Title: Photonics, A Key Enabling Technology and its Role to Achieve the Un-Sustainable Development Goals

Speaker: Prof. B M Azizur Rahman, City, University of London, United Kingdom

Abstract:     With the advent of semiconductor lasers and low-loss optical fibres in mid 60s, the progress of Photonics  technology has been rapid. Photonics, as the name indicates, manipulates photon or light, similar as Electronics manipulate electrons, but much faster. Photonics made a significant impact, in the field of optical fibre links, joining all the countries and major cities by faster Tbit/sec bandwith link, made Internet almost free, thinner flat screen display for computers and mobile phones, CD and DVD for data storage, and lasers for healthcare and material processing applications. During the last EU research cycle, Horizon2020, Photonics was identified as one of the 6 Key Enabling Technologies, and expected to play a key role in shaping the technology landscape of this century.

It is important for all of us to see how we can contribute to social, economical, health or environmental issue. The UN has identified 17 key suatainable development goals to sutain our survibal in this planet. To tackle global warming the Paris Agreement has been signed and 130 coutries and all have agreed to net zero-carbon contribution by 2050. Most of the funding for new EU HorizonEurope will focus the role of technology to achieve these goals. I will discuss how Photonics can help some of the big challenges our civilisation is facing now.

About author:

M. Azizur Rahman received the B.Sc.Eng and M.Sc.Eng. degrees in Electrical Engineering with distinctions from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 1976 and 1979, respectively. He also received two gold medals for being the best undergraduate and graduate students of the whole university in 1976 and 1979, respectively. In 1979, he was awarded with a Commonwealth Scholarship to study for a PhD degree in the UK and subsequently in 1982 received his PhD degree in Electronics from University College London.

In 1988, he joined City, University of London, as a lecturer, where became a full Professor in 2000. At City University, he leads the research group on Photonics Modelling, specialised in the development and use of rigorous and full-vectorial numerical approaches to design, analyse and optimise a wide range of photonic devices. He has published more than 650 journal and conference papers, and his journal papers have been cited more than 9000 times with H-index of 43. He has supervised 34 students to complete their PhD degrees as their first supervisor and received more than £13 M in research grants. Prof. Rahman is Life Fellow of the IEEE, and Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the SPIE.

Title: Spectrally-Efficient Multiple Access Design for Beyond 5G/6G Networks Exploiting Deep Reinforcement Learning

Speaker: Prof. Ekram Hossain, University of Manitoba, Canada


While the fifth generation (5G) cellular wireless communication technologies are currently being developed and deployed, research on the beyond 5G (B5G) technologies, also referred to as 6G technologies, has already begun. For design and optimization of multiple access and resource allocation techniques in 6G, machine learning (ML) tools, including deep supervised learning and deep reinforcement learning (DRL), will be particularly useful. In this talk, I will discuss the role of ML in general for design and optimization of multiple access in 6G systems. Also, I will give a specific example of how DRL techniques can be used for massive non-orthogonal multiple access in a cell-free MIMO system.

About author:

Ekram Hossain (IEEE Fellow) is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. He is a Member (Class of 2016) of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and also a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of Victoria, Canada, in 2001. Dr. Hossain's current research interests include design, analysis, and optimization of wireless communication networks (with emphasis on beyond 5G cellular), and applied machine learning, game theory, and network economics (http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~hossaina). He was elevated to an IEEE Fellow “for contributions to spectrum management and resource allocation in cognitive and cellular radio networks". He was listed as a Clarivate Analytics  Highly Cited Researcher in Computer Science in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. Dr. Hossain has won several research awards including the “2017 IEEE Communications Society Best Survey Paper Award”, IEEE VTC 2016-Fall “Best Student Paper Award” as a co-author, IEEE Communications Society Transmission, Access, and Optical Systems (TAOS) Technical Committee's Best Paper Award in IEEE Globecom 2015, University of Manitoba Merit Award in 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2015 (for Research and Scholarly Activities), the 2011 IEEE Communications Society Fred Ellersick Prize Paper Award, and the IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference 2012 (WCNC'12) Best Paper Award. He received the 2017 IEEE ComSoc TCGCC (Technical Committee on Green Communications & Computing) Distinguished Technical Achievement Recognition Award “for outstanding technical leadership and achievement in green wireless communications and networking”. Currently he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Press and an Editor for IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing. Previously, he served as an Area Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications in the area of “Resource Management and Multiple Access'' (2009-2011) and an Editor for the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications - Cognitive Radio Series (2011-2014). He serves as the Director of Magazines for the IEEE Communications Society (2020-2021). Dr. Hossain was an elected Member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Communications Society for the term 2018-2020. He is a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Communications Society and the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the province of Manitoba, Canada.

