For 2019, in alphabetical order by last name, here are 8 amazing women in networking and communications that you should know!

Elisa Bertino
Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University, USA

Elisa Bertino’s research interests include security and privacy of cellular networks, IoT systems, and edge computing. She also works on access control systems and data security and privacy. She is a Fellow of the ACM, the IEEE, and AAAS. She received the IEEE Technical Achievement Award and the ACM 2019-2020 Athena Lecturer Award.

“In her long career, Elisa Bertino pioneered many techniques for context based access control, including temporal and spatial access control models and systems. Her recent work on security of cellular networks is groundbreaking. She has mentored several young researchers, including many women. She is a role model.”

Elena Ferrari, Professor, University of Insubria, Italy
Melike Erol-Kantarci
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at University of Ottawa, Canada

Melike Erol-Kantarci is an expert on wireless communications, AI-enabled networks, smart grid and electric vehicles. She is a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in AI-enabled Next-Generation Wireless Networks and an associate professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Ottawa. She is an influential researcher with more than 100 peer-reviewed, well-cited publications. Her pioneering work in smart grid communications has received several awards and recognitions. She has co-edited two books and delivered many invited talks around the globe. She has acted as the general chair and technical program chair for many international conferences and workshops. She is a senior member of the IEEE.

“Melike is a stellar researcher with many high quality publications and an outstanding citation record. She always brings pioneering ideas to the research she is involved in. She has been a role model for many female students and postdocs as a young and successful leader.”

Hussein Mouftah, University of Ottawa, Canada
Sonia Fahmy
Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University, USA

Sonia Fahmy’s research interests lie in the design and evaluation of network architectures and protocols. She received the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2003, and was named a Purdue University Faculty Scholar in 2016. Her research has been supported by grants from the government and industry including NSF, DHS, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Northrop Grumman, Schlumberger, and BBN. She served on the organizing or technical program committees of several conferences including ACM SIGCOMM, SIGMETRICS, MOBICOM, CoNEXT, and SOSR, and IEEE INFOCOM, ICNP, and ICDCS, and on the editorial boards of IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and IEEE Transactions on Computers.

“Sonia’s research results on wireless sensor networks, network testbeds and simulations, and most recently Network Functions Virtualization, are highly cited and continue to prompt follow-on work.”

Raj Jain, Barbara J. and Jerome R. Cox, Jr. Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, USA
Hyesook Lim
Professor of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Ewha Womans University, South Korea

Hyesook Lim has been working in the fields of communication and networking for more than 25 years. She had developed application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) such as an 8-VSB demodulator and a SONET processing engine, while she was working for Bell Labs at Murray Hill for 3 and a half years. She had also developed packet forwarding ICs, while she was working for Cisco Systems at San Jose for 2 years. While she was performing research at Ewha Womans University, she has published 31 SCI papers, 44 international conference papers, and 24 domestic papers. She also holds many patents. Her current research interest is the development of packet forwarding algorithms and architectures, and their hardware implementations. She got the award “the female scientist and engineer of this year” from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea in 2014. She is a senior member of IEEE and also a member of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea (NAEK).

“Hyesook has made a significant contribution to the forwarding and routing in the conventional network and future networking fields. Not only as a researcher but also as a female engineer, she has been expanding the boundary. She is the head of the center for women in engineering and the first female President of the Institute of Electronics and Information Engineers (IEIE), which is the largest academic association in Korea, holding 73 years of history. As a researcher, as an educator, and as a pioneer, she has been inspiring many young females including myself as a guiding STAR.”

Ju Hyoung Mun, Boston University, USA
Chiara Petrioli
Professor of Computer Science at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy

Chiara Petrioli’s research concerns wireless systems, with particular focus on the Internet of Things and cyber physical systems. She has been among the first researchers developing solutions for low power operation of wireless and IoT systems. She is a pioneer of the Internet of Underwater Things. Director of three labs at La Sapienza, Chiara has served as chair of the PhD program in computer science at La Sapienza, as member of ACM SIGMOBILE executive committee and is an elected member of ACM Europe Council. She is chair of the steering committee of IEEE SECON, has been part of the steering committee of IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and of ACM SenSys, and has served as either general chair or TPC Chair of leading conferences in the field including IEEE INFOCOM, ACM MobiCom, ACM SenSys, and ACM MobiHoc. She has been PI of over 30 European Community and Italian Government-sponsored projects, totaling a personal share of 10+ Mln euros in funding. This has enabled trailblazing research and the graduation of tens of Ph.D. students, many of whom female. Driven by the desire to see her innovations widely used and adopted, she has recently entered the entrepreneurial world, founding a university spinoff that has scaled up to 20+ employees in three countries within two years of operations on the market. Selected awards bestowed on Chiara include being recognized among the top Inspiring Fifty, Italy (2018), the AIF Adriano Olivetti Award for innovation and impact in teaching and training, being listed among the top 100 “women against the stereotype in STEM,” 2016 (by Fondazione Bracco, Osservatorio della Ricerca di Pavia, GIULIA association of Italian female journalists), having her project SUNRISE awarded with the NT100, Nominet Trust Top 100 Social Global Techs changing our lives 2016. Chiara is also a Fulbright scholar.

