Distinguished Alumni Award (2000)
In recognition of outstanding technical contributions and in the development of wireless communications systems.
James J. Mikulski (PhD '59)
After receiving his PhD from the U of I, James Mikulski went to work as a staff member of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the areas of radar detection and signal processing techniques, electromagnetic wave propagation, and scattering. He joined Motorola’s Government Electronics Group in 1965 and worked in the areas of sonar signal processing, tropospheric communications systems, and data transmission systems for FM radio. In 1968 he joined Motorola’s Applied Research Laboratory and conducted research on 800MHz communications systems development. This research included studies of propagation in the land mobile radio environment, modulation techniques, multiplexing, signaling and control technology, system design, and simulation, all bearing on the development of cellular telephony. Mikulski personally invented components and led the development of the overall system architecture and the DynaTac technology embodied in the first widely used cellular products. He retired from Motorola in 1999 as Corporate Vice President, Senior Director of Corporate Research Laboratories.
Mikulski is an IEEE Fellow, a Dan Noble Fellow of Motorola, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He received the College of Engineering Distinguished Service in Engineering Award in 1998 and the Orange and Blue Award in 1999 for his services as a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Board.