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Wireless Communications and Networking Laboratory

Opportunities  

Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarships (MQRES)

MQRES scholarships are available for full-time PhD studies in the Wireless Communications and Networking Laboratory at Macquarie University. Eligible domestic and international candidates are encouraged to apply. Scholarships provide a living allowance of $25,392  per annum (2014), tax exempt and tuition waiver. Additional generous financial support for project and conference travel is available from our faculty. Scholarship applicants should hold a First Class Honours (or equivalent) degree in the engineering or equivalent field. More information about these scholarships, entry requirement details and application forms are available from the Higher Degree Research Office. If you are interested to undertake a PhD study in the Laboratory, please discuss a suitable research topic with members of the Laboratory before submitting your application to the Higher Degree Research Office. 

Cotutelle MQRES Scholarships

As part of its international strategy, Macquarie University promotes joint PhD supervision programs (known as "Cotutelle" in French) with world's leading universities.  This allows the possibility of getting two PhD degrees for the same research work, one from Macquarie University and the other from a European, Asian, North American or South American university. Cotutelle students are eligible to apply for Cotutelle MQRES scholarships which provide the usual MQRES conditions such as full tuition waiver, a living allowance of $25,392  per annum (2014), tax exempt, plus one economy return airfare between the cities of the two universities. If you are about to start a PhD program or are in the early stages of a PhD program at your university, you may also be eligible to apply. For more information see here.

China Scholarship Council (CSC) Scholarships

Macquarie University in partnership with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) will jointly offer a number of postgraduate research scholarships for 3 years full time PhD research in 2014-2017. These scholarships are worth $25,392 pa in living alowance, plus tuition fees. Successful candidates may commence their PhD at Macquarie University from July 2014, subject to confirmation of CSC approval and support. Applications close on 31 January 2014. For more information see here

For other scholarship opportunities please check the information on the Higher Degree Research Office website.

Some of the research topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Resource allocation in cognitive radio networks
  • Medium access control protocols with collaborative MIMOs
  • Interference mitigation in wireless body area networks
  • Localisation algorithms and protocols for medical wireless body area networks
  • Multidisciplinary research on ubiquitous health systems
  • Localisation algorithms and protocols for wireless ad-hoc positioning systems
  • Green radio communications
  • Micro and nano-scale communications networks

Generous top-up scholarships sponsored by the Commonwealth Scientific, Industrial and Research Organisation (CSIRO) are also available to apply for by successful MQRES scholarship applicants.

Below are opportunities for conducting PhD research in collaboration with CSIRO.

Multidisciplinary PhD Projects on Ubiquitous Health Systems in Collaboration with CSIRO

With the mature of technologies in many disciplines, multidisciplinary research receives more and more attention. The demand from the emerging Ubiquitous health system provides a great opportunity for researchers in communications, signal processing and biomedical engineering. The ubiquitous health system is going to revolutionarily change the way of how people’s health is taken cared, from “on-demand” to “anywhere and anytime”. This boosts many new challenging problems on information retrieval, data store and processing, and service mode. We are looking at these challenges and working on exciting solutions. Here are some wonderful opportunities that you are invited to get involved in the great research which is going to change everyone’s life in the next 10 years. Prospective students with background in the following or similar fields are welcome to apply: electrical/electronic engineering, biomedical engineering, communication, signal and imaging processing. We also welcome other research proposals within the scope. Please contact Eryk.Dutkiewicz@mq.edu.au or Andrew.Zhang@csiro.au for more details and scholarship information.

1. Biomedical non-invasive sensors and related signal processing techniques

With their many advantages such as easy operation, portability, safety and low cost, non invasive sensors are becoming more attractive in medical examination, compared to traditional invasive equipments. They will also play very important roles in the emerging ubiquitous healthcare system. Research on the non-invasive sensors and the application of advanced signal processing techniques in these sensors is just emerging and its future is very promising. This PhD project will study new non-invasive radio/acoustic sensors with the application of  advanced signal processing techniques, such as beamforming, ranging and localization, and signal detection techniques. Within the scope, students will have the option of developing their own conceptual sensor and conduct research on it.

