Wireless communications researcher Baduge receives Early Career Excellence Award

This is one in a series featuring the university’s 2021 Faculty and Staff Excellence Award recipients, who are being recognized for outstanding teaching, significant scholarly and artistic contributions, and dedication to furthering the mission of the university.

Gayan Aruma Baduge has won the Early Career Faculty Excellence Award at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for 2021.

An assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, Baduge’s research interests include a broad variety of communication theory and wireless communications, especially on massive MIMO systems, millimeter-wave communications, cooperative relay networks and device-to-device communications, among other areas. He came to SIU in 2016 after working as a postdoctoral research fellow and visiting research scholar at Princeton University.

Baduge said he enjoys pursing his interests in mathematical modeling for wireless communication systems, theoretically analyzing their performance metrics, and optimizing the system-designs to satisfy the requirements of next-generation wireless architectures.

“I enjoy my research a lot because it always gives me ample opportunities to learn novel concepts, hone my creativity and sharpen critical-thinking and problem-solving skills,” Baduge said.

The award is given to a faculty member who is within the first five years of employment at SIU and who excels at research, teaching, and other professional activities.

Spyros Tragoudas, director of the School of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, nominated Baduge for the honor. Tragoudas said Baduge’s scholarly publication record was “amazing” and “the best publication record, both in quality and quantity” that he had encountered since moving into a leadership role at SIU in 2012.

Baduge has published 24 journal articles since joining SIU, Tragoudas said, and another 38 articles in selective peer-reviewed Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) conference proceedings.

“This excellent publication record clearly demonstrates that he is able to conduct independently very high-quality research,” Tragoudas wrote. “I very strongly recommend (Baduge) for the University-Level Early Career Faculty Excellence Award. He is a true scholar who will help elevate the level of the school.”

Baduge earned his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering in 2013 at the University of Alberta, Canada, writing his dissertation on “Design and analysis of wireless transmission strategies for cooperative relay networks.”

Baduge’s teaching interests and specialties include undergraduate and graduate courses in communication theory, wireless communications, information theory, digital communications, statistical signal processing, signal estimation and detection, and probability and stochastic processes. After coming to SIU, he developed and taught several courses for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Coming on the heels of 2020, a year that saw many challenges as higher education adjusted to life in a pandemic, Baduge said news of the award brought him delight.

“I am truly honored to be the recipient of this year’s Early Career Faculty Excellence Award,” Baduge said. “I would like to thank all my colleagues at my school, in the College of Engineering and at SIU as a whole for providing me with a conducive work environment that lends itself to my scholastic contributions, teaching and other professional activities.”

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