Igor Freire is an Electrical Engineer specialized in Digital Communications and Signal Processing. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Federal University of Pará (Belém, Brazil) in 2020, where he researched clock synchronization algorithms for fifth-generation (5G) transport networks.

Since 2018, Igor has been the leading developer of the Blockstream Satellite project, a service providing Bitcoin blockchain synchronization worldwide through geostationary satellites. He was the principal author of a fully customized and software-defined physical layer implemented in C++/Python using the GNU Radio framework. His PHY design made history by conveying the first Bitcoin data transmissions through space, covering users on six continents for nearly three years.

As a Ph.D. student, he researched fronthaul networks of fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications, focusing primarily on clock synchronization over legacy Ethernet networks. He developed a sophisticated FPGA-based testbed and an extensive open-source framework to analyze synchronization based on the IEEE 1588 precision time protocol (PTP). His Ph.D. research work was funded by Ericsson Research and resulted in five conference papers and two journal papers. He also held a year-long internship at Blu Wireless in Bristol (UK), where he conducted the first published experiments of clock synchronization over 60 GHz millimeter-wave wireless systems.

Igor holds Ph.D., M.Sc., and B.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering. He was a visiting undergraduate student at the Michigan Technological University (USA) and holds extension certificates from universities such as the University of California, Irvine (USA). He has experience working with wireless communications standards such as DVB-S2, LTE, and IEEE 802.11ad, and strong programming skills in C, C++, Python, VHDL, and MATLAB.

Professional Experience

  • Present2020
  • 20202016

    Ph.D. Researcher

    LASSE - Belém, Brazil

  • 20182017


    Blu Wireless - Bristol, United Kingdom

  • 20152014


    Signal Processing Laboratory (LAPS) - Belém, Brazil

  • 20132012

    Scientific Initiation Researcher

    Signal Processing Laboratory (LAPS) - Belém, Brazil


  • Ph.D. 2020

    Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering

    Federal University of Pará - Brazil
    GPA: 10.0/10.0

  • M.Sc. 2015

    Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

    Federal University of Pará - Brazil
    GPA: 10.0/10.0

  • B.Sc. 2013

    Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

    Federal University of Pará - Brazil
    GPA: 9.25/10.0

  • B.Sc. Fall 2011

    Semester Abroad in Electrical Engineering

    Michigan Technological University - USA
    GPA: 4.0/4.0

Honors, Awards and Grants

Igor graduated in 2013 with the highest GPA in the class and received two awards. He was also a co-recipient of two best paper awards at international conferences. Lastly, he was recognized on the Dean’s list after a flawless GPA when studying abroad at Michigan Tech University in the United States.

  • 2016
    Best Paper Award (1st Place) at INSCIT-2016
    Best paper in the International Symposium on Instrumentation Systems, Circuits and Transducers – INSCIT.
  • 2015
    Best Paper Award (2nd Place) at IMOC-2015
    Second best paper in the International Microwave and Optoelectronics Conference out of 196 publications.
  • 2014
    Kawaguchi Award
    Recipient of the Kawaguchi award granted annually by Norsk Hydro to the engineering graduate with highest GPA among the nearly 400 annual graduating students at the Federal University of Pará.
  • 2013
    “Luiz Carlos Nogueira de Freitas” Engineering Award
    An award given annually to the top Electrical Engineering graduate by GPA out of the 200 graduates of the four institutions that offer the course in the state of Pará (Brazil).
  • 2011
    Michigan Tech's Fall 2011 Semester Dean's List
    While taking a semester as undergraduate student at the Michigan Technological University, Igor got a flawless GPA of 4.0 and was recognized in the Dean's list.

Extension Courses

Before joining a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering focused on signal processing for telecommunications, Igor took some related extension courses offered online by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

  • 2015
    Digital Signal Processing with FPGAs, at UCI Extension
  • 2014
    Real-time Embedded Digital Signal Processing, at UCI Extension
  • 2013
    Modern Communication Systems, at UCLA Extension
  • 2013
    C Programming for Embedded Systems, at UCI Extension