Prof. Wade Trappe receives the 2013 Outstanding Engineering Faculty Award


Prof. Wade Trappe was selected for the 2013 Outstanding Engineering Faculty Award in recognition of his contributions. Per Dean Farris' message, this award is an important opportunity for our Engineering community to recognize the special achievements and contributions of its dedicated faculty members.

The award was given to Dr. Trappe at the Engineering Award Ceremony and reception on April 5th.

Dr. Trappe is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and also Associate Director of WINLAB. Prof. Trappe's research has focused on securing wireless networks, and expanding the collection of tools that may be used to secure emerging mobile systems.

The traditional approach to wireless network security has been simply to apply best practices from conventional cryptography-based security methods, as employed in wired networks. By contrast, Prof. Trappe has had made his mark through a re-examination of security concepts in the context of wireless systems and their applications. Working at the boundary of theory and systems development, Prof Trappe's research has exploited the properties of wireless channels and communications to yield novel and fundamental contributions that include

  • Authentication techniques employing forge-resistant signatures derived from a user's wireless channel in order to combat spoofing attacks,
  • Protocols using multiple staggered authentication keys to preclude denial-of-service attacks in secure wireless multicasting,
  • Wireless signaling and routing protocols that provide contextual privacy for wireless sensors, and
  • Techniques for diagnosing and mitigating radio-interference-based denial of service attacks.

Based on these contributions, Prof. Trappe has built up a strong national reputation as a leading authority in the field of wireless network security. He is also well recognized within the Department of Defense communities, including Army Research Office (ARO) and DARPA. Currently, Dr. Trappe and a team at WINLAB were chosen by DARPA to administer the DARPA Spectrum Challenge ( The purpose of the DARPA Spectrum Challenge is to encourage teams from around the country to design radio protocols that can best use a given communication channel in the presence of other dynamic users and interfering signals. The Spectrum Challenge will entail head-to-head competitions between a team's radio protocol and an opponent's in a structured testbed environment.

Dr. Trappe is also recognized as an outstanding faculty mentor. He has supervised to completion 14 PhD students, with two of his former students, Wenyuan Xu   and   Yingying Chen, having received NSF CAREER awards.