberto Padovani, executive vice president at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, California, USA, joined IEEE as a student member in 1982. Roberto now holds more than 80 patents on wireless systems.

He is the recipient of the 2009 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award and is selected to be the 2016 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal recipient “for innovations enabling efficient, wideband, wireless access to the Internet that is central to all third-generation cellular networks,” among other accolades.

Roberto believes information theory provides the foundation for future practitioners and theoreticians and generously sponsors the IEEE Distinguished Lecturer in Information Theory Award. “I am confident that the IEEE Distinguished Lecture, which has been delivered by some of the best in the field, has inspired, and will continue to inspire, new generations of students.”

He also supports the development of a documentary celebrating American mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer Claude E. Shannon’s 100th birthday in May 2016. Roberto believes the film “will spark the interest of students and perhaps steer them towards the STEM fields of study.”

An Alexander Graham Bell member of the IEEE Heritage Circle, Roberto adds, “IEEE plays an important role in providing the necessary tools for fostering innovation, offering the opportunity for members to review each other’s work, collaborate, brainstorm, and innovate. IEEE certainly fosters a sense of excitement for engineering among young people as it did for me more than thirty years ago.”

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