Thursday, September 8, 2016

HLF2016 / Spotlight on Hana Khamfroush: Research Associate in Wireless Communications and Networking

This blog post originates from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Blog. The 4th Heidelberg Laureate Forum is dedicated to mathematics and computer sciences, and takes place September 18-23, 2016. Abel, Fields, Turing and Nevanlinna Laureates will join the forum and meet 200 selected international young researchers.

Meet Hana Khamfroush, our next featured young researcher in a series about some of the women attending this year’s Heidelberg Laureate Forum in September 2016.

Photo courtesy of Hana Khamfroush

Originally from Sanandaj in north-west Iran, Hana has a PhD in telecommunications engineering and currently works as a research associate at Penn State University in the United States.

Hana’s PhD focused on applications of network coding for geographic communications in dynamic wireless networks. Her Masters was on reducing energy consumption of routing protocols in wireless sensor networks. Hana’s current work looks at security and recovery issues of interdependent networks. More specifically, she says, “I work on modelling and analyzing cascading failures in interdependent networks and network recovery after massive disruptions.”

Hana’s proudest accomplishment is impressive indeed: she was named as one of the rising stars in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) by MIT in 2015. But despite such an amazing background, success did not always come easily. It was, at times, difficult to maintain motivation and perseverance as a graduate student.
I think the biggest lesson I learned from my PhD was to stay patient and work hard toward your goals, and be sure that “Hard work pays off.” I learned not to get disappointed by defeat, instead to learn from them and always have hope for better results. In the first two year of my PhD, I was not getting very promising results for my research and I didn’t even like what I was doing. I kept working harder and changed my research topic. The last year of my PhD was the best; I got many papers accepted and it felt like everything changed! I learned a lesson: I am the only one who can help myself, so I solved my problem by finding a more interesting research problem! Don’t wait for others to help you, change your status by yourself.
For HLF, Hana is particularly excited about the positive energy she finds at any conference or academic gathering. HLF is an even more amazing opportunity since she’ll get to meet some amazing new role models. She says, “it is very exciting to meet with those who were internationally known for their scientific contributions, and who actually made a change to the world.” She expects to learn a lot and bring back the positive energy when she returns home.

Hana is also looking forward to meeting other young researchers in her field. If you share research interests, don’t be afraid to reach out and say hello!

Keep up your amazing work Hana, and see you in Heidelberg!

Stay tuned to meet other young researchers, a special post about mentors, and the advice our featured women want to share with others.


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