Terahertz communications for 6G systems, wireless nano-bio-communication networks, Internet of Nano-Things
Josep Miquel Jornet is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the director of the Ultrabroadband Nanonetworking (UN) Laboratory, and a member of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things and the SMART Center at Northeastern University (NU). He received a Degree in Telecommunication Engineering and a Master of Science in Information and Communication Technologies from Barcelona School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSETB), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain, in 2008. From September 2007 to December 2008, he was a visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, under the MIT Sea Grant program. He received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, in August 2013. Between August 2013 and August 2019, he was in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB), The State University of New York (SUNY).
His research interests are in Terahertz communication networks, wireless nano-bio-communication networks, and the Internet of Nano-Things. In these areas, he has co-authored more than 160 peer-reviewed scientific publications, including 2 book and 4 US patents. His work has received more than 10,200 citations (h-index of 46 as of July 2021). Since July 2016, he is the Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s Nano Communication Networks Journal. He is serving as the lead PI on multiple grants from U.S. federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). He received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2019 and is the recipient of several other awards from IEEE, ACM, UB and NU.
- Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA 2013
- M.S., Information & Communication Technologies, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain, 2008
- B.S., Telecommunications Engineering, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain, 2008
Honors & Awards
- Best Paper Award, for “Performance Analysis of a Dual Terahertz/Ka-Band Communication System for Satellite Mega-Constellations,” in the 1st IEEE WoWMoM Workshop on Non-Terrestrial-Networks in 6G Wireless, June 7, 2021.
- Best Paper Award, for “Uplink Multi-User Beamforming on Single RF Chain mmWave WLANs,” in the 2021 IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM 2021), May 2021.
- Distinguished TPC Member Award, IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM) 2021.
- IEEE Senior Member Elevation, November 2020.
- Faculty Fellow, College of Engineering, Northeastern University, 2019.
- NSF CAREER Award, March 2019.
- UB SEAS Early Career Teacher of Year Award, December 2018.
- UB Exceptional Scholar – Young Investigator Award, for his contributions to the field of Terahertz Communications, 2018.
- Distinguished TPC Member Award, IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM) 2018.
- UB SEAS Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, for “for seminal, and high-impact, contributions to the development of novel communication networks, including terahertz-band communication systems, implantable and wearable medical-device technology, and the internet of things,” December 2017.
- Best Paper Award, Runner Up, for “X60: A Programmable Testbed for Wideband 60 GHz WLANs with Phased Arrays,” in the 11th ACM International Workshop on Wireless Network Testbeds, Experimental evaluation & Characterization (WiNTECH) 2017, Snowbird, Utah, October 2017.
- Best Paper Award, for “Stochastic Multipath Channel Modeling and Power Delay Profile Analysis for Terahertz-band Communication,” in the 4th ACM International Conference on Nanoscale Computing and Communication (NanoCom) 2017, Washington, DC, September 2017.
- ACM NanoCom Outstanding Milestone Award, in recognition of “his pioneering contributions to the field of nano-device technology and communication techniques for nanonetworks in the Terahertz spectrum,” received at the 4th ACM International Conference on Nanoscale Computing and Communication (NanoCom) 2017, Washington, DC, September 2017.
- IEEE ComSoc Young Professional Best Innovation Award, for “his innovative application of nano-biosensor networks to smart health monitoring and diagnosis systems,” received at IEEE ICC 2017, Paris, May 2017.
Both fundamental and advanced concepts in communications and networking, including terahertz communications, nanonetworks, and the Internet of Things.
- Editor-in-Chief, Nano Communication Networks (Elsevier) Journal, since 2016.
- Steering Committee Member, ACM International Conference Series on Nanoscale Computing and Communication (NanoCom), 2016-2019, 2020-present.
- Program Committee Chair, 6G Symposium, 2020.
- Symposium Co-Chair, Wireless Communications Symposium, IEEE International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communication (ICNC) 2021
- Track Co-Chair, 5G and Towards 6G Track, IEEE Consumer Communications & Networking Conference (CCNC) 2021
- Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
- IEEE Communications Society
- Association for Computing Machinery
Terahertz communications for 6G systems, wireless nano-bio-communication networks, Internet of Nano-Things
Dr. Jornet is the founding director the Ultrabroadband Nanonetworking Laboratory (UN Lab), a vibrant, diverse, and inter-disciplinary laboratory currently with 10 Ph.D. students (plus 5 alumni), 3 M.S. students (plus 14 alumni), and 5 undergraduate students (plus 13 alumni), a third of which is composed of students from underrepresented groups in STEM. The UN Lab addresses wireless communication challenges that are of national and societal relevance, such as solving the spectrum scarcity problem by developing new wireless technologies for terahertz communications (from graphene-based nano-transceivers and nano-antennas to ultra-broadband signal processing and communication algorithms); or facilitating transformative healthcare systems (from cancer monitoring plasmonic implants to brain-machine interfaces for neural function restoration) by laying the foundations of wearable and intra-body nano-bio communication networks at optical frequencies. The UN Lab has expertise in nano-device design, modeling and analysis; signal propagation modeling and experimental characterization; and communication and networking protocol design, performance analysis, implementation, and experimental testing. For a list and more details of the current active projects in the lab, please check here.
