Senior Advisor, WINLAB
Richard Frenkiel received the Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University and the Master of Science Degree in Engineering Mechanics from Rutgers University in 1965. He joined Bell Laboratories in 1963, and soon afterward became involved in the design of cellular systems, an involvement which was to last for sixteen years. He was an author of the technical report on cellular which AT&T submitted to the FCC in 1971, and which became the basis for the first cellular systems.
For his work in cellular and cordless, Mr. Frenkiel has received the Alexander Graham Bell Medal of the IEEE in 1987, the Achievement Award of the Industrial Research Institute in 1992, and the National Medal of Technology in 1995. He was named New Jersey Inventor of the Year in 1995, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997, and received the Engineering Achievement Award of the Rutgers Alumni Association in 2004.
After the commercialization of AT&T's first cellular system in Chicago, Mr. Frenkiel ventured into the very different world of Consumer Electronics. He became head of R&D for AT&T's Cordless Telephone business, and led the team that designed the 5000 series of cordless telephones. These telephones set a new standard of voice quality, and incorporated other new features in terms of battery life and security, thus moving cordless telephones from the status of unreliable gadgets to that of legitimate telecommunications devices. He was also responsible for the first manufacture of those products in Singapore.
Following his 30 year career at AT&T, Mr. Frenkiel joined WINLAB, the Wireless Information Networks Laboratory at Rutgers in 1993, where he serves as Senior Advisor.
Richard Frenkiel was selected to receive the 2012 Rutgers School of Engineering Alumni Lifetime Achievement Medal. This award honors an alumnus/a who has made significant contributions to the field of engineering over the course of his/her lifetime. There is no one more deserving for this award than Mr. Frenkiel, who received the 1995 National Medal of Technology from the President of the United States for his involvement in the design of cellular systems.
Richard Frenkiel has also served two terms on the Township Committee of Manalapan Township, and was Mayor of Manalapan in 1999.