12th June 2017 – Lightwave Communication Research Group (LCRG) has conducted a 3-days basic optical fiber optic training workshop for Institute Kemahiran Mara (IKM) from 6 to 8 June 2017. The training workshop was held at the Optical Communication Laboratory, Faculty of Electrical Engineering UTM. Following the first meeting with the IKM representatives back in April 2017, LCRG has agreed to conduct a hands-on training on the topics specified by IKM including optical fiber communication system, fiber device characterization, fiber splicing and optical time domain reflectometer. The 3-days training provide ample time for the twelve participants from IKM to familiarize with all the equipment and tools used in fiber installation and testing. In the final day, participants were required to perform solo demonstration on the use of tools and equipment, and also sit for a competency test. The program has received many positive feedbacks from participants. As the result from the successful training organized by LCRG, IKM has shown interest to send more students for fiber optic training in future.
25th May 2017 – Lightwave Communication Research Group (LCRG) with the collaboration of the IEEE Photonics Society Malaysia Section (MyIPS) had successfully organized the Photonics Lecture Series (PLS) on the May, 16th. PLS is a series of technical talks that focused on the field of photonics and optics, and are delivered by experts in the relevant fields from various research entities across Malaysia. This time around, the PLS was held in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Johor Bahru. The experts who were invited to share their current research works were the esteem Dr. Raja Kamarulzaman Raja Ibrahim from the Physics Department, Faculty of Science UTM and Dr. Muhammad Al Farabi Muhammad Iqbal from the Communication Engineering Department, Faculty of Electrical Engineering UTM.
Dr. Raja Kamarulzaman had commenced the lecture session with an interesting research topic, namely the “Fiber Bragg Gratings: The Perfect Tools to Understand and Monitor Non-thermal Plasma Properties and Application”. The session was then continued with lecture on another fascinating research topic delivered by Dr. Muhammad Al Farabi that was the “Disaster Survivability of Optical Network”. Both speakers had successfully attracted the attention of their audience with exciting research prospects in their field and motivating research experiences that they had encountered throughout their endeavor. Research colleagues, under graduate students and post graduate students were among the audience who took part in the lecture. The audience had the opportunity to interact with the speakers at the end of the lecture session, where numerous questions and opinions were exchanged.
11th May 2017 – Advanced Telecommunication Technology (ATT) research group has yet achieved another milestone in its pursuit of excellence in Internet of Things (IoT) technology with the collaboration between the group and FAVORIOT as its industrial partner. FAVOURIOT is the latest IoT startup in Malaysia with extensive experience in ICT and IoT that is well positioned to become a world’s leading IOT company. The attractive technology developed and offered by this company has garnered interest from ATT group to choose FAVORIOT as its IoT platform. To date, ATT has identified three projects that will be using FAVORIOT as its middleware platform. The first project is led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sharifah Hafizah Syed Ariffin from ATT, entitled Water Quality Monitoring System Using Wireless Sensor Network Wifi Based for Aquaculture Farming. The research focuses on developing a monitoring system in aquaculture environment that collects the data and transmits them wirelessly to a remote server via data packet. The IoT platform provided by FAVORIOT will be used to support the integration of data from the sensors into the internet. Consequently, continuous improvement can be made to the system to further expand the application.
Another smart partnership between FAVORIOT and ATT is championed by Dr. Kamaludin Mohamad Yusof, that aims to solve one of the most problematic issues in cities which is illegal parking. The project is called Smart Parking with Automated Double Park Detection System (ParkKing) with the objective to solve the problem of double parking and helps the driver to locate the nearest available empty parking lot nearby. A smartphone application will be developed to locate the nearest empty parking lot, while magnetic and ultrasonic sensors as well as gateway transceivers will be used to detect a presence of a car either it is in the parking lot or double-parked car. Upon detecting a double-parked car, the ParkKing system will send the data to the FAVORIOT platform and notifies the authority to tow the vehicle away. The integration of the proposed system with the existing smart traffic light system and intelligent parking system is envisioned to bring us a smart management transport system for a smart city.
