Black History Month – Honoring Jesse Russell
Continuing our series of spotlighting Black inventors in honor of Black History Month, presenting Jesse Russell. Jesse Russell is a leader in cellular devices communication technology and invented the digital cellular base station and fiber optic microcell utilizing high power linear amplifier technology and digital modulation techniques. These inventions enabled new digital services for cellular mobile users. Russell is a prolific inventor and has more than 60 US patents. Russell is now the CEO of incNETWORKS, a broadband wireless communications company.
Russell was raised in inner-city Nashville and attended Tennessee State University, where he majored in electrical engineering. He was a top honor student and was the first African American to be hired directly from a Historically Black College and University by AT&T Bell Laboratories. He later earned a Master of Electrical Engineering degree from Stanford University.
Russell’s contributions in both innovation and leadership have been recognized throughout his career. In 1980, he received the Outstanding Young Electrical and Computer Engineer Award from Eta Kappa Nu – the first African American in the US to be selected for this honor. In 1992, he was named the U.S. Black Engineer of the Year by US Black Engineer Magazine for the best technical contributions in digital cellular and microcellular technology. Amongst other memberships, he is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. and a member of Eta Kappa Nu. In 1995, Russell was inducted in to the National Academy of Engineering.