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Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) awards grant to School of Engineering Assistant Professor Arman Farhang, supporting the development of novel technologies enabling communication through blockage in millimeter wave (mmWave) systems by creating smart radio environments.

20 March 2023

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Trinity College Dublin School of Engineering Assistant Professor Arman Farhang has received a €374,000 grant from Science Foundation Ireland to support development of novel technologies that enable communication through blockage in millimeter wave (mmWave) systems by creating smart radio environments. This grant titled “Smart Radio Environments with Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces - Communications Through Blockage in Millimeter-wave Systems (REFLECT-MMWAVE)” is part of a combined investment of around €1 million under the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership programme of SFI between the US, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland.

Partners in Northern Ireland include Dr. Dmitry Zelenchuk and Dr. Muhammad Ali Babar Abbasi from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), and partners in the US are Dr. Rong-Rong Chen and Dr. Mingyue Ji from the University of Utah (UoU), Salt Lake City

Commenting on the funding award, Dr Farhang said:

“Here at Trinity College Dublin, we are quite excited to work with colleagues at QUB and UoU on this project. REFLECT-MMWAVE brings together multidisciplinary experts from RF/analogue circuit and antenna design, signal processing, machine learning and communication networks to address the challenges that we are facing in deploying millimeter wave (mmWave) bands for communication.”

“mmWave band deployments in the quest for very high data rates bring a large number of challenges such as signal blockage. Hence, this project explores an emerging communication paradigm where we manipulate the propagation of the electromagnetic waves in a controllable manner using Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface technology to solve the signal blockage and hence the overall user experience.”

The project began in January 2023 and will run for three years. This multidisciplinary project covers both fundamental theory and practical implementation including new algorithms, methodologies, technologies, and tools.

Dr Farhang, comments:

“This project will significantly improve the network coverage in mmWave bands and thus, provides reliable and high data rate links that are of a great importance to the six generation wireless networks (6G)”

This project is an excellent example of Trinity College Dublin's commitment to research and innovation, which is essential in tackling the world's most pressing challenges. To find out more about this project, visit:


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