Under the premise that “anything is possible as long as it does not break the laws of physics”, the UN Lab works hard towards bridging the gap between science, engineering, and society. In this direction, Dr. Jornet is at the forefront and actively involved in many activities aimed at both policy and regulation of the spectrum above 100 GHz as well as the standardization of solutions that can ensure equitable access to such resources.
In particular, aimed at transitioning terahertz communications research from theory to practice, with the support of the US National Science Foundation and the US Air Force Research Laboratory, Dr. Jornet was able to obtain first-of-a-kind US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licenses, including the first license to operate a wireless communication system above 1 THz (File numbers 0143-EX-ST-2018 and 0516-EX-CN-2018) and, more importantly, the first license ever to allow a long-range wireless communication system (multiple kilometers) to operate over the 220-260 GHz, a frequency range which includes to protected frequency bands reserved to satellite-based passive scientific users of the spectrum (File number 0753-EX-ST-2018). This required the dynamic operation of the link according to the presence of the satellite of interest in the area of influence. Effectively, this demonstrated that different ways of sharing the spectrum beyond exclusive access are possible, which can, in fact, benefit all the users of the spectrum. For example, larger contiguous bandwidths, uninterrupted by the presence of forbidden bands, can enable ultra-high capacity wireless backhauls to provide ultra-broadband Internet access to rural areas and bridge the digital divide in the nation. At the same time, having more resources for atmospheric sensing (including radar and spectroscopy) applications, can facilitate the data collection and expedite the studies and solutions to climate change. The experiences and lessons learned from the studies conducted by Dr. Jornet were contributed as inputs and captured in the final version of the US FCC Docket 19-19 Spectrum Horizons, which introduces new mechanisms to obtain FCC licenses for experimental THz systems above 100 GHz, allocates more than 20 GHz of unlicensed spectrum for the same and, ultimately, positions the US at the forefront of spectrum policy. Other more recent contributions to the FCC include new recommended practices to ensure the protection of the scientific users of the spectrum while achieving a more cost-effective use of the 24 GHz 5G band. This has resonated very well with key spectrum players, such as AT&T.
The FCC is, however, only the first stop, because to have a worldwide impact, such spectrum recommendations need to be captured by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In 2020, led by Dr. Jornet, Northeastern University joined and became one of the only ten US-based academic members of the ITU. As a full member of the ITU, NU can submit contributions not only through specific working groups but also directly to the US Department of State. For example, in the last two years, Dr. Jornet has led contributions to US Working Party (WP) 1A – Spectrum Engineering – and US WP 7C – Remote Sensing Systems on the timely topic of spectrum coexistence above 100 GHz, which were approved by the US Department of State and discussed at the global ITU meeting in Geneva in Fall 2020. As an ITU Member, the group can influence the direction of ITU’s work, which eventually can translate into related work within the United Nations system and, thus, worldwide outreach across the 193 ITU Member States.
More recently, Dr. Jornet has also been contributing to the vision of the creation of a National Radio Dynamic Zone (NRDZ), or the playground where the future of the spectrum usage can be experimentally tested while minimizing interference to existing systems. The focus of Dr. Jornet’s supplement is to specifically focus on the techniques needed to ensure coexistence and protection of the spectrum users above 100 GHz. Closely related to this, Dr. Jornet led the high-frequency aspects of Northeastern’s university application and recent approval to become an FCC Spectrum Innovation Zone. He is also the university liaison and contributor for the mmWave Coalition, an industry group aimed at removing the regulatory barriers to technologies and using frequencies between 95 GHz and 450 GHz, and a member of the Working Groups on Spectrum, Technology, and National Roadmap for 6G in the NextG Alliance, a coalition aimed at building the foundation for North American leadership in the 6G and beyond.
Besides policy, Dr. Jornet has been consistently contributing to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.15 Terahertz Interest Group. Dr. Jornet’s first contribution to the group was in 2010 when he was a junior Ph.D. student. Since that day, he has been regularly participating in the meetings and presenting the outcomes of the group (including the first standard for THz communications approved in 2017) to a larger audience, which are many times not familiar with neither the existence nor the impact of such activities.