“Chiara is one of the most focused and visionary researchers I have ever met. Her work ethic and leadership skills are extraordinary. Her contributions to research in networking are as remarkable as the impact she is making in the industrial and commercial world, where she is pushing the boundaries of new technology towards the solutions of problems benefiting researchers, practitioners as well as society at large. Collaborating with her is a lesson on teamwork, and a pleasure.”

Stefano Basagni, The Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things, Northeastern University, USA
Sylvia Ratnasamy
Professor of Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley, USA

Sylvia Ratnasamy is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, whose work focuses on the design and implementation of networked systems. Her research has spanned topics such as Distributed Hash Tables, software traffic processing, and datacenter network designs. She is a recipient of the ACM Grace Murray Hopper award, the ACM SIGCOMM Test-of-Time award, the ACM SIGCOMM Rising Star award and the Alfred P. Sloan research fellowship.

“Sylvia is an influential leader in the field of networked systems, widely known for her research on software traffic processing and middleboxes. What I most admire about Sylvia’s research is that it hits a “sweet spot” in combining architectural vision with hard-core systems research and a strategic emphasis on important practical problems. She has “great taste” in problem selection, and great success in having an impact on industry and on the research community.”

Jennifer Rexford, Princeton University, USA
Mihaela van der Schaar
Chancellor’s Professor at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), John Humphrey Plummer Professor at University of Cambridge and The Alan Turing Institute

Professor van der Schaar has a long and distinguished career and made many significant contributions to the field of networking and communications. She pioneered several research areas including multimedia streaming and networking (2001), cross-layer adaptation and optimization for multimedia transmission (2003), supervised (2003), reinforcement learning (2004) and multi-agent (2005) learning for communications and networking systems, game-theoretic solution (2005) for networks of strategic users. Her initiation of the work in these areas provided the foundation for the research of many others and all these areas are now at the core of communications and networking research and practice. For example, her work on cross-layer optimization enabled delay-sensitive transmission of multimedia over wireless networks with high quality; her work on multi-agent reinforcement learning allowed transceivers to dynamically learn and adapt their transmission to efficiently share resources. In recognition of her work in these areas, she was awarded the NSF Career Award (2004) and elected Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Communications Society (2011).

“Mihaela is a leader in the field of communications and networks and her work has laid the foundations for research by many others. She has numerous publications and holds 35 US patents in the area. Her professional recognition includes election as IEEE Fellow, NSF Career Award, three IBM Faculty Awards, the IBM Exploratory Stream Analytics Innovation Award, the Philips Make a Difference Award, Oon Preventative Medicine Award and several best paper awards, including the IEEE Darlington Award. She is also an outstanding graduate student supervisor; many of her former students now hold prestigious academic and industrial research posts throughout the world. Her contributions, leadership and mentorship of others, without doubt, make her as a leading STAR in computer networking and communications.”

Hyunggon Park, Ewha Womans University, South Korea
Haitao (Heather) Zheng
Professor of Computer Science at University of Chicago, USA

Heather Zheng is the Neubauer Professor of Computer Science at University of Chicago. She received her PhD degree from University of Maryland, College Park in 1999. After spending six years as a researcher in industry labs (Bell-Labs, USA, and Microsoft Research Asia), she joined the UC Santa Barbara faculty in Fall 2005, and moved to University of Chicago in Summer 2017. At University of Chicago, she co-directs the SANDLab ( Over her 20 years in research labs and academia, her research has evolved and adapted to target important, high impact problems, covering significant ground in wireless networking, mobile systems, network measurements and security. Most recently, she is focusing on two broad areas: mobile sensing and its implication on security and privacy, and security and privacy of deep learning systems. Her research has been featured by a number of media outlets. She is an IEEE fellow, an ACM distinguished scientist, and has received a number of awards, including MIT Technology Review’s TR-35, and the World Technology Network Fellow Award. She has served as the TPC co-chair of MobiCom and DySPAN. She is currently serving on the steering committee of MobiCom and as the chair of SIGMOBILE research highlights committee.

“Heather has demonstrated prestigious research works, exemplary leadership, dedicated service, and outstanding contributions in computer networking and communications. She is truly a role model for young female researchers.”

Chen Liu, University of Victoria, Canada. Northwest University, China

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