Taiwanese wins top international award for 5G research

BIG DREAMS::After winning the award, dubbed a ‘junior Nobel prize,’ Huang Min-yu said he wants to develop a ‘tactile Internet’ to facilitate long-distance surgery

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, May 25, 2019 - Page 2

Huang Min-yu (黃敏祐), 27, last week became the first Taiwanese to win the US-based Marconi Society’s Paul Baran Young Scholar Award for his 5G communication research breakthrough.

Huang, a doctoral candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, obtained his bachelor’s degree through National Tsing Hua University’s (NTHU) Interdisciplinary Program of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2013.

On Friday last week, he received the annual prize for scientists and engineers younger than 28, along with Bichai Wang and Vasuki Narasimha Swamy.

“I never thought that one day I could make more people get to know Taiwan on a global stage,” Huang wrote in Chinese on Facebook on Saturday last week, adding that the award is dubbed a “junior Nobel prize.”

Huang was chosen “for his work to enable future ultra-reliable low-latency communications over 5G and beyond wireless networks,” the society said in a news release.

Specializing in physical, mathematical and IC engineering, Huang is already eyeing 6G communication to develop a “tactile Internet” that facilitates long-distance surgery, NTHU said.

“My work could be an enabling technology for the ‘tactile Internet’ that can remotely access, perceive, manipulate or control real or virtual objects in real time,” Huang wrote in an e-mail to the Taipei Times yesterday.

“[Tactile Internet] will be highly explored in 6G [technology] based on the 5G technique. However, there are still multiple existing bottleneck challenges for ultra-reliable low-latency communication,” he wrote.

Huang said that he has always set clear goals for himself at different ages, adding: “Fortunately, all my efforts eventually turn into expected results.”

He said that he has spent every day over the past four-and-a-half years in the lab.

He plans to stay in the US for the next five years and might return to Taiwan after that.

Huang is a rare student, who is intelligent and hardworking, when most people have only one of those two qualities, said NTHU electrical engineer Shawn Hsu (徐碩鴻), who used to teach Huang.

Huang’s achievement proves that Taiwan provides solid basic training at universities and that students are encouraged to enter more competitive environments after graduation, said Hsu, who is also the director-general of the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Engineering and Technologies.

He would recruit Huang under better-than-normal conditions if he was willing to return to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that he believes Huang will fare well at US tech firms.

Marconi Prize is named after Guglielmo Marconi, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909.

Previously Marconi Prize winners included World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, Google founders Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, and Qualcomm founder Irwin Mark Jacobs.