Bell Labs Chief Scientist joins CEET senior advisory body

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Bell Labs Chief Scientist, Alice White, has been appointed to the senior body informing the directions, collaborations and global relevance of research at the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET).

Dr White today attended her first meeting as a member of the CEET Advisory Committee.

CEET is a globally-recognised partnership bringing together researchers from the University of Melbourne and the world-renowned Bell Labs. Their work is forming the basis to long-term solutions reducing the network energy consumption of the Internet, including major contributions to the global GreenTouch ;consortium.

Dr White expressed strong support for the ongoing work of CEET as the global telecommunications industry grapples with its long-term sustainability.

Dr White said: “The energy efficiency of telecommunications networks is a significant and growing issue for our industry as we continue to develop a global digital society. In recent years at Bell Labs, as the scale of global telecommunications infrastructure has grown and the world has become more conscious of the environmental impact of ICT development, energy efficiency has emerged as a key research focus and requirement for network technologies.”

Bell Labs is one of the world’s most significant research and innovation institutions, responsible for inventions such as transistor, laser, DSL, UNIX, C and C++, DWDM, Solar Cells and MIMO. Its researchers have produced tens of thousands of patents and been the recipients of seven Nobel prizes. Bell Labs was a key driver in the development of Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio ;wireless architecture, which potentially halves energy consumption compared to a traditional mobile network.

Dr White said: “The ability for Bell Labs researchers to collaborate with our Australian partners at the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications is of great benefit as we develop efficiency solutions and ensure the world continues to benefit from advances in telecommunications while we also reduce the associated environmental impact. I am very pleased to be invited to join the CEET Advisory Committee and contribute directly to the directions of this globally significant work.”

Alcatel-Lucent Australia Managing Director Sean O’Halloran welcomed Dr White’s appointment: “We’re very proud of our action advancing Australian research that addresses the significant issue of energy consumption in our telecommunications networks. This is an issue our industry must address and Australia is well-placed to lead the world. Collaboration with Bell Labs is a key part of the CEET model and I’m pleased that Alice White will now be involved directly via the Advisory Committee.”

CEET is a partnership between Alcatel-Lucent, Bell Labs, the University of Melbourne, and the Victorian State Government. The CEET Advisory Committee comprises four members nominated by Alcatel-Lucent and four members nominated by the University of Melbourne.

Last week CEET published a new white paper highlighting significant and little-known issues surrounding the energy consumption of cloud services. The paper — The Power of Wireless Cloud — shows how the energy use of cloud services accessed via wireless networks is expected to grow up to 460% between 2012 and 2015, and that industry must move quickly to address the inefficiencies of underlying network technologies and information systems. Broadly, the global telecommunications system is estimated to consume 2% of the world’s energy, and that figure could grow to 10% by 2020 if no action is taken.

Dr Alice White

Alice White

Dr Alice White

In her role as Chief Scientist, Dr White is responsible for the strategic long-term leadership of Alcatel-Lucent’s scientific and research community, and represents Bell Labs in senior-level industry-related science and research engagements.

Dr. White has a PhD in physics from Harvard University and a broad technical background in experimental solid state physics and fabrication of optical components. Since 1989, she has held various leadership positions at Bell Labs including Director of Materials Physics Research, Director of Integrated Photonics Research, VP of the Physical Technologies Research Center, President of the NJ Nanotechnology Center and location leader for Bell Labs North America.

Before becoming Chief Scientist, White was Vice President of Bell Labs in North America from December 2007 to May 2011. Before 2007, she held several leadership positions in Bell Laboratories, including Vice President, Enabling Technologies Research, Director of the Optical Technologies Research Department, and Head of the Physics of Materials Research Department. White joined Bell Laboratories in 1982, as a Post-Doctoral MTS, after receiving a B.A. in physics at Middlebury College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in physics under Prof. Michael Tinkham at Harvard University.

In 1991, she received the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award of the American Physical Society for her work on compound formation using ion implantation. She was named a Bell Labs Fellow in 2001 for her work in “developing and applying novel integrated photonic device technologies in advanced optical networks”. With over 125 refereed publications, she is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the IEEE Photonics Society.