Jeffrey Nanzer named Google Research Scholar

July 7, 2022

Advancing precise localization of mobile millimeter wave networks

Jeffrey Nanzer of Michigan State University will advance mobile millimeter wave networks as a Google Research Scholar, a select effort by Google to fund world-class research conducted by early-career professors.

Jeffrey Nanzer stands next to a millimeter-wave radar system designed to locate and image objects using communications signals.
Jeffrey Nanzer stands next to a millimeter-wave radar system designed to locate and image objects using communications signals.

Nanzer is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at MSU. His project, Spectrally-Sparse Distributed Localization for Mobile Millimeter-Wave Networks, aims to improve the ability of wireless networks to find the positions of moving devices.

“Broadly, my research focuses on the coordination and cooperative use of collections of wireless devices, and for this we need to know their locations very precisely,” he said. “Finding their locations at millimeter scales is extremely challenging, particularly on moving nodes.”

Nanzer said precise localization is expected to play an important role in future millimeter-wave wireless systems.

“Better localization will help improve the performance of communications networks, but beyond this it is an important step toward closer cooperation of wireless systems,” he explained.

Second cutline
Jeffrey Nanzer works on a millimeter-wave dynamic interferometric antenna array designed for object detection.

MSU Foundation Professor John Papapolymerou, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, called the Google national research opportunity an important distinction coming early in Nanzer’s faculty career.

“Jeff’s work is significantly advancing modern wireless communication systems and will provide unprecedented capabilities for an expanding number of commercial mobile networks and systems including 6G and beyond,” Papapolymerou said. “This is a recognition of Jeff’s high quality and innovative work with a direct impact on the design of future wireless systems and the training of the highly required workforce. It is an honor for him and our department.”

Nanzer’s Google Scholar designation joins his other honors in recent years.

He received the DARPA Director's Fellowship in 2019, the 2019 Outstanding Young Engineer Award from the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society, the NSF CAREER Award in 2018, the DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2017, and the JHU/APL Outstanding Professional Book Award in 2012.

The Nanzer lab evaluates the coordination signals between two separate wireless systems.

He is currently a distinguished lecturer with the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society. He has published more than 200 refereed journal and conference papers, one book, two book chapters, and holds three patents.

He joined MSU as a faculty member in 2016. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Michigan State in 2003. He also received a master’s degree in 2005 and Ph.D. in 2008 in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

“We’re interested in creating wireless networks that can cooperate at the wavelength level, mimicking a single large electromagnetic system, which will lead to significant advantages in future wireless system designs,” Nanzer added. “Precise localization is a critical step to achieving this cooperation.”