Team

Faculty

Walid Saad, Professor, Google Scholar

Walid Saad (S'07, M'10, SM’15, F'19) received his Ph.D degree from the University of Oslo in 2010. Currently, he is a full Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he leads the Network sciEnce, Wireless, and Security (NEWS@VT) laboratory, within the Wireless@VT research group. He is also the Wireless NextG Faculty Lead for Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus. His research interests include wireless networks, machine learning, game theory, security, unmanned aerial vehicles, cyber-physical systems, smart grids, and network science. Dr. Saad is a Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. He is also the recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2013, the AFOSR summer faculty fellowship in 2014, and the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in 2015. He was the author/co-author of ten conference best paper awards at WiOpt in 2009, ICIMP in 2010, IEEE WCNC in 2012, IEEE PIMRC in 2015, IEEE SmartGridComm in 2015, EuCNC in 2017, IEEE GLOBECOM in 2018, IFIP NTMS in 2019, IEEE ICC in 2020, and IEEE GLOBECOM in 2020. He is the recipient of the 2015 Fred W. Ellersick Prize from the IEEE Communications Society, of the 2017 IEEE ComSoc Best Young Professional in Academia award, of the 2018 IEEE ComSoc Radio Communications Committee Early Achievement Award, and of the 2019 IEEE ComSoc Communication Theory Technical Committee. He was also a co-author of the 2019 IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper. From 2015-2017, Dr. Saad was named the Stephen O. Lane Junior Faculty Fellow at Virginia Tech and, in 2017, he was named College of Engineering Faculty Fellow. He received the Dean's award for Research Excellence from Virginia Tech in 2019. He currently serves as an editor for the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and the IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking. He is an Editor-at-Large for the IEEE Transactions on Communications.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Christo Kurisummoottil Thomas, Postdoc

Christo Kurisummoottil Thomas received his BS in Electronics and Communication Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Calicut, India in year 2010, his MS in Telecommunication Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in year 2012, and his PhD from EURECOM, France in year 2020. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. His research interests include semantic communications, statistical signal processing, and machine learning for wireless communications. From 2012 to 2014, he was a staff design engineer on 4G LTE with Broadcom communications, Bangalore, and from 2014 to 2017, he was a design engineer with Intel corporation, Bangalore. During November 2020 till June 2022, he was a staff engineer on 5G modems with wireless research and development division of Qualcomm Inc., Espoo, Finland. He was a recipient of the best student paper award at IEEE SPAWC 2018, Kalamata, Greece, and also received third prize for his team titled “Learned Chester” ML5G-PHY channel estimation challenge, as part of the ITU AI/ML in 5G challenge, conducted at NCSU, US, 2020.

PhD Students

Christina Chaccour, PhD Student

Christina Chaccour received the B.E. degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Electrical Engineering from Notre Dame University-Louaize, Lebanon, in 2018 and the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA, in 2020. She is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree with the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech, where her research interests include wireless communications, 5G and 6G networks, extended reality, terahertz frequency bands, machine learning, and semantic communications. She has derived some of the first performance analysis results on the potential of networking at THz frequencies. Christina is the co-founder of the startup Internet of Trees (IOTree); IOTree has won many local and international awards. She has held summer internship positions at Ericsson Inc., Plano, TX, USA, and Cadence Design Systems, Munich GmBh. She was the recipient of the best paper award for her peer-reviewed conference paper at the 10th IFIP Conference on New Technologies, Mobility, and Security (NTMS), Canary Islands, in 2019. Additionally, Christina was the recipient of the exemplary reviewer (fewer than 2%) award from IEEE Transactions on Communications in 2021. She has also served as a reviewer and a technical program committee member for various IEEE transactions and flagship conferences.

Mahdi Chehimi, PhD Student

Mahdi Chehimi received his BS in Electrical Engineering with honors from Kuwait University in 2018 and his MENG in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut in 2020 with a focus on communications, applied electromagnetics, and RF. He is currently a PhD student at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. His research interests include Quantum Communications, Quantum Machine Learning with applications to wireless networks, and physical layer security.

Alexander DeRieux, PhD Student

Alexander DeRieux received his BS in Electrical Engineering with honors and his BS in Computer Science with honors from Virginia Tech in 2016, and his MS in 2022. He is currently a PhD student at the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. He works for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Naval Center for Space Technology (NCST) Space Systems Development Division (SSDD) researching, designing, and developing space-system technologies in the areas of rocketry, communications, optics, networking, tactical network modeling, surveillance and tracking, software engineering, Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), and Precise Time and Time Interval (PTTI) theory and applications. His research interests include quantum machine learning, machine learning, and wireless networks.

