Robert Heath

Lampe Distinguished Professor
 Engineering Building II (EB2) 2074
 Campus Box 7911
 YouTube Channel


Dr. Robert W. Heath Jr. joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State in August 2020. From 2002 to 2020, he was with the University of Texas at Austin where he was involved in the leadership of their wireless group. Dr. Heath is also President and CEO of MIMO Wireless Inc. His research has been extensively funded by industry and government.

Dr. Heath’s research interests include wireless communications cellular systems, public safety, and military networks, with recent applications to vehicular communication systems, 5G, and now 6G.

He has authored or co-authored several books including “Introduction to Wireless Digital Communication” (Prentice Hall, 2017), “Millimeter Wave Wireless Communications” (Prentice Hall, 2014) and “Foundations of MIMO Communication” (Cambridge University Press, 2019).


  • Ph.D. 2002
    Electrical Engineering
    Stanford University
  • Master's 1997
    Electrical Engineering
    University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Bachelor's 1996
    Electrical Engineering
    University of Virginia, Charlottesville

Research Focus

  • Communications and Signal Processing
  • Electronic Circuits and Systems

Highlighted Awards

Awards & Honors

  • IEEE Vehicular Technology Society James Evans Avant Garde Award (2021)
  • IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award (2019)
  • Qualcomm Faculty Award (2019)
  • Named a Highly Cited Researcher 2014-2019 in Computer Science (2014 also in Engineering)
  • Finalist for the European Inventor Award 2016 with Paulraj and Gesbert, for the invention of MIMO communication
  • Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (2017)
  • European Association for Signal Processing (EURASIP) Technical Achievement Award (2017)
  • IEEE Wireless Communications Technical Committee Recognition Award (2018)
  • IEEE Communication Theory Technical Committee Outstanding Service Award (2017)
  • Fellow of the IEEE (2011)
  • Frontiers in Education New Faculty Fellow (2003)
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society Distinguished Lecturer (2013-2014)
Select paper awards
  • IEEE Communications Society Stephen O. Rice Prize (2019)
  • Journal of Communications and Networks Best Paper Award (2014, 2018)
  • IEEE ICC Best paper Award for the Signal Processing for Communications Symposium (2017)
  • IEEE Marconi Prize Paper Award in Wireless Communications (2017)
  • Co-author of paper receiving the 2016 SPS Young Author Best Paper Award (given to my students Ahmed Alkhateeb and Omar El Ayach)
  • IEEE Communications Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award (2016)
  • IEEE Communications Society Fred W. Ellersick Prize (2016)
  • IEEE GLOBECOM Best Paper Award in Communication Theory (2015)
  • EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing Best Paper Award (2014)
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award (2013)
  • EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking Best Paper Award (2011, 2013)
  • IEEE Signal Processing Magazine Best Paper Award (2012)
Other items of note
  • IEEE GLOBECOM 2017 Most Attended Industry Program Award 1st Runner-Up - V2X for Automated Driving in 4G, 5G and beyond
  • IEEE GLOBECOM 2016 Most Attended Industry Panel Award
  • Grand Prize in the 2008 WinCool Demo Contest, held in conjunction with the Third International Workshop on Wireless Network Testbeds, Experimental Evaluation, and Characterization, on conjunction with ACM MobiCom 2008.

Recent News

ECE Faculty Receive IEEE Vehicular Technology Society 2022 Best Vehicular Electronics Paper Award

Posted on November 22, 2022 | Filed Under: Awards

Nuria González-Prelcic and Robert Heath, won the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society 2022 Best Vehicular Electronics Paper Award! The award recognizes the best paper relating to Vehicular Electronics published in the IEEE Transactions on Vehi …

NC State ECE Faculty Members Ranked as Top Electronics and Electrical Engineers in United States

Posted on March 3, 2022 | Filed Under: News

Fourteen ECE faculty members have been ranked as the Top Electronics and Electrical Engineering Scientists in the United States.

Heath and Kish Named Innovator and Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winners

Posted on February 3, 2021 | Filed Under: Awards

Congratulations to ECE’s Robert Heath who won the Innovator of the Year Award and Fred Kish won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, as part of NC State’s 30th annual Celebration of Innovation.

Media Mentions

NC State names innovator and entrepreneur of the year winners

February 5, 2021

Robert Heath received the Innovator of the Year Award for his seminal work in signal processing and wireless communications. Fred Kish received the John S. Risley Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the success of multiple optical-communication technologies he’s helped commercialize. Kish‘s work has led to the launch of numerous telecommunications products, which have generated over $10 billion in total revenue.


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