While much of the world’s wireless communications technologies, such as cell phones, run on 5G mobile networks, engineers already have their eyes on developing future-generation networks. One of these engineers is Yanchao Zhang, a professor of electrical engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.

Zhang runs the DOD Center of Excellence in Future Generation Wireless Technology, or FutureG Center of Excellence. Led by ASU and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, or U.S. DOD, the center includes collaborators from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory, the U.S. DOD and The Ohio State University researching wireless network improvements.

The FutureG Center of Excellence aims to advance mobile network technology for wireless communications that are more secure, faster and more reliable. Artificial intelligence, or AI, and machine learning are also up for potential inclusion.

The center also has outreach and workforce development initiatives to increase the number of workers in the wireless communications engineering field. As part of this initiative, the center hosted a five-day FutureG Summer Research Camp on ASU’s Tempe campus in May that is planned yearly.

The inaugural camp hosted 25 undergraduate students from the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence, both part of the Fulton Schools. The participants learned about a variety of engineering disciplines related to electronics, including cybersecurity, signal processing, augmented and virtual reality, or AR and VR, and more.

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