First-Hand:IEEE Award Recipient Series:Rajiv Laroia

IEEE Award Recipient Series: Q&As with Icons of Engineering and Technology: 2020 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal Recipient

Full Name

Rajiv Laroia

Birth Date

12 16 1962

Place of Birth

Pune, India

Where did you grow up

New Delhi, India

Family Background: Parents and their education level & Siblings and their education/profession

Father - PhD in Physics, Mother - Bachelor’s degree, Brother - MS Civil Engineering

What did you want to do when you grew up?


What was your upbringing like? Did you have a large family?

Yes. Grand parents, parents and two brothers

Did you have any hobbies (eg. Some people talk about learning trade skills from a family member.)

Building Electronics Projects - transistor radios; radio transmitters e.t.c

Did you partake in after school activities? Did you play sports?

Not so much, just some cricket as a kid

Did you have a part-time job (after school, summer)? What was your most surprising job assignment?

This was not common in India

Did you take vacations and/or go on day trips? Favorite holiday/family gathering?

Trips to the Himalayas

EDUCATION: Favorite subject in school (K-12, university). Why?

Physics - interest triggered by my father

Did you have a least favorite subject in school (K-12, university. Why?

History - I have since changed my mind about it

Why did you select the university (universities) you attended? What was your major and why did you select it?

Undergrad at IIT Delhi top school in India. The UMD, College Park for grad studies

Employment and career: First job - Current position - Favorite job

Research in communications at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ

Has your career turned out as you expected?

I have been very satisfied with the way it turned out

Has IEEE played a role in your career? How? What does IEEE mean to you?

Ieee conferences and journals really helped. Past ieee honorees very inspirational

You have been awarded one of IEEE's highest-level awards. What does this award mean to you?

It makes me proud of the whole team at my startup ‘Flarion Technologies’ that helped develop such impactful technology and wireless system

What other associations have helped you in your career?

Career Advice: What advice would you give to young professionals entering your field today

Young engineers can significantly enhance their contributions by also getting a broad background and building systems expertise in addition to in-depth skills in specific ares.

Reflection: What would you have done differently or tell your younger self now?

Was there a project that you were so passionate about that you continued to pursue it even though there may have been doubts about its success?

Most people had doubts about the whole mission of Flarion. It was widely believed that a small startup cannot impact the wireless standards even if it’s technology was better.

What career achievement are you most proud of?

Having a big impact on the global 4G wireless system that is now used by billions of people in the world.

Personal Life: What do you do for fun? Hobbies?

Photography and laser cutting

What personal achievement are you most proud of?

Do you have a favorite food? Or a family recipe that may have been passed down?

Do you have a favorite genre of music? or a favorite song? Or do you play an instrument?

Who was your mentor? (eg. family member or professor)

My dad

What is one thing you cannot live without in your work space?


Do you have a prize possession? If so, please explain.v

What are three things people may not know about you?

Anything else you would like to share about yourself?