Title: Towards Advanced Optical CDMA in Light of IT Challenges

Speaker: Prof. Ivan Glesk, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom

Abstract: It is believed that fundamental limits of electronic switching relaying on bandwidth limited silicon electronics may have been reached and novel approaches and solutions are needed. It has been suggested that all-optical signal processing underpinning highly scalable broadband communication systems may provide the needed improvements. In this talk, we will examine disruptive milestones that enabled transformation of Information Technologies (IT) into what is known today as Information, Communication and Entertainment (ICE) sector. Challenges resulting from this transformation will be overviewed. Possible solutions leading to superior scalability via deployment of advanced two-dimensional optical code-division multiple-access underpinned by all-optical devices and techniques will then be discussed and demonstrated.  .

About author:

Professor Ivan Glesk received his RNDr and PhD degrees in Quantum Electronics and Optics from Comenius University in Bratislava, in 1981 and 1989, respectively and the DrSc degree from Slovak Academy of Sciences in 1998.

In 1985 he joined the Department of Experimental Physics at Comenius University where he later became Professor of Physics. In 1990, as a recipient of the IREX Fellowship, he was a Visiting Fellow in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, USA. In 1991, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering where he became Senior Research Scholar and the Manager of the Lightwave Communication Research Laboratory. In 2007, he joined Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK as Professor of Broadband Communication Systems. He has co-authored a number of book chapters, over 400 publications, presented over 90 invited conference talks and lectures and holds 5 US patents.

Title: The 6G Wireless Networks: What to Expect and How to Excel

Speaker: Dr. Syed Ali Hassan, National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan

Abstract: The demand for wireless capacity is continuously growing with the advent of the Internet-of-Everything system, connecting millions of people and billions of machines. To date, the fifth generation (5G) wireless networks are being rolled out in the world, providing a new vision to mobile communication. While 5G is still in its commercialization phase, the research on Beyond 5G (B5G) and sixth generation (6G) communication has already started ground work on innovative technologies that support the capacity growth of future networks with lower cost, energy consumption, and hardware complexity. In order to meet the stringent demands on spectral and energy efficiency, B5G and 6G will rely on new and advanced technologies ranging from cell-free massive MIMO, Terahertz band communication, pervasive artificial intelligence, ambient backscatter communications, to smart radio environments. In this talk, we discuss the basic concept of these technologies, covering the "what to expect" part, and then overview the research challenges that are seen to address their inception, the "How to excel" part.

About author:

received the B.E. degree in electrical engineering from the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan, in 2004, the M.S. degree in mathematics from Georgia Tech in 2011, and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 2007, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA, in 2011. His research interests include signal processing for communications with a focus on cooperative communications for wireless networks, stochastic modeling, estimation and detection theory, and smart grid communications. He is currently working as an Associate Professor with the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS), NUST. He was a Visiting Professor with Georgia Tech in Fall 2017. He also held industry positions with Cisco Systems Inc., CA, USA, and with Center for Advanced Research in Engineering, Islamabad.

Title: Immersive Collaborative Communications-Possibilities, Challenges, and Trends

Speaker: Dr. Albena Mihovska, Aarhus University, Denmark

Abstract: Wireless communications combined with advances in artificial intelligence (AI), sensing technologies, imaging, massive scale machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, augmented reality (AR), cross-reality (XR), wearable displays, deep analytics, and so forth, are driving the emergence of a new era of communication-namely in a combined physical and virtual world. In the light of the recent pandemic, remote collaboration revealed its importance as the backbone of modern business and kept the so important human communication and interaction at a satisfactory level. With the advancement of technology, remote interactions become more and more part of our everyday living. The talk will explore the possibilities arising from this trend, as well as the main challenges.

About author:

Albena Mihovska is a Senior Academic and Research Professional, currently an Associate Professor at the Dept of Business Development and Technology (BTECH), at Aarhus University, Herning, Denmark. She is leading the 6G Knowledge Research Lab at the CTIF Global Capsule(CGC) research group at BTECH and is the Technical Manager of several EU-funded projects in the area of Beyond 5G networks coordinated by Aarhus University. She is a member of IEEE, INFORMS and has more than 150 publications.

