An India-born Rajalakshmi Nandakumar, the scholar in the US, has been chosen for a prestigious award for her work to help detect potentially life-threatening health issues using smartphones. She created a technology that turns an ordinary Smartphone into an active sonar system which detects physiological activities, like movement and respiration, without requiring physical contact with the device. Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar award 2018 she has been selected. She took inspiration from bats, which use sonar technique to navigate in the dark by sending out acoustic signals and using the reflections to identify objects. By transmitting inaudible sound signals from the phone's speaker and tracking their reflections off the human body, the system works. The reflections are then analyzed using a combination of algorithms and signal processing techniques. Before beginning her graduate work at the University of Washington in 2013 she worked for Microsoft Research India. Young scholars for the award are selected by an international panel comprising engineers from leading universities and companies and receive a $5,000 prize plus expenses to attend the annual awards event. For this year three other young scholars were also selected. Being named 'Young Scholar' brings valuable mentorship and guidance by Marconi Prize winners who include some of the world's leading scientists and researchers. She always wanted to find a way to detect physiological signals, like breathing and heart rate, because they are the most commonly used signals for healthcare applications. By creating a non-intrusive, low-cost application ApneaApp for detecting sleep apnea, her system is disrupting the sleep industry. Nandakumar's Madurai-based parents founded a company for distribution of diagnostic medicines to hospital laboratories in Tamil Nadu. According to the Chairman of the Marconi Society and 'Father of the Internet', this Young Scholar award attracts the world's brightest young communications researchers.