Jeremy Bernard Gatineau, PhD Student

Jeremy Gatineau received his BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from ENSEA, France in 2019 and his MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2022. He is currently a PhD student at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. His research interests include multi-agent systems, decentralized learning, emergent communication, emergent collective intelligence, neuro-symbolic reasoning, and deep-reinforcement learning .

Omar Hashash, PhD Student

Omar Hashash received his BE in Communications and Electronics Engineering from Beirut Arab University, Lebanon in 2019 and his ME in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon in 2021. He is currently a PhD student at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. His research interests include wireless cellular networks, distributed machine learning, reconfigurable intelligent surfaces, and mobile edge computing.

Mohammad Karimzadeh, PhD Student

Mohammad Karimzadeh Farshbafan received his BS in electrical engineering from the Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran in 2012, his MS in electrical engineering from the Sharif University of Technology, Iran in 2014, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Tehran, Iran in 2020. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. His research interests include wireless networking, machine learning, and network softwarization.

Minsu Kim, PhD Student

Minsu Kim received his BE with honors in School of Undergraduate Studies from the DGIST in 2019 and his MS in Information and Communication Engineering from the DGIST, Korea in 2021. He is currently a PhD student at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. He is awarded the best paper award at the IEEE ICC 2022. He is also the recipient of the Pratt Scholarship. His research interests include distributed machine learning, Internet of Things, and 6G networks.


Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows

Nof Abuzainab,

Nof Abuzainab received her BE in Computer and Communications Engineering from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and her MS and PhD degrees from the University of Maryland College Park, USA. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Bradley department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech working on the Internet of Things (IoT) and network security. Prior to joining VT, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) in France. She is currently a Senior Researcher at Intelligent Automation Inc in Maryland.

Bochra Bouchhima,

Bochra Bouchhima received her engineering degree in Telecommunication from Telecom SudParis in 2012 and her PhD in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) from Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Tunis (ENIT) in 2017. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. Her research interests include machine learning, compressive sensing, inverse problems, optimal transport, and optimization. She is the recipient of the Fulbright scholarship for the year 2018-2019.

Seyed Rasoul Etesami,

Seyed Rasoul Etesami received his B.S in Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from Isfahan University of Technology, his M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Electrical Engineering Department at Rutgers University and was jointly co-advised by Dr. Walid Saad. His research interests include social and distributed networks, networked games, smart grids, algorithm design, and computational complexity. Dr. Etesami is the recipient of the best CSL PhD thesis award in the engineering school of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at UIUC.

Minchae Jung,

Minchae Jung received his BS in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Yonsei University, South Korea and his PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Yonsei University, South Korea in 2014. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Yonsei University, South Korea and he a postdoctoral fellow at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech from 2019 to 2020. His research interests include massive MIMO, large and reconfigurable intelligent surfaces, and SWIPT system. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Department of Electronic Engineering at Soonchunhyang University, Korea.

Bo Zhou,

Bo Zhou received his B.E. degree in electronic engineering from South China University of Technology, China and his PhD from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech from 2018 to 2021. His research interests include age of information, wireless caching, stochastic network optimization, the Internet of things, and machine learning. He is now a faculty at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Graduate Students

Muhammad Ikram Ashraf, PhD Student

Muhammad Ikram Ashraf received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Communication Networks from Bahria University, Pakistan. He received another M.Sc. in Telecommunication systems (2008) and Ph.D. degree in Communications Engineering (2019) from University of Oulu. From 2008 to 2011, he was working as Research Scientist at Centre for wireless communication (CWC), Oulu Finland. From 2011 to 2012, he was working as Senior Software Engineer at Nokia, Oulu Finland. From 2012 to 2017 he was working as PhD Student/Project Manager at CWC, Oulu Finland. He worked as Visiting Researcher in 2017. Since 2018, he is working as experienced researcher at Ericsson Research, Finland. He has authored/co-authored number of international scientific publications and has contributed to several 3GPP contributions. His current research interests include 5G radio networks, URLLC, Industrial IoT, TSN, and V2X communication.

Ursula Challita,

Ursula Challita received her BS in Computer and Communications Engineering from Notre Dame University (NDU), Lebanon in 2012, her MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon in 2014, and her PhD from The University of Edinburgh (UoE), School of Informatics in 2018 under the supervision of Dr. Saad. She is currently a senior researcher at Ericsson Research, Sweden. Her research interests include resource allocation, spectrum management, optimization, game theory, and machine learning. She is the recipient of the Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship and Principal's Career Development Scholarship (2014-2017).

Mingzhe Chen,

Mingzhe Chen received his BS in Telecommunication Engineering from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China and his MS in Telecommunication Engineering from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), China. He received his PhD degree from the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), School of Information and Communication Engineering. He was a postdoctoral researcher jointly at the Electrical Engineering Department of Princeton University and at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China from 2019 - 2021. He is currently at Ericsson AI Research. His research interests include machine learning, virtual reality, wireless networks, game theory, resource management, and optimization.

