WNCG Welcomes New Director for Three-Year Term

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Every few years, WNCG welcomes a new Director and Associate Director from among its faculty ranks. With an academic culture that encourages openness and research collaborations among equals, the rotation of Directors provides each faculty member with the opportunity to lead WNCG.

After completing his three-year term in December 2014, Director Robert Heath made way for Associate Director, Prof. Sanjay Shakkottai, to take the helm as WNCG’s new leader. Prof. Constantine Caramanis now serves as the new Associate Director. This rotation allows the Associate Director to train for three years before becoming Director.

During his three-year term, Prof. Heath increased the size and depth of faculty membership in WNCG and expanded the research focus to include Data Sciences, an emerging area at the intersection of data analytics and networks. The new faculty brought to the center interests in information and coding theory, stochastic geometry, risk analysis in networks, electromagnetics and optics for communications systems, as well as other areas of expertise. 

Over the years, WNCG’s expertise in Data Sciences has broadened to include applications to wireless communications and networks, social networks and transportation systems. WNCG will continue to grow in this rapidly advancing field under Prof. Shakkottai’s leadership.

As Director, Prof. Heath worked tirelessly to revise, renew and improve the quality and benefits of the Industrial Affiliate Program, as well as implemented a new membership level.  

“During my directorship, I enjoyed working with the faculty, students and affiliates,” Prof. Heath states. “I am proud that I was able to introduce a second level of affiliate membership, which provides the means for even tighter collaborations between faculty and Industrial Affiliates. I feel confident that the WNCG will continue to excel under Prof. Shakkottai’s leadership.” 

Prof. Shakkottai has been with WNCG since its foundation in 2002 and continues to build on the foundations of his predecessor by establishing a Level III program for Industrial Affiliates. This new membership level includes additional opportunities for faculty and student engagement in research collaborations and other membership perks.

Associate Director, Prof. Caramanis, has been implemental in overhauling WNCG’s communications strategies and making the work of WNCG students and faculty more available to the larger research community.

“I look forward to continuing to make WNCG’s research more visible to the outside world,” Prof. Caramanis states. “Connecting our work with researchers and industry is a key strategic goal for future impact. I also look forward to working with Prof. Shakkottai as Associate Director of WNCG.”