Mao appointed director of the Wireless Engineering Research and Education Center

Published: Jul 13, 2015 9:00:00 AM
Media Contact: Gail Riese,, 334-844-3447

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Shiwen Mao, associate professor in Auburn University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been selected as director of the Wireless Engineering Research and Education Center in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. He has also been named as the Samuel Ginn Endowed Professor in conjunction with the appointment.

“Dr. Mao has received international recognition for his outstanding contributions to the wireless engineering field,” said Mark Nelms, chair of electrical and computer engineering. “I look forward to working with him to advance the wireless engineering program at Auburn University.”

Serving as the focal point for the university’s wireless activities, the center represents an interdisciplinary effort among faculty in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering.

“We have seen Shiwen build an enviable reputation in the wireless field, and are excited that he will take us to the next level of wireless education and research,” Christopher B. Roberts, dean of engineering noted. “Samuel Ginn, who is the namesake of the College of Engineering, has set high standards of performance in this area, and we expect not only to meet these, but exceed them as well.”

As director, Mao will be responsible for maintaining and strengthening the undergraduate wireless curriculum and developing an innovative and comprehensive graduate research program. He will collaborate with faculty on interdisciplinary research projects and will work to advance the center’s research portfolio.

“I am greatly honored and humbled to be named as director,” said Mao of the appointment. “The center has contributed greatly to the development of my teaching and research activities at Auburn, so I am excited to be given the responsibility of offering those same opportunities to current and future Auburn faculty. I am also enthusiastic about serving our students and building on our past successes in order to move the center to the next level.”

Mao received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electronic engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China in 1994 and 1997, respectively, and received a bachelor’s degree in business management in 1994 from the same institution. He also earned a master’s degree in systems engineering in 2000 and a doctoral degree in electrical and computer engineering in 2004 from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering in Brooklyn, New York.  

Mao joined the Auburn faculty in 2006 after serving as a research scientist in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. His research interests include wireless networks and multimedia communications, with a focus on cognitive radio networks, small cells, fifth generation mobile networks, free space optical networks, indoor localization and smart grid technologies.

A lecturer of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Vehicular Technology Society, and recipient of numerous awards and honors, Mao was a co-recipient of the IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference 2015 Best Paper award, the IEEE International Conference on Communications 2013 Best Paper award and the 2004 IEEE Communications Society Leonard G. Abraham Prize in the field of communications systems. A senior member of IEEE, Mao serves on the editorial board for four IEEE publications and holds positions on many organizing and technical program committees of major international conferences in the field.

He received the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council senior research award for excellence in 2015 and the junior award in 2011. Mao received a prestigious National Science Foundation Career Award in 2010.

Mao succeeds Prathima Agrawal, professor emeritus in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who retired as director after 11 years of service.