Yaman Sharaf-Dabbagh,

Yaman Sharaf-Dabbagh received his BE in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Aleppo, Syria and his MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon. He received his PhD degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. His research interests include machine learning, distributed systems, task scheduling, optimization, security, cyber-physical systems, and data analytics. He is now a Software Engineer at Google.

Mohammed S. Elbamby, PhD Student

Mohammed S. Elbamby received his BS in electronics and communications engineering from the Institute of Aviation Engineering and Technology (IAET), Egypt, in 2010 and his MS in communications engineering from Cairo University, Egypt, in 2013, and the Doctor of Science degree (with distinction) in communications engineering from the University of Oulu, Finland, in 2019. He is currently with the end-to-end networks and service automation lab at Nokia Bell Labs. His research interests span resource optimization, network management, and machine learning in wireless cellular networks.

Abdelrahman Eldosouky,

Abdelrahman Eldosouky received his BS in Computer and Control Engineering and MS in Computer and Systems Engineering from Zagazig University, Egypt. He received his PhD degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2019. His research interests include resilient critical infrastructure, moving target defense, mechanism design, contract theory, and wireless security. He is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nevada - Reno.

George El Rahi,

Georges El Rahi received his BE degree in Electrical Engineering from the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Byblos, Lebanon. He defended his MS thesis entitled "Demand-Side Energy Management in the Smart Grid: Games and Prospects" in May 2017 at the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. He started his first job in engineering design in Washington DC.

Aidin Ferdowsi,

Aidin Ferdowsi received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tehran, Iran. He received his PhD degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2020. He was also a Wireless@VT Fellow. His research interests include cyber-physical systems, smart cities, security, and game theory. After graduation, he joins Hughes Network Systems, LLC, in Washington DC area.

Kenza Hamidouche,

Kenza Hamidouche received her engineering diploma in computer science from Ecole nationale Supérieure d'Informatique, Algiers, in 2012. In 2013, she was selected for a scholarship program at the university of Rennes 1, from which she received her Research Master's degree in computer science. In December 2016, she received her PhD from Paris - Saclay, co-advised by Dr. Walid Saad and Dr. Merouane Debbah. She is currently a Wireless Systems Architect at Apple.

Ye Hu,

Ye Hu received her BS in Communication Engineering from the Hebei University of Technology, China, and her MS in Electronic and Communication Engineering from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunication, China. She received her Ph.D. from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech in 2021. Her research interests include non-terrestrial networks (NTNs), machine learning, and game theory. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University.

Gilsoo Lee,

Gilsoo Lee received his BS and MS in Electronic Engineering from Sogang University, South Korea. He received his PhD degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2020. His research interests include resource management, online optimization, and game-theoretic approaches with application to fog computing and energy-harvesting wireless networks. After graduation, he joins Nokia Bell Labs in Chicago.

Zahra (Kiana) Moghimi,

Zahra (Kiana) Moghimi received her BS in Electrical Engineering from the Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Iran. She received her MS degree from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech in 2021. Her research interests include Machine Learning, Deep Neural Networks, and Generative Models with applications in Computer Vision and Networking problems.

Mohammad Mozaffari,

Mohammad Mozaffari received his BS in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran and his MS in Electrical Engineering from University of Calgary, Canada. He received his PhD degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2018. His research interests include wireless communications and statistical signal processing with focus on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) communications and networking, localization, and GPS signals. He is currently Senior Researcher at Ericsson Research, Santa Clara, CA, USA.

Francesco Pantisano,

Francesco Pantisano received his B.Eng and M.Sc (Hons.) degrees in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Bologna, in 2005 and 2008. In 2013, he received his PhD degree in Computer networks and Information technology, from the University of Oulu, Finland. Dr. Pantisano's first job was a scientific project officer at the Digital Earth and Reference Data Unit of the Joint Research Centre, European Commission, working in the area of Big Data, Smart city, IoT and Cellular Network Evolution. Currently, he joined the Ernst & Young Consulting firm in Italy.

Taehyun Park,

Taehyeun Park received his BE in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union. He received his PhD degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2020. His research interests include machine -to-machine communications, the Internet of things, learning, and game theory.

Anibal Sanjab,

Anibal Sanjab received his B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the Lebanese American University (LAU), Lebanon, in 2012 and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, VA, USA, in 2014. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2018. His research interests include the security of cyber-physical systems, game theory, smart grids, energy economics and power system operation, and control. Dr. Sanjab has been awarded the best student paper award at the IEEE SmartGridComm'15. Dr. Sanjab is the recipient of the Fulbright scholarship for the years 2012-2014. He is valedictorian of the Lebanese American University class of 2012 and the recipient of the 2012 LAU president's award for high leadership skills and academic achievements. Dr. Sanjab has served on the organizing and technical program committees of a number of conferences and workshops.

