Hakim Ghazzai


BS.c. Ecole Supérieure des Communications de Tunis, 2010
MS.c. Ecole Supérieure des Communications de Tunis, 2011
Advisor: Prof. Mohamed-Slim Alouini

Why did you choose KAUST? 

After graduating with a Master of Science degree in 2011 from the Ecole Supérieure des Communications de Tunis (SUP’COM), I got three offers from different universities to pursue a PhD: Université de Valenciennes in France, McGill University in Canada, and KAUST. Of all three, KAUST attracted me the most, not only because of the fully-funded scholarship I received, but also because of the high-quality faculty members and the positive feedback I got about the University from KAUST students. At that time, KAUST was also already well-known internationally, and my professors in Tunisia encouraged me to continue my studies there. 

How is KAUST helping you to fulfill your dream?

KAUST offers students the possibility to progress further in our research careers by providing us with the tools and materials needed to accomplish excellent work, such as great library facilities, free access to most research databases, weekly seminars given by invited foreign researchers, and more. The University also gives us the opportunity to carry out internships in well-known international institutions. These internships help us enhance our professional skills, get wonderful work experience, and establish strong relationships with other people in our fields.  
What is your research topic?

I am a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering under the supervision of Professor Mohamed-Slim Alouini. The main research topic focuses on green wireless communications. I am focusing on a project entitled “Smart Environment Aware Cellular Systems: LTE Advanced Powered by the Smart Grid.” The project is being carried out in close collaboration with Qatar Mobility Innovation Center (QMIC). In the project we are working on developing methodologies to improve the energy efficiency of the base stations in 4G cellular networks. The approach focuses on the exploitation of smart grids for energy production, as well as solar cells powering base stations, and defining energy-efficient mechanisms for the management of network traffic in order to allow the switch-off of the base stations. 
What is your research accomplishment so far?

The technical merit and significance of my work on smart energy procurement for environmentally friendly cellular networks has been recognized by top authorities in the fields of mobile communications. The work was awarded a research grant (No: : NPRP 6 - 001 - 2 - 001) of about $960,000 from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) for a duration of  three years (2014-2016) to pursue this research area and to increase collaboration between KAUST and QMIC. Five publications related to this work were accepted to be presented at well-known international conferences, including the IEEE vehicular technology conference (VTC) and IEEE global communications conference (Globecom). In addition, three other papers related to another topic in wireless communications (cognitive and cooperative communications) were also accepted for presentation. Two book chapters were also accepted as contributions in a new wireless communication book entitled Green Networking and Communications: ICT for Sustainability.

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

I am always impressed with the environment at KAUST and by the University’s social life. KAUST is a unique community, rich in its diversity, with people from many nationalities living and working together. I feel very comfortable in our community; here, community members demonstrate mutual regard and respect for each other. The KAUST environment also helps me focus on my work. At KAUST, residents can also enjoy many hobbies, such as sports, watching movies at the KAUST cinema, participating in clubs, and more. KAUST is a wonderful university and is only made better because of its beautiful campus and its location on the shores of the Red Sea.