A pioneering Imperial engineer will fly to Iran to collect one of the Islamic world's most prestigious science and engineering awards.
The Mustafa Prize, awarded biennially, is a top science and technology award. It is being presented on Sunday 3 December 2017 in the field of Information Sciences and Technology to Professor Erol Gelenbe, from Imperial College London.
Flying to the capital of Iran – Tehran – he will receive $US 500,000 and a special medal and certificate in Vahdat Hall, the Opera House in Tehran, in front of some 1000 guests from all over the world.
For some of his inventions, Professor Gelenbe and the teams he created gave up personal financial reward in exchange for distributing software freely to universities worldwide, so as to spread knowledge and social benefit
Professor Gelenbe, from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, said: “I am surprised and honoured to get this award. I’ve never been to Iran before and this promises to be an amazing first visit. I’ve always had a passion for fundamental research on the mathematical foundations for computer and communication systems, which lead to building better systems and improving their usage and performance, and that is what has driven me over the years, so it is nice to be honoured in this way.”
Professor Gelenbe has been a prolific researcher, publishing in excess of 360 papers through his storied career in Belgium, France, the USA and the UK.
He is the inventor of the eponymous G-networks or Gelenbe Networks that are the underpinning science used to evaluate the performance of computer networks, while they are controlled to ensure they function smoothly without overloading.
In one of his many breakthroughs, Professor Gelenbe invented the random neural network that closely models the spiking behaviour of natural neuronal systems together with learning algorithms for these systems.
Professor Gelenbe and his colleagues are also credited with inventing many years ago a patented multi-hop computer architecture for conveying voice and images over computer networks. He also established the theoretical underpinnings for this approach, which is now widely used in the telecommunications industry.
For some of his inventions, Professor Gelenbe and the teams he created gave up personal financial reward in exchange for distributing software freely to universities worldwide, so as to spread knowledge and social benefit.
We are very proud of his accomplishments, and on behalf of the whole department I send him my warm congratulations for this prestigious honour
– Professor Eric Yeatman
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
During his long career, Professor Gelenbe has supervised over 75 PhDs who now work in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. The American Mathematical Society ranks him among the top 30 most prolific PhD supervisors in the mathematical sciences. His former PhD students include many talented women researchers and academic leaders.
As part of his visit to Iran, in addition to his acceptance speech, Professor Gelenbe will give two lectures in Tehran, one at Sharif University and the other at the Graduate University for Professors called the Tarbiat Modares University.
Professor Eric Yeatman, Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, paid tribute to Professor Gelenbe: “The underpinning technologies that enable our communications and ICT systems to be efficient and seamless are, in significant part, thanks to the work of Erol. We are very proud of his accomplishments, and on behalf of the whole department I send him my warm congratulations for this prestigious honour.”
In 2015, the Mustafa Prize was first awarded in the field of Nano-Technology to Professor Jackie Ying, a native of Taiwan working at Singapore’s A* Institute and MIT, and to Professor Omer Yaghi from UC Berkeley’s Chemistry Department.
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