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Prizewinning PhD candidates examine ultra-dense wireless networks and early non-commercial cinema

Mahmoud Kamel and Enrique Fibla Gutierrez received the Concordia Stand-Out Graduate Research Award
August 13, 2018
By Daniel Bartlett

Mahmoud Kamel hopes his research will lead to robust wireless networks with seamless coverage and immense capacity. | Photo by NASA on Unsplash Mahmoud Kamel, a PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering, hopes his research will lead to robust wireless networks with seamless coverage and immense capacity. | Photo by NASA on Unsplash

While research into ultra-dense networks and 1930s film culture may not have a lot in common, they do share one similarity at Concordia: both are topics of papers that recently won the Stand-Out Graduate Research Award.

PhD candidates Mahmoud Kamel and Enrique Fibla Gutierrez are the latest recipients of the $1,000 prize. The biannual award recognizes two students who demonstrate exemplary research skills and the ability to explain their subject matter in plain language.

To be eligible, graduate students must have previously applied to the Étudiants-chercheurs étoiles competition run by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec and published their research findings within eight months of the application deadline.

Kamel and Fibla Gutierrez won the “Technology, Industry and the Environment” and “Person and Society” categories respectively.

Mobile communications and math

Currently a fourth-year PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering, Kamel examines ultra-dense networks, a technology that densely deploys small wireless stations in hotspots where large amounts of data traffic is generated.

Mahmoud Kamel Mahmoud Kamel

His paper was co-supervised by Walaa Hamouda, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Amr Youssef, professor and associate director of the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering (CIISE).

“We developed mathematical models and proposed elegant frameworks to answer critical questions related to network performance,” explains Kamel, who published his findings in IEEE Transactions on Communications.

“This will encourage operators to build robust wireless networks ready for 5G mobile communications.”

Kamel first became interested in this area of wireless communications in order to conduct research that is relevant to both academics and individuals working in industry. He credits Concordia for fostering an environment that does not set limits on his creativity.

“The research environment at Concordia provided me with tools to unlock my potential and improve my competencies,” Kamel says. “The constant support and guidance of my supervisors also helped to answer my research questions and release my findings in high quality publications.”

Radical film culture

Fibla Gutierrez focuses his research on non-commercial cinema during the Second Spanish Republic. The fourth-year PhD candidate in film and moving image studies investigates the relationship between 1920s and 1930s film culture, and the emergence of new social, political and cultural formations.

Enrique Fibla Gutierrez Enrique Fibla Gutierrez

“This research is useful to understand our current globalized culture, since it establishes a historical genealogy of transnational cultural collaboration well before the invention of the internet, social media or satellite communications,” Fibla Gutierrez says.

Working under the supervision of Masha Salazkina, associate professor in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Fibla Gutierrez recently published his findings in Screen. He describes winning the prize as a huge confidence boost.

“The fact that the award evaluates our scholarly work — by people from different disciplines — is fantastic since it helps us realize that what we are doing matters beyond the scope of our specific area of research,” Fibla Gutierrez says.

While accessing primary materials from the 1930s can sometimes prove difficult, Fibla Gutierrez notes how he was always able to lean on his program’s caring and committed community for support.

“There is a whole universe of moving image initiatives that have been barely analyzed by scholars,” he says. “Our department at Concordia is certainly a leading node in this scholarly re-examination of film history.”

Find out more about
awards available for graduate students at Concordia.



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