NYU WIRELESS faculty member Marwa Chafii wins prestigious young-researcher award


In 2021 NYU WIRELESS welcomed Abu Dhabi-based Associate Professor Marwa Chafii to its faculty. Educated at CentraleSupélec in France and with stints as a visiting researcher at such institutions as Poland’s Poznan University of Technology, the University of York, Yokohama National University, and Oxford on her CV, she was charged with opening up the center to the Middle East and Asia.

She said at the time, “I am extremely excited to join NYU WIRELESS and work with academic and industrial leaders to develop cutting-edge research on the next generations of wireless communication systems. Through my role in NYU Abu Dhabi, we are working closely with NYU WIRELESS on starting a wireless research center in Abu Dhabi, leveraging the synergy between both campuses to make a strong impact in the telecommunications sector locally and globally. As the first faculty member in wireless joining NYUAD, I am very eager to be part of this unique adventure.”

Her wireless adventures recently won her the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) ComSoc 2022 Young Researcher Award for the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Region. Given to researchers under the age of 35, the award recognizes her work on integrated sensing and communications (ISAC)--one of the most promising technologies of 6G. Her goal, she explains, is to reduce costs, improve the efficiency of spectrum usage, and solve standardization issues. To do so, sensing and communications will most likely be integrated in the same spectrum, using the same hardware and computation resources. 

“Several applications would benefit from this technology, including vehicular networks, UAVs, robotics, and smart cities,” she says. “We are working on designing advanced waveforms that are jointly designed and optimized for communications and radar sensing to enable the integration of both services.”

The young-researcher award is far from the only honor Chafii has garnered. She received the prize for the best Ph.D. in France in the fields of Signal, Image & Vision, and in 2020 she was recognized by N2Women as one of the “Top 10 Rising Stars in Computer Networking and Communications.” 

“I’m very proud to be a member of IEEE and to be of service to the organization in my capacities as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Communications, vice-chair of the IEEE ComSoc ETI on Machine Learning for Communications, and leader of the education working group of the IEEE ComSoc ETI on Integrated Sensing and Communications,” she says. “I’m grateful to be recognized with the young-researcher award and inspired to work even harder to make Abu Dhabi a major hub of wireless research.”