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Allert van Zelst studied Electrical Engineering (EE) at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, starting September 1994. About five years later, he received the M.Sc. degree in EE at the TU/e after finishing a graduation project on data-rate enhancements of Wireless Local Area Networks by exploiting the spatial dimension through multiple-antenna techniques. This project was carried out at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. Based on this work, he won the second prize of the IEEE Region 8 Student Paper Contest 2000 for the paper "Space Division Multiplexing Algorithms".

In November 1999, A. van Zelst continued with research on this topic to pursue the Ph.D. degree at the radio communications chair of the TU/e, which resulted in the dissertation "MIMO OFDM for Wireless LANs". The Ph.D. project was sponsored by the Dutch cooperative research project B4 Broadband Radio@hand and Agere Systems (formerly the Microelectronics Group of Lucent Technologies) in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. The main part of the research was performed within the Wireless Systems Research department of Agere Systems in Nieuwegein. In the framework of the Ph.D. project, A. van Zelst also visited a part of this department in Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA, for an internship of 6 weeks. As of January 2004, he joined Airgo Networks, Breukelen, The Netherlands. In 2004, A. van Zelst won the Veder prize for his Ph.D. work. In December 2006, Airgo Networks got acquired by Qualcomm.

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