MSUToday
Published: Sept. 11, 2019

Jeffrey Nanzer selected for DARPA director’s fellowship

Contact(s): Pat Mroczek

Jeffrey Nanzer of Michigan State University has been awarded a director’s fellowship from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. Nanzer is the Dennis P. Nyquist assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, or ECE.

The one-year award, valued at $250,000, extends Nanzer’s efforts to make dramatic improvements in radar, remote sensing and communications applications.

Nanzer joined MSU as a faculty member in 2016. In 2017, Nanzer won a $400,000 DARPA Young Faculty Award, or YFA, to create technologies enabling separate, small wireless systems to collaborate as a single system. Rather than redesigning new and larger systems when performance increases are needed, he said adding small and cheap nodes to the distributed system will reduce both costs and development time.

“The aim is to develop methods for precise coordination between multiple nodes and explore the new capabilities enabled by coherent distributed arrays,” Nanzer said.

MSU foundation professor and ECE chair John Papapolymerou said the award is an acknowledgment of Nanzer’s potential to expedite the capabilities of wireless and remote sensing applications.

“Jeff’s work is significantly advancing the state-of-the art in modern radar and wireless communication systems and will enable a new generation of such systems with unprecedented capabilities,” Papapolymerou said. “His work will not only benefit our armed forces but also people’s everyday lives. This is a great recognition of his high quality and groundbreaking work and a great honor for him and our department.”

DARPA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies. DARPA’s YFA program helps to establish and sustain groups of young scientists motivated to pursue high-risk, high-reward research by pairing them with DARPA program managers.