Omid Semiari,

Omid Semiari received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in communication systems from University of Tehran in 2010 and 2012, respectively. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Bradly department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2017. In 2014, he has worked as an intern at Bell Labs, on anticipatory, context-aware resource management. In 2016, he has joined Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT) for a summer internship, working on LTE-Advanced modem design. Dr. Semiari is the recipient of several research fellowship awards, including DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship and NSF student travel grant. He has actively served as a reviewer for flagship IEEE Transactions and conferences and participated as the technical program committee (TPC) member for a variety of workshops at IEEE conferences, such as ICC and GLOBECOM. His research interests include wireless communications and networking, millimeter wave communications, context-aware resource allocation, matching theory, and signal processing. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Mehdi Naderi Soorki, visitor

Mehdi Naderi Soorki received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the Iran university of science and technology (IUST), Iran and his MS in Telecommunication Networks from Isfahan university of technology (IUT), Iran. He received his PhD from Isfahan university of technology (IUT), department of electrical and computer engineering. His research interests include applying game theory, machine learning, and stochastic network optimization to design new mechanisms for different 5G technologies, including millimeter wave communications, reconfigurable intelligent surfaces, and UAV communication.

Yunpeng Wang,

Yunpeng Wang received his BS from North China Electric Power University, China and his MS from Stevens Institute of Technology, USA, he received his PhD degree from University of Miami, USA in 2015. He is currently at the Smart Grid Corporation of China (SGCC).

Xiangxiang Xu, visitor

Xiangxiang Xu received his PhD degree from the Department of Electronic Engineering at Tsinghua University, China in July 2016. He was co-advised by Dr. Saad. Currently, he is working in consulting in China.


Ali Taleb Zadeh,

Ali Taleb Zadeh received his PhD degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2022. He is now a Research Machine Learning Engineer at HUMA.AI.

Tengchan Zeng,

Tengchan Zeng received his PhD degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2021. He is now a Wireless Connectivity Engineer at Ford Motors.

Qianqian Zhang,

Qianqian Zhang received her BS in Telecommunication Engineering with Management from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing. She received her PhD degree from the Bradley department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2021. Her research interests include machine learning, millimeter wave communications, game theory, and smart cities.

Samad Ali, PhD Student

Samad Ali received his PhD degree from the Center for Wireless Communications at University of Oulu in 2020. He is currently a Wireless Research Specialist in AI and ML at Nokia Bell Labs.

Ramy Amer, PhD Student

Ramy Amer received his PhD degree from the CONNECT Center, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. His research interests include wireless caching, cross-layer design, Cognitive Radio, Energy Harvesting, and Stochastic Geometry. He is also certified as a Cisco instructor and has other Cisco data and voice certificates.

Collaborators and Visitors

We would like to thank all visitors for their contribution to our research program

Prof. Mehdi Bennis, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Centre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, Finland.

Mohamed Elhattab, PhD student, Concordia University, Aug 2022 - Feb 2023.

Prof. Tamer Başar, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, February 2013.

Ursula Challita, PhD student, University of Edinburgh (UoE), September 2016- October 2017.

Mingzhe Chen, PhD student, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), September 2016- September 2019.

Dr. Hajar El Hammouti, Assistant professor, Mohamed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco August 2022- October 2022.

Jeremy Gatineau, undergraduate student at ENSEA France, and an MS student at Georgia Tech, June 2021 - November 2021.

Zhenzhen Gong, PhD student, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), October 2019- October 2020.

Prof. Ismail Guvenc, North Carolina State University, May 2015.

Kenza Hamidouche, PhD student, SUPELEC, December 2014 - June 2015.

Do-Yup Kim, Yonsei University, Seoul, July 2021 - July 2022.

Dongheon Lee, Yonsei University, Seoul.

Dr. Dapeng Li, Nanjing University of Post and Telecommunications, China, March 2013 - February 2014.

Dr. Behrouz Maham, Associate Professor, ECE Department, Nazarbayev University.

Zineb Mahrez, National Program Coordinator, Expertise France.

Prof. Narayan Manadayam, WINLAB, Rutgers University, April 2014.

Prof. Hossein Manshaei, Isfahan University of Technology, August 2015.

Prof. H. Vincent Poor, Princeton University, April 2014.

Mehdi Naderi Soorki, PhD student, Isfahan University of Technology (IUT), Aug 2015 - May 2016.

Rodolfo Vera-Amaro, PhD student, SEPI-IPN, Mexico, Jan 2020 - Nov 2020.

Xiangxiang Xu, PhD student, Tsinghua University, December 2014 - June 2015.