Former Comsat Labs President to Speak at Telecommunica, May 6

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Dr. Benjamin Pontano

The Master’s Program in Telecommunications will hold its third annual Telecommunica symposium and professional networking event on the University of Maryland's College Park campus on Thursday, May 6, 2010, from 1:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. in the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building.

This showcase event will offer industry representatives an opportunity to closely engage with students of Maryland's dynamic Telecommunications program that prepares telecom professionals with a combination of innovative technical courses with management and public policy instruction. Former Comsat Laboratories President Dr. Benjamin Pontano will be the keynote speaker.

Guests can RSVP for the Telecommunica event online at:

Telecommunica will begin with an alumni panel, followed by a short series of student project presentations. A networking reception and poster session will provide the opportunity to speak with graduating students over hors d'oeuvres and refreshments. The afternoon will conclude with Dr. Pontano's keynote talk, titled "Satellite Communications, Then and Now." This talk will focus on the big picture of how communication satellite systems have evolved from the early days until now to meet customer needs and stay competitive with other transmission methods.

Dr. Benjamin Pontano has worked for more than thirty years in the field of satellite communications developing systems, technologies and products for the global telecommunications market. He recently retired from Comsat Laboratories, currently a division of ViaSat, which he ran for nearly ten years. Dr. Pontano has published more than 50 technical papers in the field of satellite communications and holds patents on interference measurement and cancellation and has patents pending in the area of code division multiple access (CDMA) and hybrid antenna systems. He has taught courses in telecommunications at George Washington University and has served on the Industrial Advisory Councils at both Carnegie Mellon University and The Pennsylvania State University. On April 3, 2000, he was honored as an Outstanding Engineering Alumnus of Penn State. He is currently a member of the Entrepreneur in Residence Program at the University of Utah. Dr. Pontano serves on the Editorial Boards for the International Journal of Satellite Communications and The Journal of Space Communications. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and is a member of Sigma Xi scientific honorary society. He is also currently a member of Maryland's Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Board.

The Master's Program in Telecommunications is jointly run by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Smith School of Business. More information can be found online at:

Published April 26, 2010