Guilhem de Valicourt

Guilhem de ValicourtThe Marconi Society, the world’s leading organization devoted to honoring and encouraging scientific contributions in the field of communications and the Internet, has announced that Guilhem de Valicourt, Ph.D., a research engineer at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, will receive one of three 2012 Paul Baran Marconi Young Scholar Awards. The awards are given to young researchers (no older than 27 at the time of the award—the same age as Marconi when he completed the first radio transmission) who are on track to become leading innovators contributing to the advancement both of science and humanity.

Dr. de Valicourt’s main research efforts have focused on novel semiconductor optical devices, in particular reflective semiconductor optical amplifiers (RSOAs). The 27-year-old was hired in Alcatel-Lucent’s WDM Dynamic Networks Department in October 2011, immediately after completing his Ph.D. jointly at Télécom ParisTech, one of France’s top engineering schools and at III-V Lab (which brings together, in a single laboratory, staff and equipment from three partner institutions: 'Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France', 'Thales Research and Technology' and 'CEA Leti'). Among his achievements is demonstrating the first RSOA working at 10 Gbit/s without any electronic compensation and developing, fabricating and optimizing high-performance devices that are considered to be well beyond the state of the art. He demonstrated the feasibility of using RSOAs as future transmitters for high-speed optical WDM access networks, or backhaul systems connecting wireless base stations for wireless-optical convergence.

“As talented as he is as an individual researcher, Guilhem also shows strong management skills of collaborative scientific projects, far in advance of what could be expected at this early stage of his career,” said Cédric Ware, Ph. D., Dr. de Valicourt’s academic Ph.D. advisor. “Not only did he create, while still a student, his own internal Alcatel-Lucent team, he has seized the opportunities of participating in European and French research projects to acquire an impressive array of academic and industrial partners.”

“Dr. de Valicourt demonstrated the capacity to become a scientist who might well be worthy of the Marconi Prize in the future,” said Robert Tkach, Chairman of the Young Scholar selection committee and a 2009 Marconi Prize Winner. He stood out in an extraordinarily strong field of nominees.”
This marks the fifth year that Young Scholars Awards have been granted by the Marconi Society, which is best known for its annual $100,000 Marconi Award and Fellowship given to living scientists whose scope of work and influence emulate the principle of “creativity in service to humanity." The scholars program was launched with a generous donation from 2007 Marconi Fellow Ronald L. Rivest, an MIT professor who co-founded RSA encryption, the major encryption system used worldwide to make Internet transactions secure. It was renamed the Paul Baran Marconi Young Scholars Program in 2011 in honor of Baran, a Marconi Fellow famous for helping devise the technical inner-workings of the Arpanet, the government-sponsored precursor to the Internet.

In selecting its scholar recipients, the Marconi Society looks for those who not only have shown extraordinary early promise, but whose research already has been published and made an impact. As Marconi Society Chairman Emeritus Robert Lucky noted, “The selection committee looks for candidates who show the potential to win the Marconi Prize -- the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in communications science -- at some point in the future. As a point of reference, Marconi Fellows have been at the forefront of every modern advance in telecommunications and the Internet.”

The other two winners are Stanford graduate student Aakanksha Chowdhery and Keun Yeong Cho, a graduate researcher at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The three will be honored at the Marconi Society’s annual Awards Dinner in Irvine, CA on September 6th, 2012, where Dr. Henry Samueli, Broadcom co-founder also will receive the 2012 Marconi Prize. The Young Scholar Awards include a financial stipend and an invitation and travel funds to attend the annual Award Dinner. For more information, please visit