2. Low-power, reliable and dynamic wireless body area networks for biomedical applications

Wireless body area network (WBAN) will be a fundamental component in the ubiquitous healthcare system, which is to provide healthcare at anytime and anywhere. The IEEE 802.15.6 is working on an international standard on WBAN. However, targeting only at early deployment of WBAN, it is incapable of supporting the large-scale application of WBAN. In particular, improvements are needed on its multiuser access scheme and co-channel interference mitigation mechanism, power consumption and reliability. In this project, students are encouraged to look at these issues to be improved and develop new techniques and protocols for the next generation WBAN. Potential research problems include new multiuser access scheme combining low power consumption and low interference, mesh network protocol and human-sensor interaction methods.

3. Bio-inspired communication networks: protocol design and network optimisation

Human body is a perfectly managed communication system, and we can find almost all the communication mechanisms and protocols in human body: multiple access, cooperative and distributed processing, network control and management. Studying the communication methodology within human body and emulating it in practical communication systems are expected to be able to significantly improve the performance of today’s network. Research on bio-inspired communication is just started, with reported trials on molecular MAC design, molecular model for network prediction and control, and molecular-inspired self-organized network. On the other hand, molecular electronics is greatly progressed. Bio-inspired communication systems will also find great applications in these molecular electronics devices. In this project, students will start the research with some pre-defined problems, and then they are encouraged to investigate widely on potential new cases of bio-inspired communication techniques and protocols.

Wireless Localisation PhD Projects in Collaboration with CSIRO

The Wireless Localisation team is a group of approximately ten staff working within the CSIRO Wireless and Networking Technologies Laboratory to develop systems for accurate indoor localisation and tracking across a wide range of applications including underground mining and indoor sports. A system called WASP (Wireless Ad-hoc System for Positioning) has been developed that uses time-of-arrival localisation on a rugged custom software defined radio platform providing accuracy down to 0.1 m and update rates up to 200 Hz. The team has to date built over one hundred nodes and can deploy large networks of WASP nodes in a mobile ad hoc network in field and application trials. This forms the basis for a wide range of research opportunities in wireless localisation with CSIRO, with projects for postgraduate research degrees. The projects listed below provide examples of potential projects, in addition to these CSIRO is willing to consider other project proposals in this area of research from suitably qualified students.

1. Advanced navigation through data fusion from inertial sensors and wireless ad-hoc positioning systems

Recently MEMS inertial sensors (such as the Analog Device’s ADIS16405) have reached the accuracy where they can be used for inertial navigation. The goal of this project is to build a tightly integrated system to improve navigation by fusing data from the inertial sensor and WASP. The work involves measuring and modelling the error characteristics of the sensor, designing algorithms for stabilising the attitude of the platform, designing algorithms for optimal fusion of the sensor data to estimate inertial sensor bias, and efficient real time implementation of the algorithms. This project can leverage prior research in the field of fusion of inertial and GPS sensors.

2. Localisation algorithms and protocols in highly mobile ad hoc networks

In some applications it is not desirable to rely on any fixed infrastructure and a network will consist solely of mobile nodes forming a highly mobile ad hoc network. Existing communication stacks from the physical layer through to the transport layer do not function well in such an environment. Furthermore accurate localisation puts further requirements on the network protocols, and many of the applications have hard quality of service (QoS) requirements. This research will look at the development of better protocols to support localisation in highly mobile ad hoc networks and evaluate their performance using large scale networks in real applications.

3. Performance optimisation of cooperative localisation

Unlike conventional localisation, where nodes exchange signals with anchor nodes to determine their location, in cooperative localisation nodes exchange signals with all neighbouring nodes. This allows simpler network setup with fewer anchor nodes, and permits localisation of nodes out of communication range of anchor nodes, but comes at the cost of increased computational complexity and network communication overhead. This project will explore the relationship between the amount of data exchanged between nodes and the performance of cooperative localisation.

4. Low complexity and low power Bayesian localisation algorithms

Localisation in indoor environments is complicated by the fact that the distribution of range errors is biased and highly non-Gaussian. We have shown that Bayesian algorithms utilising a realistic model of the errors can produce substantially better localisation and tracking results than conventional algorithms, however their computational complexity is a couple of orders of magnitude greater. This project will explore developing a Bayesian localisation algorithm with excellent performance and optimally mapping it into a heterogeneous computation platform combining both field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and digital signal processors (DSP) with the objective of running in real-time with a low power budget.

5. Low power management strategies for wireless ad-hoc positioning systems

Battery life is the limiting factor in reducing the size of high update rate wireless tracking hardware. This project will examine how to substantially reduce the power of WASP using aggressive power management strategies. The scope of this work also includes changes to the medium access controller (MAC) algorithm and selection of components in the hardware.

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