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Wilson, Katie


Sarah Kate Wilson worked in industry from 1979 to 1989, first as a Programmer/Analyst and then as a Research Engineer. From 1994 to 1999, she was an Asst. Professor of Electrical Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, and then at Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in Luleå, Sweden. In August 2000, she was awarded the title Docent in Signal processing. She returned to industry in Silicon Valley as a communications engineer, working for Agilent and ArrayComm. She returned to Sweden as a guest researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm from 2003-2004. She served as the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Communications Letters from 2009-2011, and has been an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Communications Letters, IEEE Transactions on Communications and the Journal of Communications and Networks. She was the IEEE Communications Society Director of Journals for the term 2012-2013 and was the Vice-President  for Publications for the IEEE Communications Society for the term 2014-2015.


Ph.D. , Electrical Engineering, Stanford University,1994.
MS, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 1987
AB, Mathematics, Bryn Mawr College, 1979

Current Research Interests

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), Optical Wireless OFDM, Scheduling in Multiuser Packet Networks.

Courses Taught

  • ELEN 50: Electric Circuits I
  • ELEN 110: Linear Systems
  • ELEN 141: Communication Systems
  • ELEN 243: Digital Communication Systems
  • ELEN 446: Wireless Communication Systems
  • ELEN 447: Wireless Network Architecture

For a list of Electrical Engineering course descriptions, visit the Undergraduate Course Descriptions page or the Graduate Course Descriptions page.

Honors and Awards

  • IEEE Education Society Harriett B. Rigas Award "for excellence in communications engineering,education and promoting equity", 2018
  • Co-chair of IEEE WCNC '17 winner of the 2018 iCon award for the best IEEE conference of 2017
  • IEEE Communications Society Joseph LoCicero Award for Exemplary Service to Publications, "For sustained and innovative contributions to Publications", 2017
  • Outstanding Service Award from the IEEE Communications Women in Communications Engineering (WICE) Committee, 2014
  • IEEE Fellow, “for contributions to OFDM”, 2014
  • David Packard Junior Fellow, Santa Clara, 2006-2008
  • Prize from the Royal Institute of Technology for promoting gender equity, 2003.
  • Ruth and Joel Spira Teaching Award from the Purdue School of Electrical and Computer Engineering for undergraduate and graduate teaching, 1996
  • Stanford University Electrical Engineering Department Service Award for organizing the Wireless Data Workshop and for teaching Digital Communications 1993

Recent Publications

  • "Broad Shoulders Not Needed," S.K. Wilson, Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin, June 2023.
  • "Random Guessing for Beam Alignment: A Low Complexity Strategy for Reducing Blockage in mmWave Communications," S. K. Wilson, M. Stojanovic, M. Médard, K. Schab, IEEE Access, July 2022.
  • "On the Average Achievable Rate of QPSK and DQPSK OFDM Over Rapidly Fading Channels," Y. Aval, S.K. Wilson, and M. Stojanovic, IEEE Access, April 2018.
  • "Delay-constrained Energy Optimization in High-latency Sensor Networks," P. Ponnavaikko, S. K. Wilson, M. Stojanovic, J. Holliday, and K. Yassin, IEEE Sensors Journal, July 2017.
  • "Transmission Techniques for Digital Communications," S.K. Wilson, S.G. Wilson, and E. Biglieri, Elsevier Academic Press, 2016
  • "On the Achievable Rate of a Class of Acoustic Channels and Practical Power Allocation for OFDM Systems," Y.M. Aval, S.K. Wilson and M. Stojanovic, IEEE Journal on Oceanic Engineering, September 2015.
  • "Optical polar OFDM: on the effect of time-domain power allocation under power and dynamic-range constraints," H. Elgala, T.D.C. Little, WCNC '15, New Orleans, March 2015.
  • "On Higher Order Modulations for OFDM in Frequency-Selective Fading Channels," G. Lim, S.K. Wilson, L.J. Cimini, Jr. and D.P. Taylor, IEEE Communications Letters, April 2013.
  • "Comparison of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing and Pulse Amplitude Modulation in indoor optical wireless links," D.F. Barros, S.K. Wilson, and J.M. Kahn, IEEE Transactions on Communications, January 2012.
Kate Wilson

Professor Emerita, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering