May 4, 2020
Staff Accomplishment

PNNL Team Takes a Lead Role at 5G Workshop

Department of Energy Office of Science Workshop examines impact of 5G technology


Ten staff members from PNNL were invited to attend and lead the various breakout sessions at the Department of Energy Office of Science 5G Enabled Energy Innovation Workshop (5GEEIW), which was held in early March. The objective of the workshop was to create a science community-based report highlighting the critical research, needs, gaps, and strategies around 5G and advanced wireless communications. The report will be used to help the DOE Office of Science understand the opportunities and challenges presented with 5G as an emerging wireless technology.

“The DOE Office of Science pulled together the science community to understand the basic research, development, applications, and infrastructure necessary to perform research in support of DOE’s missions.  Our goal was to understand the challenges and opportunities that advanced wireless communication presents and define priority research directives that outline the critical research for DOE’s Office of Science to perform with 5G and advanced wireless communications,” said Johnathan Cree, 5G program principal investigator at PNNL. “As such, they brought together as many people across the national laboratory complex as possible to help make a community-informed report.”

5G will impact a variety of areas for DOE, and the main focus areas discussed at the workshop included what the computational fabric of the future means for scientific computing, enabling communications where and when they are needed, automating laboratories, and understanding where wireless can transform scientific capabilities, as well as many other areas where advanced wireless communications could provide advantages. 5GEEIW also included 10 breakout topics for defining research gaps, new opportunities, funding priorities, and critical research needs.

PNNL is a recognized leader in 5G knowledge and testbed creation, in large part because of the recent announcement of the Verizon PNNL 5G Lab. Because of this effort, Cree was invited to lead the breakout session exploring testbeds, along with Andrew Wiedlea from Energy Sciences Network (ESnet). The group worked to answer several questions, including how the deployment and operation of existing and future scientific research facilities could be improved.

“We are currently working on a brochure and a report outlining the 5G and advanced wireless communication research priorities that were identified at the workshop,” said Cree. “This report will be made public and circulated to a broad audience, including DOE, other government agencies, and congress to help gather support for funding future Office of Science research.”