It is also the goal of Dr. Jornet to ensure that more people are exposed to all these organizations, procedures, and facts, starting from students. To achieve this, Dr. Jornet promotes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by leveraging multiple vehicles developed at Northeastern. The UN Lab contributes to the university Young Scholar’s Program by hosting two high-school students in the lab over the summer every year, offering them a unique opportunity for a hands-on research experience. In addition, Dr. Jornet is a regular speaker in the Pathways to STEM program, after school program geared towards high school students with interests in STEM. In both cases, the goal is to show the excitement, diversity, and opportunities for real impact in the broad field of STEM. Once on campus, the UN Lab is also the mentor and research advisor for the Undergraduate Program for Leaders in Future Transformation (UPLIFT), as part of which promising first-year undergraduate students are given the opportunity to work in a research laboratory and being exposed to state of the art research. All these add to a very diverse group of master and Ph.D. students working on diverse aspects ranging from nanomaterials to spectrum policy, regulation, and standardization.
Last but not least, all the lessons learned through the years are now part of a semester-long graduate inter-disciplinary course on terahertz communications for 6G networks, offered every year at Northeastern. In addition, aimed at disseminating this knowledge and promoting workforce development in areas which are of critical national interest, Dr. Jornet has given this course in different forms to other institutions (not only academic but also companies and national research labs) and in conferences, through keynote speeches (6 in the last two years out of a total of 10); tutorials and short courses (7 in the last two years, out of a total of 14); panel discussions (11 in the last two years out of 18 total); and seminars and webinars (20 in the last 2 years, out of a total of 52).
Selected Research Projects
- “Control of Information Processing and Learning in Neuronal Networks through Light-mediated Programming of Genomic Networks,” National Science Foundation, Feb. 15, 2021 – Jan. 31, 2024.
- “NRDZ Supplement for CAREER: Realizing Ultra-broadband Terahertz Communication Networks,” National Science Foundation, August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021.
- “Collaborative Research: CNS Core: Large: Scaling WLANs to TB/sec: THz Spectrum, Architectures, and Control,” National Science Foundation, July 15, 2020 – July 14, 2025.
- “Enabling Frequency-agile Ultra-broadband Airborne Networks in the THz Band,” Air Force Research Lab, May 8, 2019 – September 30, 2022.
- “CAREER: Realizing Ultra-broadband Terahertz Communication Networks,” National Science Foundation, March 1, 2019 – February 28, 2024.
- “NeTS: Medium: Collaborative Research: Scaling WLANs in Spectrum, User Density, and Robustness,” National Science Foundation, August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2022.
- “Networked Nanophotonic Devices for Stem Cell Regulation: From Optogenetics to Optogenomics,”
National Science Foundation, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2022.
- “PFI:BIC:WearNet: Smart Health Monitoring & Diagnosis System based on Wearable Nano-biosensing Networks,”
National Science Foundation, September 1, 2017 – August 31, 2021.
Research Centers and Institutes
Selected recent references:
- P. Sen, V. Ariyarathna, A. Madanayake and J. M. Jornet, “A versatile experimental testbed for ultrabroadband communication networks above 100 GHz” Elsevier Computer Networks (COMNET), vol. 193, p. 108092, April 2021. PDF
- J. Kokkoniemi, J.M. Jornet, V. Petrov, Y. Koucheryavy, and M. Juntti, “Channel Modeling and Performance Analysis of Airplane-Satellite Terahertz Band Communications,” IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 70, no. 3, pp. 2047 – 2061, March 2021. PDF
- C. Wang, X. Yao, W. Wang and J. M. Jornet, “Multi-hop Deflection Routing Algorithm Based on Reinforcement Learning for Energy-Harvesting Nanonetworks,” to appear in IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 2021. PDF
- Q. Xia, Z. Hossain, M. Medley, and J. M. Jornet, “Synchronization and Medium Access Control Protocol for Terahertz-band Communication networks,” IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 20, no. 1., pp. 2-18, January 2021. PDF
- S. Wirdatmadja, J. M. Jornet, Y. Koucheryavy and S. Balasubramaniam, “Channel Impulse Analysis of Light Propagation for Point-to-point Nano Communications through Cortical Neurons,” IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 68, no. 11, pp. 7111-7122, November 2020. PDF
- M. Polese, J. M. Jornet, T. Melodia and M. Zorzi, “Toward End-to-End, Full-Stack 6G Terahertz Networks,” IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 58, no. 11, pp. 48-54, November 2020. PDF
