Tell us about your doctorate and why your research is important.
My research focuses on proposing novel transmission schemes for future mobile cellular networks. Access to high-quality communications services is vital in today’s internet-based ecosystem and despite recent developments in the Canadian communications sector, more than half of rural and remote Canadian households do not have the basic internet connectivity of 50/10 Mbps download/upload speeds. There is a clear gap between the quality of the communications services provided in rural and remote areas compared to those in urban ones.
Under the supervision of Dr. Anas Chaaban, I realized we don’t just need an evolution in current communications technologies to keep up with the requirements of next-generation mobile networks. What we really need is a revolution in the design of mobile cellular networks.
What are some challenges you’ve faced so far in your academic career?
As an international student who came to Canada with his family, I faced cultural and language challenges as well as homesickness. But the School of Engineering and Dr. Chaaban have helped me overcome these issues. This encouraged me to be more connected with the local area and helped me feel more mentally stable.
That’s why I always advise incoming international students to seek support and resources whenever they need help. UBC Okanagan provides many services and resources specifically designed to help international students transition to life in a new country and succeed in their studies.
Do you have a mentor? If so, how have they influenced you?
Dr. Chaaban is always available when I need him, and he encourages me to stay focused on my goals. He also always shares his knowledge and experience with me, helping me learn from his successes and mistakes.
I’m also a mentee in the UBC Engineering Mentorship Program, which offers an outstanding opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with industry professionals while developing vital communication skills. This program helps me see the next steps I need to take to succeed in engineering.
What’s the best advice you have for other students, whether they are undergraduate or graduate?
Every student’s journey is unique, and it’s important to find what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to try new approaches and adjust your strategy as needed.
Setting goals and creating a plan to achieve them is also essential. This can help you stay focused and motivated on your academic and personal goals. You also have to stay engaged with your coursework—take part in class discussions, ask questions and seek extra resources or learning opportunities.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. This can be from professors, classmates, tutors or other supports. In the end, it is important to prioritize your physical and mental wellbeing. Get enough sleep, eat well, and find time to relax and recharge.
What do you think makes UBCO unique?
UBC Okanagan is home to several institutes and centres that enable students from all over the world to engage in hands-on research. This diverse environment adds to the campus’s vibrant and dynamic community, and provides students with the opportunity to learn from and interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
I dream of starting up my own research and development company that provides advanced wireless and data science technologies for mobile devices, networks and services worldwide. I want to exploit the current revolution in machine learning and data sciences to design self-optimizing mobile networks that can provide high-quality communications services. Completing my doctorate in electrical engineering at UBC Okanagan is the first step toward achieving my dream.
I know that to fulfill this, I must also gain strong experience in entrepreneurship and leadership. That’s why I joined entrepreneurship@UBCO, which provides training and mentorship to explore startup ideas, build connections and develop the skill set needed to launch a successful new venture. I have confidence that within 10 years, I’ll be able to do just that.
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