Neal Patwari

Neal Patwari


Electrical & Systems Engineering Computer Science & Engineering

  • Phone
  • Office
    McKelvey Hall, Room 3031
  • Lab location
    Green Hall, Room 2101


PhD, University of Michigan, 2005
MS, Virginia Tech, 1999
BS, Virginia Tech, 1997


Next-generation wireless and automated sensing and decision system equity


Neal Patwari develops technologies for next-generation wireless networks, for reliability, privacy, and for efficient and robust spectrum sharing. He is a co-PI of the, perhaps the largest open software defined radio wireless testbed in the world. As part of that project, Professor Patwari develops tools to monitor the testbed for spectrum compliance, and to make it easier for other researchers to run repeatable experiments on their next-gen wireless technologies. He has funded research projects to develop new ways to share spectrum among disparate radio systems without causing interference between them. The goal in these projects is to enable more efficient use of the spectrum for both scientific, government, and commercial wireless systems to meet their growing needs.

Professor Patwari has projects at the intersection of engineering design and societal inequities. Engineered and automated sensing and decision systems operate in a human context which includes historical and present-day oppression. Depending on their design, engineered systems can either contribute to increasing or decreasing inequity. Patwari’s lab engages in the study of design for equity for particular engineered systems, such as pulse oximetry and automatic speech recognition, including the analysis of societal feedback mechanisms that preserve or counteract inequity over time.


Neal Patwari is a professor at Washington University in St. Louis in the Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering and the Department of Computer Science & Engineering. He directs the Sensors, People, and Networks (SPAN) Lab. His perspective was shaped by his BS (1997) and MS (1999) in EE at Virginia Tech, his research work at Motorola Labs, and his PhD in EE:Systems at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor (2005). He received the NSF CAREER Award in 2008, the 2009 IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Magazine Paper Award, and the 2011 University of Utah Early Career Teaching Award.

He has co-authored papers with the best paper awards at IEEE SenseApp 2012 and at the ACM/IEEE IPSN 2014 conference. Patwari served as the TPC chair of IPSN 2020 and SenSys 2023, and has served as a member of the TPC of conferences such as IPSN, MobiCom, SECON, SenSys, EWSN, WiSec, FAccT and AIES.