During his postgraduate studies at the University of Melbourne's School of Engineering, Mr Chen has developed a promising low-cost new signal processing method that turns current thinking on its head.
He has discovered a smart way to use information buried in noise-like distortion which appears to lead to enormous improvement in network reliability and efficiency in optical networks.
These findings are significantly different to current processing approaches where distortion is simply thrown away, because it is seen as a detrimental effect needing to be eliminated.
Today his discovery has won him a prestigious 2011 Victoria Fellowship which will see him travel to the USA and Europe to investigate possible research collaboration and to receive industrial training from leading scientists.
Mr Chen is one of six young Victorian scientists to win a prestigious Victoria Fellowship. He received the Fellowship on Tuesday 15 November at a gala function at Parliament House from Ms Louise Asher, Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business.
The Victoria Fellowships, each worth $18,000, were first awarded by the Victorian Government in 1998, to recognise young researchers with leadership potential and to enhance their future careers, while developing new ideas which could offer commercial benefit to Victoria.
According to the Coburg resident, his discovery has come at the right time as Australia rolls out its national broadband network.
He says that there will be a growing need for cost-efficient links to carry the massive increase in data traffic expected over the coming years.
His Victoria Fellowship will enable him to travel to leading experimental research and industry groups in Europe and the USA. Crucially Mr Chen will also use the Victoria Fellowship to test the commercial potential of his innovation.
His ambition is to be at the forefront of the growing optical communications through leading edge solutions. Mr Chen says that his Victoria Fellowship will help to further establish Victoria as the centre for telecommunications in Australia.
Mr Chen has received many awards including the Ormsby Hamilton Radio Prize. His list of publications to date is extensive. He is currently undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Commercialisation through Melbourne Business School. He is also completing his PhD degree at The University of Melbourne with the support of NICTA's PhD Scholarship Program.