Featured Engineer

Interview with David Love

David J. Love

Interview with David Love - Electrical Engineer and Professor at Purdue University

Can you give us a little background about yourself?

David J. Love received the B.S. (with highest honors), M.S.E., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2000, 2002, and 2004, respectively. During the summers of 2000 and 2002, he was with Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX. Since August 2004, he has been with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, where he is now a Professor and recognized as a University Faculty Scholar. He has served as an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications, an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, and as a guest editor for special issues of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications and the EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking. His research interests are in the design and analysis of communication systems and MIMO array processing. Dr. Love has been very involved in commercialization of his research with more than 25 U.S. patent filings, 20 of which have issued. He is a frequent consultant on cellular and WiFi systems, including patent licensing and litigation.

Dr. Love is recognized as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher. Along with co-authors, he was awarded the 2009 IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology Jack Neubauer Memorial Award for the best systems paper published in the IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology in that year and a 2013 IEEE Globecom best paper award. He was the recipient of the Fall 2010 Purdue HKN Outstanding Teacher Award and the Fall 2013 Purdue ECE Graduate Student Association Outstanding Faculty Award. He was an invited participant to the 2011 NAE Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium. In 2003, Dr. Love was awarded the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society Daniel Noble Fellowship. He has been inducted into Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu.

How did you get into Electrical/Electronics Engineering and when did you start?

I was always interested in math and science throughout high school. I knew I wanted to get into a career that used math extensively. I found that electrical engineers, specifically those working in communications and signal processing, use mathematical tools to solve real-world problems.

What are you currently working on?

Most of the current research topics my students and I are working on are related to 5G and beyond wireless systems. Here are three sample topics:

Massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wireless systems: Massive MIMO systems will employ 10s or even 100s of antennas at the base station to support increased data rates among the users. We are working on several technical challenges related to transmit adaptation for massive MIMO.

Wireless signaling with electromagnetic exposure constraints: Portable devices sold must comply with constraints on the electromagnetic radiation subjected to the user. This is typically measured in terms of the specific absorption rate (SAR). Researchers in communication theory and information theory have always ignored this constraint. Along with colleagues at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois, I have been working on developing signal design techniques that take SAR into account. These could be used to increase the data rate while maintaining SAR compliance or to lower SAR without decreasing the data rate.

Millimeter wave wireless systems: Many researchers are conjecturing that cellular systems operating in the millimeter wave frequency bands will be a key enabling technology for 5G wireless. We have been working on adaptive array techniques for these systems.

Do you have any noteworthy engineering experiences?

I suppose my experiences working on channel adaptation schemes for MIMO systems were probably noteworthy. Our techniques were embraced by industry.

What is the trickiest bug you have fixed?

Figuring out a way to design channel state information codebooks for MIMO systems was a tricky problem.

What are your favorite books to read?

I enjoy reading biographies of famous mathematicians, scientists, and engineers. I also like to read about sports.

Can you please tell us short background about your “Wideband Wireless System” research?

This topic relates to developing new communication techniques that can operate in flexible spectrum environments. These shared spectrum environments are expected to be important in future communication systems due to the growing demand for spectrum.

You received plenty of awards and recognitions. What are your secrets to achieve those awards and recognitions?

Just keep working hard.

How do you spend your free time?

I mainly watch sports and spend time with my family.

What direction do you see yourself heading in the next few years?

I hope to continue working on problems in communications and signal processing that are important to real-world problems.

As a professor, what words of encouragement you give to your students?

The most important thing is to have confidence in your self. Research is very competitive, but through hard work you can always be productive.

Is there anything you’d like to say to young people to encourage them to pursue Engineering?

It is a great career, especially if you enjoy math and science. It is also of societal importance.

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