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Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron: Eco-Tech ‘Nobel’ in Electrical Engineering

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Congratulations to Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron on receiving the IEEE Medal, the ‘Nobel Prize’ of Electrical Engineering for Eco-Technologies.

Tel Aviv University applauds and congratulates Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron from the Fleischman Faculty of Engineering for winning the 2024 IEEE Medal for Environmental and Safety Technologies, for her outstanding “contributions to sensing of the environment using wireless communication networks”. IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, established in 1884, is the world’s largest international professional association, with about 450,000 members worldwide. IEEE strives to advance technological innovation and entrepreneurship for the benefit of humanity, and the IEEE Medal is regarded by electrical engineering researchers as the ‘Nobel Prize’ in their field. Prof. Messer-Yaron explains that her research addresses two of today’s greatest scientific and technological challenges: climate change and its implications for life on Earth and processing big data in AI systems. She adds that the first challenge necessitates close monitoring of precipitation and other climatic phenomena in any place inhabited by humans and that today the presence of people is highly correlated with the existence of wireless communication networks.  
“The technology we developed enables processing and analyzing the big data collected by these existing communication networks for other purposes. Specifically, it uses changes in signal intensity to monitor meteorological phenomena in general and precipitation in particular. This is a breakthrough in monitoring climate change and the ways to address it”, says Prof. Messer-Yaron.
  Prof. Messer-Yaron’s original research enables using the existing coverage of cellular networks to monitor weather and precipitation – eliminating the need to install separate infrastructures of weather radars and locally designated stations that would be sufficiently widespread to provide reliable measures. Prof. Messer-Yaron first presented her novel idea in the leading scientific journal Science, and a 2009 study demonstrated that it can also be used to predict flash floods. For these achievements, Prof. Messer-Yaron and her co-researchers received the Best Inventor Award from WIPO – the World Intellectual Property Organization. In recent years, following Prof. Messer-Yaron’s work, research on opportunistic environmental sensing has grown significantly.  
Prof. Messer-Yaron: “I am thrilled to receive the IEEE Medal, and very pleased that my work is being recognized. I see great importance in utilizing existing technologies for the benefit of humankind and wish to thank my colleagues and students at TAU and in other research groups for their contribution to advancing this concept. Current challenges have generated considerable interest worldwide in this sustainable technology, including the establishment of a cohort of over 100 researchers working to implement it with EU funding, an initiative for promoting it in Africa, and more”.

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