We took the opportunity to ask Erik Ström some questions:
What does this elevation to IEEE Fellow mean for you?
It means a great deal for me! It is a very nice recognition of my research, and something I have secretly hoped to be worthy of receiving at some point in my career.
Which of your scientific achievements do you rank the highest?
Hard to say, but I think the work I did as a PhD student (some 30 years ago) on synchronization and channel estimation for direct-sequence code-division multiple access (DS-CDMA) was of some importance at the time. It was just in the early phase in 3G research, and there was a big debate on the pros and cons with CDMA. I am also happy with the work I have done with colleagues and PhD students on medium access for vehicular communication and ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLCC), the last 10-15 years or so. URLCC is one of the main innovations in 5G, I think our work has contributed to this development. I guess we always try hard to study important and relevant problems, but research impact is not always readily apparent. Some papers take a long time to get recognized and cited, while other papers will never be appreciated – sometimes for good reasons and sometimes not.
What motivates you as a researcher?
My biggest driving force is the absolute joy of discovering new knowledge – new to me and, sometimes, new to everyone – and then to share this with colleagues, students, family, and friends. To actually get paid to do this is a true privilege.
About IEEE Fellow
IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership in the organization IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a world-leading professional association for advancing technology. The distinction is given to people who have ‘made outstanding achievements in the organization's areas of interest’. IEEE has more than 419,000 members in 160 countries. The 2021 class of IEEE Fellows comprise 249 persons, of which three are researchers working in Swedish.
, Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Head of the Division of Communications, Antennas, and Optical Networks, Chalmers University of Technology