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New Michael C. Wicks Radar Student Travel Grant Celebrates Wicks’ Legacy of Innovation and Altruism

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Inaugural three recipients announced at Radar Con ’22 in New York City

On 21 – 25 March, industry professionals worldwide attended the 2022 IEEE Radar Conference, which for the first time was held in New York City’s Times Square, an iconic location long known for its rich history in radar innovation. In another conference first, the inaugural three recipients of IEEE’s newly-established Michael C. Wicks Radar Student Travel Grant, an annual award designed to commemorate Michael C. Wicks, were recognized.
 
A gifted electronic engineer and a radar industry leader who passed in December 2020, Wicks held a variety of prestigious positions in the U.S. government and academia, originated a number of radar signal processing concepts that have since become mainstream, and was a prolific author and distinguished lecturer. He was also a longtime member of the IEEE Aerospace & Electronic System Society (AESS) Radar System Panel and AESS Board of Governors.
 
A Legacy of Friendship

Along with his extensive industry accomplishments, colleagues and friends say that Wicks will be equally remembered for his altruism and desire to nurture the next generation of radar engineering students.
 
“Michael was my mentor, life coach and best friend,” shared Lorenzo Lo Monte, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Telephonics, General Chair, IEEE RadarConf’22, and IEEE AESS Distinguished Lecturer and Short Course Instructor. “He once told me, ‘be kind, give people a chance, and expect nothing in return,’ a statement that embodied who Michael Wicks was and one that’s shaped my own philosophy of life.”
 
“Although he was an outstanding radar scientist, I think that what made Michael different from other radar gurus was his passion for helping others,” Lo Monte continued. “While many renowned radar professionals in the industry today were positively impacted by Michael during their career, Michael also provided educational opportunities to people from all backgrounds to help them better their lives and succeed. Michael is genuinely a person worth remembering forever and I wouldn’t be where or who I am today without his friendship and guidance.”
 
“It’s not possible to be part of the radar community without being aware of Michael’s contributions and especially the kindness he showed towards others,” agreed Dr. Alex Charlish, Associate Editor for Radar Systems for IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems and 2021 recipient of the prestigious IEEE Fred Nathanson Memorial Radar Award for outstanding work in the field of radar resource management and cognitive radar. “It’s especially fitting that the Michael Wicks Award will continue this legacy of kindness by helping others for years to come.”
 
A Legacy of Kindness

The annual pool of resources provided by the IEEE Michael C. Wicks Radar Student Travel Grant will enable graduate students who are the primary author on a paper in the area of radar signal processing accepted for presentation during the annual IEEE Radar Conference to attend the conference and present their research. 
 
The three recipients of the 2022 Michael C. Wicks Radar Student Grant Travel Award were Marco Di Seglio (for his paper, “Reducing the Computational Complexity of WiFi Based Passive Radar Processing”), Marcel Hoffmann (for his paper, “Filter-Based Segmentation of Automotive SAR Images”), and Karol Abratkiewic (for his paper, “Radar Pulse Signal Filtering Using Vertical Synchrosqueezing”).
 
According to Abratkiewic, “I appreciated both the opportunity to present my research results to an international audience of industry professionals and to be honored at the awards ceremony and I sincerely believe that the IEEE Michael Wicks Travel Award will contribute to the promotion of my work and facilitate future cooperation with the IEEE AES Society.”
 
Fellow recipient Hoffmann agreed.
 
“The Michael Wicks Travel Award not only covered the cost of the conference and the conference hotel, but it allowed me to stay for the full week and participate in interesting tutorials and other conference events — activities that turned out to be very fruitful because I was able to get to know and speak with many important researchers from my field of study,” Hoffman said.  “This award goes much further than mere financial support, as I would never have had these experiences at an online conference, and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity!”
 
Donate today to the IEEE AESS Michael Wicks Fund of the IEEE Foundation support this student travel grant and help perpetuate Michael’s legacy by nurturing generations of radar engineering students.

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