- A. Singh, M. Andrello, N. Thawdar and J. M. Jornet, “Design and Operation of a Graphene-based Plasmonic Nano-antenna Array for Communication in the Terahertz Band,” IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communications (JSAC), vol. 38, no. 9, pp. 2104-2117, September 2020. PDF
- V. Petrov, D. Moltchanov, Y. Koucheryavy, and J. M. Jornet, “Capacity and Outage of Terahertz Communications with User Micro-mobility and Beam Misalignment,” IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 69, no. 6, pp. 6822-6827, June 2020. PDF
- Z. Zhang, X. Qiao, B. Midya, K. Liu, J. Sun, T. Wu, W. Liu, R. Agarwal, J. M. Jornet, S. Longhi, N. M. Litchinitser, and L. Feng, “Tunable topological charge vortex microlaser via spin-orbit interactions,” Science, vol. 368, no. 6492, pp. 760-763, May 2020.PDF
- A.J. Alqaraghuli, H. Abdellatif, J.M. Jornet, “Performance Analysis of a Dual Terahertz/Ka Band Communication System for Satellite Mega-Constellations”, in Prof. of IEEE Conference on World of Wireless, Mobile, and Multimedia Networks (WoWMOM), June 2021. (Best Paper Award) PDF
- K. Dasala, J. M. Jornet, E. Knightly, “Uplink Multi-User Beamforming on Single RF Chain mmWave WLANs,” Proc. of the IEEE Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM) 2021, May 2021. (Best Paper Award) PDF
- J. M. Jornet, G. Aizin, P. Kumar, M. Medley and N. Thawdar, “Graphene-based Plasmonic PhaseModulator for Terahertz Communications,” U.S. Patent No. 10,996,379, issued on May 4, 2021 (Priority date April 9, 2017). [USPTO] PDF
Sep 23, 2021
ECE Associate Professor Dimitrios Koutsonikolas, Professor Stefano Basagni, Professor Kaushik Chowdhury, Associate Professor Josep Jornet, and William Lincoln Smith Professor Tommaso Melodia were awarded a $3M award to create “An Open, Programmable Platform to Conquer the 5G and 6G Wireless Spectrum.”
Jun 24, 2021
ECE Associate Professor Josep Jornet received the Best Paper Award at the IEEE WoWMoM 6G Non-terrestrial Networks (NTN) Workshop, for the work titled “Performance Analysis of a Dual Terahertz/Ka Band Communication System for Satellite Mega-Constellations”, led by his students Ali Al Qaraghuli, PhD’24, and Hussam Abdellatif, PhD’24.
May 17, 2021
ECE Associate Professor Josep Jornet’s paper on “Uplink Multi-User Beamforming on Single RFChain mmWave WLANs” was received the best paper award at the 2021 IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications.
May 04, 2021
Curiosity and engagement are top traits of high-potential talented students. To tap into and nurture this excitement, the College of Engineering introduced an innovative program in Fall 2020: Undergraduate Program for Leaders In Future Transformation (UPLIFT). UPLIFT Scholars are paired with a faculty mentor and work in their mentor’s lab conducting research starting their first semester of their first year of study at Northeastern.
Mar 23, 2021
ECE Associate Professor Josep Jornet was recently interviewed by the SPIE (the International Society for Optics and Photonics) about the use of terahertz technologies in the future of autonomous cars. The story “Autonomous cars drive terahertz research” was published in an issue of Photonics Focus.
Feb 08, 2021
ECE Associate Professor Josep Jornet (PI), Professor Matteo Rinaldi, and Assistant Professor Hui Fang, in collaboration with Michal Stachowiak and Yongho Bae from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, was awarded a $600K NSF grant for “Control of Information Processing and Learning in Neuronal Networks through Light-mediated Programming of Genomic Networks.”
Sep 28, 2020
ECE Associate Professor Josep Jornet is manipulating lasers and the properties of light to enable faster and better internet connections.
Sep 10, 2020
Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2019-2020 academic school year.
Sep 03, 2020
Northeastern University’s Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (WIOT), along with mobile and video technology research and development company InterDigital, is hosting a virtual 6G symposium to create excitement and increase public awareness and engagement in articulating a strong vision for 6G.
Jul 31, 2020
ECE Associate Professor Josep Jornet published a collaborative paper in the prestigious journal Science, titled: “Tunable Topological Charge Vortex Microlaser.” With COVID-19, the volume of information that the Internet needs to carry has drastically increased. To be able to keep up with the user needs and enable new forms of online interaction, new ways to be able to transmit more information over existing infrastructure are needed. In collaboration with groups at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University, Jornet and the research team have theoretically designed and experimentally demonstrated the first on-chip tunable laser for orbital angular momentum (OAM) modulation and multiplexing.