Zoheb Hassan completed his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) with the University of British Columbia’s in 2019 under the joint supervision of Professor Victor Leung (UBC Vancouver), Professor Julian Cheng (UBC Okanagan), and Professor Jahangir Hossain (Okanagan). After completing his PhD, he joined UBC Okanagan as a postdoctoral research fellow. He was a sessional instructor at UBC Okanagan from September 2019 to December 2019.
Hassan was awarded a prestigious NSERC PDF scholarship for 2020-21. His application was ranked first in electrical engineering category among all the candidates from across Canada.
What drew you to UBC Okanagan?
I am originally from Bangladesh, a small country in the South Asia region, and came to Canada in 2012 to pursue my Master’s at UBC Okanagan. Because of my long stay in UBC Okanagan campus, from a Master’s student to Postdoctoral Research Fellow, I have gained several valuable experiences. Specifically, the top-notch faculty and research facility of UBC Okanagan were the key elements that drew my attention in the first place.
Describe your research interests.
My main research interest is the resource allocation and optimization of the wireless communication network. Over the years, I have actively worked on projects related to different wireless communication systems, such as, free space optical communication systems, next generation cellular network of 5G and beyond, and aerial communication systems. I have made notable contributions in all three areas. For instance, I developed several novel adaptive transmission protocols for free space optical backhaul network. These developed protocols can substantially improve the delay of the transmitted data over free space optical backhaul network compared to the existing schemes. For the aerial communication networks, I proposed a novel algorithm by exploiting energy-harvesting through unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-mounted relays. This algorithm can substantially improve connectivity of UAV assisted Internet-of-things (IoT) network in an energy sustainable way. For next generation cellular networks, I came up with novel resource allocation schemes for mitigating interference by applying rate-splitting multiple access and reinforcement-learning empowered clustering of users. The proposed resource allocation scheme not only outperforms the existing schemes, in terms of energy-efficiency and spectral-efficiency, but also reduces the signaling overhead in the network.
What are your fondest memories of your studies at UBC Okanagan?
I have significantly benefitted, in both academic and non-academic aspects, through collaborations and discussions with my colleagues and fellow researchers at UBC Okanagan. While at UBC Okanagan, I was involved with various graduate student societies including the Muslim Student Association, Association of Bangladeshi Students, and the Engineering Graduate Student Society. These experiences enhanced both my interpersonal communication and leadership skills.
What role have Drs. Cheng and Hossain played in your academic success?
Both Professor Cheng and Professor Hossain played a significant role in my academic success. They taught me many research skills over the years, and continue to provide feedback on my work. They allowed me the freedom to work on topics that interested me, and helped me to grow as an independent researcher. They also taught me to uncover interesting research problems, and how to develop useful solutions. I have been truly blessed to have the opportunity to work under their supervision.
You continued a connection with UBC Okanagan during your PhD studies at UBC in Vancouver. Why? What was the experience like working with supervisors from both campuses?
Both campuses offer some unique advantages. For instance, the ECE department of UBC Vancouver is a large department. As a result, I benefited from research discussions with a large group of faculty and students. On top of that, ECE offers a wide spectrum of courses, and I learned some advanced concepts of wireless network optimization from these courses. On the other hand, UBC Okanagan campus offers more opportunity to connect one-to-one with the supervisors/mentors, which is extremely important during your PhD. For this reason, after the candidacy exam of my PhD study, I spent time at UBC Okanagan campus to work more closely with my supervisors. I am truly thankful to my supervisors at both UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver for allowing me to optimize my studies through the resources of both campuses.
Now that you have completed your PhD – what is your Post-Doctoral research focused on?
I am focusing on optimization radio access networks for the beyond 5G communication systems and Internet-of-drones networks. Specifically, I am investigating the co-existence of the Internet-of-drones networks and 5G cellular networks over the same spectrum. Such a co-existence can potentially improve the problem of spectrum/bandwidth scarcity in the network. However, the interference in the network needs to be mitigated efficiently. Therefore, my aim is to develop an artificial intelligence empowered algorithm that will mitigate interference in the co-existing Internet-of-drones and 5G cellular networks.
Describe the importance for you of the funding & recognition from the NSERC Postdoc Fellow competition.
Recognition from the NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow competition is a very important achievement in my academic research career. Such a fellowship will allow me to hold a PDF position at top-notch universities in both Canada and abroad, and will allow me to collaborate with top researchers in wireless communications and networks. I am grateful to the selection committee for recognizing my research potential through this prestigious award.
What are your future aspirations?
My goal is to become a faculty member at a good university, and a renowned researcher in wireless communications and networks. At the same time, I am interested in sharing my research expertise with students from my home country, Bangladesh, and training them to fully utilize their research potential.