Sandra Lagén

Sandra Lagén

Senior Researcher (R3)

Division: Communication Networks
Category: Research
Phone: +34 93 645 29 00     Ext: 2169
Fax: +3493 645 29 01

Sandra Lagén received the Telecommunication Engineering degree, the Master’s degree, and the Ph.D. degree (with honors) from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain, in 2011, 2013, and 2016, respectively. From 2010 to 2011, she was with Abertis Telecom, Barcelona, as an internship for projects related to infrastructures for surveillance and smart cities. From 2012 to 2017 she was a research assistant in the Signal Processing and Communications group at UPC, where she carried out her Ph.D. thesis “Coordination Strategies for Interference Management in MIMO Dense Cellular Networks” thanks to a Spanish Ministry of Education grant (FPU). At that time, she participated in two FP7-ICT projects funded by the European Commission (FREEDOM and TROPIC), a collaborative project with Huawei on flexible duplexing for 5G systems, and various projects funded by MINECO (MOSAIC, DISNET, and 5G-RUNNER). She contributed to 3GPP standardization; being UPC the first university world-wide contributing to 3GPP LTE-A. In 2015, she did a three-month research appointment at Nokia Networks and Aalborg University in Aalborg, Denmark. She joined CTTC in 2017, where she currently is a Senior Researcher in the Mobile Networks Department of the Communication Networks Division. In CTTC, she has participated in collaborative projects with InterDigital about 5G NR, NR-U design and coexistence studies with Wi-Fi (leading the research and code design WPs); a grant from the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) – US Dept. Commerce to accelerate V2X communications; and a project from the LLNL (Lawrence Livermore National Lab) – US Dept. of Defense about spectrum sharing. Also, she was the Principal Investigator in a collaborative project with Huawei-Sweden on fronthaul compression control for next-generation RAN, and she is the Principal Investigator of a collaborative project with Facebook about cellular and coexistence studies for AR/VR use cases. Also, she has participated in the ITN Scavenge and ITN Greenedge (European training networks), supervising PhD students. Since 2021, she is member of the executive board of ns-3 consortium.

In 2017, she was awarded by COIT the best national Ph.D. thesis on high-speed broadband mobile communications, sponsored by Orange. The Ph.D. thesis also received the UPC’s Premio Extraordinario de Doctorado in 2019. Also, in 2012 she was awarded by the best final project in Telecommunications Engineering in the area of Information Systems, and in 2013 by COIT the best national Master Thesis on Analysis and Optimization of Wireless Networks, sponsored by Ingenia Telecom. She is the co-recipient of the IEEE WCNC 2018 best paper award and the 2020 WNS3 best paper award. She is co-inventor in two non-provisional patent applications granted, three provisional applications, and has participated in several contributions to 3GPP-LTE release 11 and 12. Her main research interests are in designing and analyzing wireless communication systems and network protocols with emphasis on cross-layer optimizations, especially with PHY and MAC layers.

She holds the AQU Research accreditation and is IEEE Senior member.


Scopus Author ID: 47061381500

WoS Researcher ID: K-7542-2017

Google scholar profile:



Scientific Journal papers 

15 journal papers. 13 journals in Q1, 2 articles in Q2.


500 citations / h-index=13 / i10 index= 17 (Google scholar).


2 best paper awards: IEEE WCNC 2018 and WNS3 2020.


2 non-provisional applications granted, 3 provisional applications.

Project participation

4 EU projects (TROPIC, FREEDOM, SCAVENGE, GREENEDGE), 4 National (MOSAIC, DISNET, 5GRUNNER, 5GREFINE), 7 industrial (Huawei-China, Huawei-Sweden, InterDigital Communications (2), NIST, LLNL, Facebook).
Project participation and project leader at CTTC (since 2017) Participation in 9 projects: 1 national, 6 industrials, 2 EU.In two industrial projects (Huawei-Sweden and Facebook), she has acted as Principal Investigator. In the other industrial projects and the national project, she has lead WPs and tasks. Also, she has participated in the definition of project proposals, with direct communications as CTTC representative with important companies.

PhD, Master thesis, GSoC supervision 

2 master thesis (in telecom and aerospace sectors). 1 PhD research stage supervision. 1 Google Summer of Code supervision. 1 (ongoing) PhD supervision.

Invited talks/keynotes

6: 2 international (technical), 4 national (1 technical and 3 informative, in STEAM like programs).

Contribution to Conferences

29 contributions to conferences.

Contributions to 3GPP and 3GPP TRs

12 technical contributions: 1 to LTE Rel-11, 11 to LTE Rel-12. Notably, the results were included in 3GPP TR 36.874 (LTE Rel-12).
Grants FI and FPU to pursue and complete the PhD. FPU mobility grant. EnginyCat grant (teaching). Introduction to research grant.
Awards 2 awards for the PhD thesis: COIT best national PhD thesis award (2017) and UPC Extraordinary award (2019). 2 awards for the master thesis: award (best thesis in UPC-TelecomBcn, 2012), COIT best national master thesis (2013). CIRIT award (bachelor research project, 2016). Caixa Manresa award (selectivity marks, 2016). Coca-Cola Catalan&Spanish awards (writing, 2013).

Courses and workshops   organizations

She co-organized the CTTC Workshop 2018, and has co-chaired multiple sessions in international conferences.


3-month research stage at Nokia Networks, Aalborg (Denmark), in 2015.
 ns-3 design and development She participates in the design and development of the modules: 5G NR, NR-U and NR V2X (details can be found here). She is member of the executive board of ns-3 consortium.
Research Habilitations She holds the Acreditació de Recerca by Catalan Agency for the Quality of the University System (AQU) (Nov. 2020). She is IEEE Senior Member (Feb. 2021).
Industrial project proposals and execution Participation in 5G NR, NR-U (NR in unlicensed) and NR V2X (vehicle communications) related project proposals definition and execution of them, leading WPs and tasks. Industrial project leader Principal Investigator (PI) of projects: 1) 5G-FOREST project with Huawei-Sweden about fronthaul compression techniques for next-generation radio access networks, and 2) collaborative project with Facebook about cellular and coexistence studies for AR/VR use cases. Also, deputy PI in NR-U project with InterDigital about 3GPP and IEEE technologies coexistence in unlicensed mmWave bands. 5G-LENA code design Design of PHY and MAC layers of NR, NR-U and NR-V2X ns-3 modules, as well as the development of specific features (like the PHY layer abstraction), in line with 3GPP standardization. ns-3 management CTTC member of the executive board of ns-3 consortium.