Joel S. Engel
Dr. Joel S. Engel Draper Prize
JSE Consulting
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  • Draper
Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering
Go To Award

Joel Engel is a recognized authority on technology development and application. After receiving a BEE from the City College of New York, he began his career at the MIT Draper Laboratory (then called the Instrumentation Laboratory), working on inertial navigation and stabilization systems for space vehicles. While at MIT, he earned an MSEE. He then joined Bell Laboratories, where he engaged in research and development across a wide range of areas of communications technology. During that time, he received a PhD from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn; his thesis research was one of the pioneering analyses of data communications over the telephone network. When the United States began the Apollo moon project, NASA asked the Bell System to form a systems engineering group, Bellcore, to assist in managing the project, for which Dr. Engel’s experience at the Draper Laboratory was invaluable.

When Dr. Engel returned to Bell Laboratories, he led the team that produced the system design for what became the first cellular telephone system, AMPS. He was the editor of the AT&T technical report submitted to the FCC that led to approval of the service. For this accomplishment, he has been awarded the Alexander Graham Bell Medal of the IEEE and the National Medal of Technology by President Clinton.

He went on to become the chief technology officer of Ameritech, one of the seven Regional Bells created by the breakup of AT&T. After retiring from Ameritech, Dr. Engel formed JSE Consulting, where he has advised telecommunications equipment providers on the development of their next-generation products. He also provides expert witness testimony on patent and other technology issues. He has served on the boards of directors of the Syracuse Research Corporation and Hand Held Products, now Honeywell Scanning and Mobility.

Dr. Engel was elected a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, where he has served on a number of panels advising the government on both civilian and military issues.

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  • Draper
  • 2013
  • Pioneering contributions to the world’s first cellular telephone networks, systems, and standards.