Title: The past, present and future of Earth-space communications: evolution and challenges

Speaker: Dr. Lorenzo Luini, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Abstract: Earth-space communication systems support several services that are part of our everyday life, such as TV broadcast and broadband Internet via satellite, especially in remote areas where cabled connectivity is not yet available. Earth-space communications are also a key element enabling space exploration missions, which first targeted the Moon, and are nowadays mostly covering deep space distances to increase our knowledge of the Solar system. Finally, Earth-space communications underpin space-based Earth observation, which is achieved by means of several satellites flying along low, medium and geostationary orbits. The first part of the talk will provide the historical background that led to the development of wireless communication systems, starting from the theoretical studies on electromagnetic fields, describing the early experimental verifications on short- and long-range wireless links, up to the implementation of the first space-based communication systems, including those that supported the Apollo 11 Moon mission. The second part of the talk will give a state-of-the-art overview of the current Earth-space communications, considering both the most advanced satellite-based services and the main features of communication systems supporting space exploration and Earth observations. The final part of the talk will focus on the near future evolution of Earth-space communication systems, illustrating new solutions and architectures, as well as the challenges to be faced to achieve such new frontiers

About author:

Lorenzo Luini (SM’17) was born in Italy, in 1979. He received the Laurea degree (cum laude) in telecommunication engineering and the Ph.D. degree in information technology (cum laude) from the Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy, in 2004 and2009, respectively. He was a System Engineer with the Industrial Unit, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Department, Thales Alenia Space Italia S.p.A, Gorgonzola, Italy. He is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor with the Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria (DEIB), Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy. He has been involved in several European COST projects, the European Satellite Network of Excellence (SatNEx), and several projects commissioned to the research group by the European Space Agency (ESA), the USA Air Force Laboratory (AFRL), and the European Commission (H2020). He authored more than 150 contributions to international conferences and scientific journals. His current research interests include electromagnetic wave propagation through the atmosphere, both at radio and optical frequencies. Dr. Luini is a member of the Italian Society of Electromagnetism, a Board Member of the working group “Propagation” of the European Association on Antennas and Propagation (EurAAP), and the Leader of the Working Group “Propagation data calibration”, AlphaSat Aldo Paraboni Propagation Experimenters (ASAPE) Group. He is also an Associate Editor of the International Journal on Antennas and Propagation (IJAP).

Title: Wireless Radio Spectrum Scarcity Problem and Cognitive Radio Networks

Speaker: Dr. Mubashir Husain Rehmani, Munster Technological University, Ireland


In our daily life, we use various wireless communication technologies ranging from WiFi to Bluetooth, and from Mobile Phone to watching TV. All these technologies use wireless radio spectrum. This wireless radio spectrum is a scarce natural resource and due to fixed spectrum assignment policy, this spectrum is underutilized creating spectrum scarcity problem. In this talk, we discuss the need of cognitive radio networks (CRN) and dynamic spectrum management paradigm. CRNs are proposed and designed to meet the future wireless radio spectrum need of communications networks. With CRNs, the underutilized wireless radio spectrum can be efficiently utilized using spectrum related functionalities.

About author:

MUBASHIR HUSAIN REHMANI  (Senior Member, IEEE) received the B.Eng. degree in computer systems engineering from the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro, Pakistan, in 2004, the M.S. degree from the University of Paris XI, Paris, France, in 2008, and the Ph.D. degree from the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, in 2011. He worked as Postdoctoral Researcher with the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG), Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Waterford, Ireland. He also served for five years as an Assistant Professor with the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Wah Cantonment, Pakistan. He is currently working as an Assistant Lecturer with the Department of Computer Science, Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland. He has authored/edited total eight books, two books with Springer, two books published by IGI Global, USA, three books published by CRC Press–Taylor and Francis Group, U.K., and one book with Wiley, U.K. He received the Best Researcher of the Year 2015 of COMSATS Wah Award in 2015, the certificate of appreciation Exemplary Editor of the IEEE COMMUNICATIONS SURVEYS AND TUTORIALS for the year 2015 from the IEEE Communications Society, the Best Paper Award from IEEE ComSoc Technical Committee on Communications Systems Integration and Modeling (CSIM), in IEEE ICC 2017, and the Best Paper Award from the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Government of Pakistan, in 2017. He was a recipient of the Best Paper Award from Journal of Network and Computer Applications (Elsevier), in 2018. He consecutively received a Research Productivity Award, in 2016 and 2017, and ranked #1 in all Engineering disciplines from Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), Government of Pakistan. He has been selected for inclusion on the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2020 list from Clarivate. His performance in this context features in the top 1% in the field of computer science. The highly anticipated annual list identifies researchers who demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field, or fields, through the publication of multiple highly cited articles during the last decade. Their names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication VOLUME 9, 2021 74191 IEEE ACCESS SPECIAL SECTION EDITORIAL year in the Web of Science citation index. From 2015 to 2017, he served as an Associate Editor for IEEE COMMUNICATIONS SURVEYS AND TUTORIALS. He is serving as a Column Editor for book reviews in IEEE Communications Magazine. He is appointed as an Associate Editor of IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GREEN COMMUNICATION AND NETWORKING. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for IEEE Communications Magazine, Journal of Network and Computer Applications (JNCA) (Elsevier), and the Journal of Communications and Networks (JCN) and a Guest Editor for Ad Hoc Networks journal (Elsevier), Future Generation Computer Systems journal (Elsevier), the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL INFORMATICS, and Pervasive and Mobile Computing journal (Elsevier). He is currently an Area Editor of the IEEE COMMUNICATIONS SURVEYS AND TUTORIALS.

