Purdue Calumet Electrical Engineering Professor Receives NSF CAREER Grant

Smida-BesmaA Purdue University Calumet engineering faculty member has received the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Award grant to enhance spectrum efficiency for cell phones and other wireless communicative devices.

As the first Purdue Calumet engineering faculty NSF CAREER Award recipient, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Besma Smida will use the grant to explore a new paradigm for two-way wireless networks.

The value of the grant could increase to more than $425,000 over five years.

Nature of the research
“My research seeks to increase the efficiency of the wireless frequency spectrum upon which data travels to enable more effective wireless communication,” Smida, a Munster resident, said.

More specifically, her grant will support a project to create reliable, full-duplex wireless networks by means of reflected power, with nodes re-using the received, interfering radio-carrier waves to transfer information.

“Professor Smida is an outstanding teacher with an active program of research,” Purdue Calumet Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Peggy Gerard said. “She is dedicated to mentoring undergraduate and graduate engineering students in research, and her work reflects our university’s commitment to provide an outstanding education that prepares students for success in careers and graduate study. We congratulate her on receiving this very competitive award.”

Increase spectral efficiency of future wireless networks
With respect to the current pervasiveness of two-way wireless communication, “I am optimistic that the results of this research can be used to significantly increase the spectral efficiency of future wireless networks,” Smida said.

As part of her project, she plans to create a center of wireless communications at Purdue Calumet to enable undergraduate and graduate students to gain experience testing, evaluating and improving backscatter modulation for full duplex communication.

Use of available frequency spectrum
“Given the ever-increasing demand for high-speed data services,” Smida said, “modern wireless networks will increasingly require more efficient strategies for use of the available frequency spectrum, which is likely to be among the key rate-limiting factors for effectively meeting this increased demand.”

Professor Smida has served Purdue Calumet since 2009. She holds a doctoral degree from the University of Quebec (Canada).

The NSF’s CAREER Program offers the foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.