Ethiopian Student Takes Top Prize for IEEE 802® Paper Submission


The IEEE 802® LAN/MAN Standards Committee (802 LMSC) and the IEEE Standards Education Committee (SEC) recently invited students from around the world to submit papers addressing the history, application, or future application of IEEE 802® standards. Papers were judged based on demonstrating three criteria:

  • A level of refinement that is of a publishable quality
  • Readability and clarity so that an audience untrained in the field of standardization can understand the key points being made
  • Sophistication and depth of research relating the original finding to the relevant scholarly literature

A panel of judges with representatives from the 802 LMSC and the SEC has awarded the top prize to Ethiopian student Meareg Abreha, who attends Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Ethiopia’s capital city. Abreha’s paper, entitled “History and Implementation of the IEEE 802 Security Architecture”, has earned the university student a US $1000 Cash Award, a US $500 Travel Stipend, and attendance and hotel accommodations for the IEEE 802 Plenary Meeting and Awards Ceremony in July 2016, where the student also has the opportunity to formally present the winning paper.

Pursuing a Master’s thesis that is related to IEEE 802.11 security protocol improvement, Abreha says “generally, the idea of a competition is very nice, as it motivates young researchers and students to keep the focus of their research matched to the current IEEE trends, and to eventually dig frontier research ideas in the field.”

Abreha was introduced to the competition after participating in a seminar hosted by Desalegne Mekuanint, a lecturer and researcher at AAU who was also named one of the first IEEE Standards Fellows under the IEEE and Internet Society (ISOC) Exchange Fellowship Pilot Programme.

“It’s rewarding to engage young students on the importance of standards in meeting technical, economic, environmental, and societal challenges, and the IEEE 802 standards family clearly demonstrates how standards can make a global impact in our lives today and for the future,” said James Gilb, second vice chair, IEEE 802 LMSC. “We congratulate Meareg for the hard work and thorough research that resulted in an informative and decidedly winning paper that met all the judging panel’s criteria.”

The paper contest sponsored by 802 LMSC and the SEC encourages students to learn about IEEE 802 standards and how they have become globally pervasive, driven by the ever-growing needs of data networks around the world. The success of IEEE 802 standards—from their inception through today—has been based upon their fair, open and transparent development process.

The SEC is a joint committee of the IEEE Standards Association Board of Governors and the IEEE Educational Activities Board.

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