Title: Energy Storage Hybrids – The Future of Integrated Energy Systems

Speaker: Dr. Ahmed Shuja Syed, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan

Abstract: An overview of the technologies will be provided in this talk focusing on the very concepts of energy collection, energy storage and energy transfer in light and charge driven materials, devices and circuits for versatile integrated energy systems. The “light and charge combo” has played a vital role in the advent of technology generations (verticals of the energy hybrids), which will be revisited in order to evaluate their current status, research outcomes for their usage in next-generation applications and their level of readiness for possible exploitation in industry. The verticals of energy hybrids would include, but not limited to, next generation solar cells, future batteries, energy harvesters, supercapacitors and electrochromic devices. Some interesting developments from the market leaders will also be discussed to augment the meaningfulness of such research problems. Some of the latest and promising research conducted in the Centre for Advanced Electronics & Photovoltaic Engineering, on this account, will also be shared.

About author:

Engr. Prof. Dr Ahmed Shuja Syed is the Vice President (Research and Enterprise) at International Islamic University (IIU), Islamabad, Pakistan. Earlier, he served as Vice President (Academics) of the university. He is also Founding Executive Director, Centre for Advanced Electronics & Photovoltaic Engineering (CAEPE). He is the Principal Investigator of Islamic Development Bank’s Funded International Research Grants, namely, Advanced Electronics Laboratories Project and Photovoltaic Energy Engineering Labs. He remained the Proponent & Focal Point of US Department of Energy’s Users Facility Access Agreement with International Islamic University and Govt. of Pakistan’s PSDP support grant to the Centre.

Dr. Shuja is also Visiting Professor at James Watt School of Engineering at University of Glasgow, UK. Prof. Shuja holds MS and Ph.D. in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Sweden and UK; respectively. Besides serving abroad during his professional career; he previously remained the Dean of Faculty of Engineering & Technology at IIU, Islamabad and Executive Director of Centre for Emerging Sciences, Engineering & Technology, Islamabad. Currently; He is also the Member Board of Governors of various universities in Pakistan as well as Life-time Member of Pakistan Engineering Council. Dr. Shuja developed a pioneering teaching and research program, in Pakistan, in the area of Advanced Electronics in 2007. Dr. Shuja’s research group studies the engineering of circuits, devices & systems for next-generation electronics/optoelectronics, sensing, energy and photonics applications with cross-disciplinary convergence. The Centre, originated and developed by Dr. Shuja is home to over 350 scientific projects with world-class research facilities including Pakistan’s first Class-100 clean room facility for the development of micron- and sub-micron devices. As guest scientist and visiting professor, Dr. Shuja maintained very close collaborative linkages with some of the world’s most renowned scientific facilities including the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Department of Energy, USA. The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has also highlighted Dr. Shuja’s contributions in its official newsletters in February 2011, May 2015, August 2016 and April 2019. Dr. Shuja instituted and chaired several international conferences and national workshops in Pakistan and had been a plenary/keynote speaker in numerous national and international conferences and colloquia.

Dr. Shuja has led tangible projects developing both physical and academic infrastructures, facilities, departments, faculty, Centres etc. covering the financial, strategic and planning aspects. With a track record of winning several competitive projects funded both on national and international level; Dr. Shuja has supervised over 60 graduate (MS and PhD) students and published over 100 international research communications including the book chapters, impact-factor journal papers and peer-reviewed international conference proceedings. Dr. Shuja is also a member of various national level fora and has a track record of working closely with national and international bodies for the initiation, approval, execution and accreditation of institutions, academic and research programs, and devising the policies and strategies in the Science and Technology arena. Besides several other high level national committees; being part of the National Steering Committee on Pakistan Science Foundation’s PSDP projects as well as Department of S&T of KPK Government; Dr. Shuja played an active role in defining the future directions of S&T funding and creation of impactful knowledge in Pakistan.