Electronics Professor wins international award for energy efficient communications

Professor Jaafar Elmirghani was rewarded by the IEEE for his outstanding contributions to the energy efficiency of optical communications.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), USA, recognised the work of Professor Elmirghani and his team, who were rewarded with the Outstanding Technical Achievement Award.

The award, which recognises sustained technical contributions to the field over a period of time, is in recognition of the pioneering work of Professor Elmirghani, which was supported by the EPSRC £5.9m Intelligent Energy Aware Networks (INTERNET) Programme Grant, where he was the Principal Investigator.

The award outlines three distinct contributions to optical communications and energy efficiency: First, the researchers’ contributions to energy efficient core optical network design, virtualisation and optimisation.

Professor Elmirghani and his team showed how the core network, data centres and content distribution networks can be co-designed to improve their energy efficiency by 315 times. Their mathematical optimisation methods led to a number of breakthroughs that were used by academia and industry and were incorporated into five core IEEE standards.

Second, it recognises the Professor’s contributions to energy efficient optical inter- and intra-data centre networks. The work led to significant energy efficiency improvements. It resulted three patents, and a University of Leeds spin-off company which is commercialising the work.

Third, it recognises contributions to optical wireless systems over the past 20 years that led to data rates that formed one of the basis of future 6G wireless communication systems. These achievements led to the recent £6.6m EPSRC Terabit Bidirectional Multi-user Optical Wireless System (TOWS) for 6G LiFi Programme Grant, where Prof. Elmirghani is the Principle Investigator.

Professor Elmirghani said:

“I am delighted that my work and the work of my group was recognised through this prestigious award, for our distinct contributions to optical communications and energy efficiency.”

“It is a tribute to the world leading work my group has carried out in this area and the immense support we received from our industrial and academic collaborators.”

The award is a tribute to the world leading work my group has carried out in this area and the immense support we received from our industrial and academic collaborators.

Professor Jaafar Elmirghani, School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Professor Elmirghani has also played a key role in promoting the wider energy efficiency agenda in communication systems and ICT in general. He founded and co-chairs the IEEE Sustainable ICT initiative, an IEEE Societies initiative responsible for green technology activities.

Further information

The award was given by the IEEE Communication Society Transmission, Access and Optical Systems Committee. It followed an international competition in 2020 that evaluated a range of contributions to optical communications over a period of time.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics EngineerS is the largest technical professional organisation with more than 420,000 members.

Professor Elmirghani’s research was incorporated into five IEEE standards: IEEE P1925.1, IEEE P1926.1, IEEE P1927.1, IEEE P1928.1 and IEEE P1929.1.

Professor Elmirghani ‘s work in this area led to several other international awards, including:

  • The IEEE Communications Society 2005 Hal Sobol award
  • IEEE Communications Society outstanding service awards (2009, 2015),
  • 2015 GreenTouch 1000x award,
  • IET Optoelectronics 2016 Premium Award
  • 2016 Edison Award

Learn more about the Institute of Communication and Power Networks at the University of Leeds, and the PhD students Professor Elmirghani supervises.