Ahmed Dehwah

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BS.C King Fahad University of Petrolum and Minerals (KFUPM), 2009
MS.c. KAUST, 2010
PhD student at KAUST since 2011.
Advisor: Prof. Christian Claudel


Why did you choose KAUST?

KAUST is an ambitious project, and the establishment of the University happened to coincide with the time in my life when I made the decision to further my studies. I felt that attending KAUST would be a golden opportunity to not just be part of something huge, but to also help in defining the characteristics and research culture of the institution.

The promise of world class researchers carrying out cutting edge research in state-of-the-art facilities also attracted me to KAUST. I made the choice to come to the University so as to be part of the positive change it will bring to the Kingdom, the region, and the world.

How is KAUST helping you to fulfill your dream?

I have always been passionate about research and contributing to the introduction of new ideas that will positively impact the development of humanity. Being taught at the University by highly recognized faculty members who guide students through their academic journeys is an essential requisite for producing research with significant impact in the field.

Beyond the help and guidance I receive from faculty, I also have at my disposal well-equipped laboratories and centers to conduct my research, enabling a seamless link between theory and practicality. KAUST’s up-to-date electronic database library is also a valuable asset, as it spans  virtually all research fields and knowledge relevant to KAUST’s core research areas.

Being at KAUST has so far had a significant role in enabling me to follow my research passions. My time here is also preparing me for subsequent challenges, while at the same time fueling my enthusiasm to use my skills and expertise to push the frontiers of research further.

What is your research topic?

My research is in the field of wireless sensor networks, with a focus mainly in the area of communications.

We are introducing a solar powered wireless sensor network for a traffic and flood monitoring system. This will be part of the new “smart city” concept, where thousands of sensors will be deployed around cities to collect and process data. The data and results will then be sent to a server where they can be used by the public to get details about traffic density and environmental data, for example. The information could also be useful for city planners to plan various improvements in cities, such as new roads.

My works focuses on introducing practical and smart algorithms to the field of wireless sensor networks. I am working on making the sensors capable of communicating with each other and figuring out the best way to route the data to be delivered with high reliability. My work also aims to overcome the challenges of making the system feasible and practical.

What are your research accomplishments so far?

My project was presented at top international conferences and events in the field of wireless sensor networks, such as EWSN 2013 and RTSS 2012, as well as at some local events, such as Saudi Arabia SmartGrid 2012. We have also produced journal papers covering the project which are currently under review.

We already have a patent pending for this project under the name “System and method for monitoring traffic, while preserving user privacy.”

The project was also featured in the local and international media several times, and it managed to capture the interest of smart city planners. This interest gave us the opportunity to get funding for our project.

Thanks to Prof. Claudel and his tremendous efforts (and thanks to the efforts of everyone in the research group), we have managed to advance the project and now have a test bed of more than 70 nodes deployed on campus.

As a result of our field experiments, our work has set the standard required by the new generation of hardware (motes). This was fully designed at KAUST by Jiming Jiang, a postdoc in the research group. The hardware has already been manufactured and is currently being used by the group.

What do you think about the KAUST environment and social life?

KAUST is not only great because of the research – it is also great because of the people that make up the community. The University has such a friendly environment, and here I have been able to make many new friends who come from diverse cultural backgrounds. Having a discussion with such great friends enhances your knowledge of other cultures, and it gives you a chance to share your own background with others. Looking at life from different perspectives stimulates your brain and helps you to be more creative. Within my research group we have also forged wonderful bonds of friendship that go far beyond being just mere acquaintances.

Furthermore, the University’s environment is conducive for research and improves productivity. The sport centers, clinic, housing, restaurants, and main campus are all within proximity of each other. Transportation within KAUST and outside KAUST is provided for by the University. The University also maintains good relationships with other top universities, enabling collaborations and internship programs to take place that enhance the quality of research and the students’ research experience.​