Development & Alumni Relations Office 


11 September 2020

An academic from Queen’s University Belfast has been awarded a prestigious five-year Research Chair from the Royal Academy of Engineering to study 6G.

Professor Trung Duong, from the Centre for Wireless Innovation (CWI) within the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s University, believes that while each new cellular generation concentrates on faster data rates compared to the previous, 6G will depart from this by focusing not only on faster speeds for traditional services, but also on a massive interconnection of autonomous machines with stringent low-latency constraints.

Professor Duong’s research will provide an opportunity to go beyond 5G and towards 6G in a number of important respects to harmonise and integrate wireless communications, data transfer, radar and imaging, where high bandwidth and near-zero latency is crucial.

Nokia Bell Labs will be an active collaborator in the proposed project. It is hoped that the collaboration will also bring streams of external funding and will lead to enhanced opportunities for academic and research staff to work on ground-breaking research.

Speaking about the award, Professor Duong said:

“Wireless communications and associated digital technologies have been shaping our planet in an unprecedented way – not least in the current battle against COVID-19.

“Increasingly, we live in an interconnected, smart, globalised society in which the physical and information worlds are inextricably linked. The ever-increasing number of wireless and mobile devices requiring ultra-reliable and low-latency functionality is generating an exponential growth in data traffic – a 10,000-fold growth is predicted to occur by 2030.

“Our rapidly changing world is currently undergoing a ‘fourth industrial revolution’ that is currently being driven by 5G communications and cyber-physical systems.

“My driving passion is to take that revolution forward into the next decade and for 6G to enable a future that benefits all of society – e.g. remote medical diagnosis and surgery, autonomous self-driving vehicles, virtual and augmented reality for education, healthcare and entertainment and all within smart, safe cities, and disaster management.”

In 2017 Professor Duong was awarded the 2017 Newton Prize in Vietnam for his work designing a wireless communications system that could withstand natural disasters such as an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane. Originally from Vietnam he won the prestigious accolade and £200,000 prize money for his scientific breakthrough.

6G will be the sixth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks and as the successor to 5G, it will likely be significantly faster. Unlikely to become commercially available until the 2030s, several notable companies (i.e. Nokia, Samsung and Huawei) have shown interest in 6G.

Media enquiries to Sarah Beveridge at Queen's Communications Office on telephone: +44 (0)7795 353874.

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