Robert A. Scholtz


Robert A. Scholtz
Robert A. Scholtz
Associated organizations
University of Southern California
Fields of study
IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award


Robert A. Scholtz and Moe Z. Win worked together to pioneer ultra-wide bandwidth (UWB) impulse technology, a form of radio communications that has strongly influenced the direction of wireless communications, both in academia and industry, and enabled economical wireless access without licensing restrictions.

Dr. Scholtz and Dr. Win first collaborated in the early 1990s at the University of Southern California (USC) on landmark studies that provided the theoretical basis for the design of UWB wireless networks. Scholtz, then a professor, published the first analysis of the potential of UWB communications. Win, then a doctoral student working with Scholtz, performed the first UWB signal propagation experiments leading to the efficient design and performance analysis of UWB transmission systems.

They were the first to demonstrate the superiority of UWB in multipath environments, including resistance to jamming and fading, immunity to interference, and reduced power requirements. The two researchers created the UltRa Laboratory at USC, the first university UWB radio research program. It provided the foundation for using UWB technology in the design of reliable wireless networks.

Scholtz’s and Win’s work was a precursor of an extensive study by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which ultimately authorized commercial use of UWB technology for many new applications, including broadband Internet access, high-speed multimedia data transfer, sensor networks, medical imaging, and ground-penetrating radar. They also developed a unique wireless methodology for the U.S. Department of Defense that enables robust communication connectivity in harsh environments.

The Fred H. Cole Professor of Engineering at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, Dr. Scholtz coauthored the Spread Spectrum Communications Handbook and authored The Origins of Spread Spectrum Communication. An IEEE Fellow, he has been a member of both the Board of Governors of the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) and the IEEE Information Theory Society. He has received the IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award, ComSoc’s IEEE Leonard G. Abraham Award, and the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society’s Sergey A. Schelkunoff Transactions Prize Paper Award, jointly with Dr. Win and Dr. J.M. Cramer. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, a master’s degree from USC, and a doctoral degree from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering.