Professor Jean Armstrong

Jean Armstrong with Rob Slaviero of Analog Devices Australia holding a framed copy of the US version of the patent on fixed-point implementation of OFDM

Jean Armstrong has been active in patenting and commercialising her inventions for many years. Her inventions have resulted in seven separate patents many of which have been granted in multiple countries.  Most of the patents have been licensed either to Analog Devices or to an Australian start-up company. All of her patents are on aspects of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), which is the modulation technique which underlies digital radio and television, WiFi, ADSL and many other broadband communication techniques.


Following the lodging of her first patent in 1998,  she began the business OFDM-IP specifically to commercialise her OFDM patents.

In 2000 was supported by a Multimedia Victoria Grant to attend Korea Technomart 2000.

In 2001 she attended (by invitation) the Commercialise 2001, a three day residential workshop which was part of the Victorian Government's Science and Technology and Innovation Initiative.

In 2002 she shared her experience in commercialising her research in Australia at the conference of the Australian Association for Engineering Education [1]

In 2004 with Analog Devices Australia she developed a Fast Fourier Transform technique for implementing OFDM on fixed-point digital processors. Analog Devices have since lodged patent applications on the technology throughout the world.

In 2004 she joined Monash University, also bringing, the OFDM research team which she leads.  Soon after joining Monash she realised the potential for applying OFDM to optical communications.  Until then most researchers believed that OFDM was incompatible with optical communications.  This breakthrough led to five more patents, and OFDM is now widely recognized as likely to underpin the next generation of optical wireless and optical fiber communications. Her first OFDM patent describes a form of OFDM for intensity modulated systems and is now the subject of many papers and patents.

In 2006 the optical OFDM work at Monash University was awarded the Peter Doherty Prize for Innovation.

Since then optical OFDM has formed the basis of extensive research programs at Monash, and has led both to highly cited papers and many patents. The paper "OFDM for Optical Communications"[2] has become a classic in the field and is one of the most highly cited papers both in the field of OFDM and in the field of optical communications. Her work on optical OFDM has led to many invited presentations and papers and she has led three ARC Discovery grants on aspects of optical OFDM

[1.] J. Armstrong, “Commercialising engineering research in Australia,” in Proc. 13th Annual Conference of the Australia Association for Engineering Education, Canberra, Australia, 2002, pp. 27-32.  

[2] J. Armstrong "OFDM for Optical Communications [Invited  Tutorial]," Journal of Lightwave Technology, vol. 27, pp. 189-204,  2009.

At Korea Technomart 2000 supported by a Multimedia Victoria Grant to commercialise the first OFDM patent.

Innovation pays off

"The nation’s most valuable prize for innovation, the $100,000 Peter Doherty Prize will be awarded tonight at the Commercialisation Expo 2006 in Melbourne at 10.00pm AEST. "

"Named after Australia’s 1996 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Professor Peter Doherty, the prize will go to the most outstanding commercialisation and investment opportunity among the 200 technologies featured at the Commercialisation Expo."

"The entries were submitted by Australia’s leading universities and research organisations and are considered market-ready and highly innovative. Judging concluded today, and the Expo organisers are pleased to announce the winner as Faster Optical Communications, a Monash University Technology."

To read the rest of the press release click here.


J. Armstrong, "Data transmission and reception in multicarrier modulation systems”.  (Priority date 26th May 1998, Australian  patent 1999041233 granted 2003).

(Form of OFDM that is less sensitive to frequency offset  and phase noise)

Licensed to Analog Devices

J. Armstrong and S. W. Brewer, “Multicarrier modulation systems,” vol. 951319. US: Analog Devices, B.V., 2005. (priority date 30th April 2004, granted in Australia, US7,835,454 and Japan currently under examination in  numerous countries around the world)

(Form of FFT optimized for fixed point implementation of OFDM)

Licensed to Australian Start-up Company

J. Armstrong and A. J. Lowery “Methods and Apparatus for optical transmission of digital signals”, (Priority date 2nd September. 2005, currently under examination in many countries),

(ACO-OFDM form of OFDM suited to intensity modulation direct detection)

A. J. Lowery and J. Armstrong “Methods and apparatus for optical transmission of digital signals, (Priority date 12th Oct. 2005., granted in Australia  2009208043 and New Zealand under examination elsewhere),

(Direct detection OFDM, form of OFDM suited for direct detection).


J. Armstrong, “Methods and apparatus for generation and transmission of optical signals”, (priority date 29th January 2007, granted Australia and USA 7,796,898 under examination elsewhere),

(method of generating OFDM suitable for intensity modulated, direct detection systems).


J. Armstrong and A.J. Lowery, “Reception of signals transmitted over a dispersive optical channel”, (priority date 15th February 2007), (granted Australia 2008215176 under examination elsewhere),
(form of diversity reception)

B. J. C. Schmidt, A. J. Lowery and J. Armstrong, “Method and apparatus for optical transmission of digital signals”, (priority date 22 February 2008, granted Australia 2009202120 under examination elsewhere)

Patents and Commercialization