Dr Rozeha A. Rashid, together with Dr. Mohd Adib Sarijari lead a team of researchers from ATT to realize the Smart Grid vision through a project called Home Energy Management System (HEMS). Although the initial prototype has been developed on a different server, the team has decided to migrate to a more powerful IoT platform from FAVORIOT. In the proposed system, there are three categories of energy billing for the user to choose according to their affordability. Three modes for HEMS are developed corresponding to the billing’s categories, for example Category A is for monthly billing limit of RM40, Category B is for monthly billing limit of RM70 and Category C is open for customized setting. Every category will have a different way of controlling the appliances to achieve the target power consumption within the set limit of monthly billing. The proposed monitoring and control software solution have been successfully integrated with the test-bed to facilitate demand response by OFF/ON peak hour, home automation and three customized settings for energy billing. It is estimated that the system can promote 10% saving on utility bills and 25% energy saving. In general, the developed FA-HEMS is a likely solution for a greener and sustainable technology which in the long run will benefit the nation and future generation.
4th May 2017 – In line with the research progress in ARFMRG, an RF shielded room is currently being installed in Advanced Microwave and Antenna Laboratory, Faculty of Electrical Engineering. The shielded room is a complimentary gift from Telekom Research and Development in Cyberjaya Selangor. The installation of the shielded room is carried out by the research group’s members and faculty’s assistance engineer. The shielded room installation is expected to be completed by the end of July. The setting up of the shielded room will benefit researches as well as many different tests of application such as Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), Conductive test chambers, Reverberation chambers, semi Anechoic chambers, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) rooms and the likes.
17th April 2017 – Two technical talks with distinguished professors, namely Professor Dr. Zhiguo Ding and Professor Dr. Abbas Jamalipour was co-organised by Wireless Communication Centre (WCC) in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, UTM last week. The first talk was a 5G tutorial session by Professor Zhiguo Ding from University of Lancaster on the 10th of April with the topic Recent Progress in Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA). NOMA is a promising candidate for 5G multiple access that has also been included in next-generation digital TV-standard. The presented talk had covered topics including fundamentals, recent progress as well as performance assessment with practical constrain with respect to NOMA. The tutorial was sponsored under the EU-Horizon 2020’s ATOM project.
The second talk was given by Professor Abbas Jamalipour from University of Sidney on the 13th of April. The talk entitled Current and Future Research Challenges in Smart Grid Networks and the Internet of Things had touched important issues concerning security and privacy of electrical power grid network and the use of internet-of-things (IoT) for smart grid network. Both talks by the distinguished professors was co-organized with Malaysia Chapters of IEEE Communication Society as well as IEEE Vehicular Technology Society.
13th April 2017 – Wireless Communication Centre’s researcher, Dr Mohd Haizal Bin Jamaluddin, has secured RM 20,000 in terms of grant from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) Innovation Competition that ended last 9th of April by winning the consolation prize from the event. Dr. Haizal’s L-shaped Dielectric Resonator Antenna, which was among 30 products pitched during the competition has managed to attract competition juries’ attention and is deemed as potential research output that can be translated into marketable product. The antenna had been designed to operate in current 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) telecommunication frequency channels. Heartiest congratulation to Dr Haizal for his success.
4th April 2017 – Members of Communication Engineering (COMM) Department who are the members of the Training Unit of the Lightwave Communication Research Group (LCRG) had a meeting with representatives from the Institut Kemahiran MARA (IKM), Johor Bahru. The meeting was held in conjunction with the visit from four IKM representatives to the Optical Communications Laboratory, which is under the tutelage of the COMM Department. LCRG Training Unit and the IKM representatives took the opportunity to discuss the implementation of collaborative training activities related to the field of optical communication that could fulfill the IKM student learning needs. The two-hours meeting that began around 10 am ended by agreement of both sides to engage in a series of training programs for the IKM students. The training series will be hosted by the LCRG Training Unit using existing facilities in Optical Communications Laboratory. The prearranged training programs are expected to benefit both parties.
27th March 2017 – Forty students of Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan, Johor Bahru participated in a knowledge sharing session with lecturers, specializing in relevant field, from the Department of Communication Engineering (COMM), Faculty of Electrical Engineering UTM Johor Bahru. The knowledge sharing session that was organized by the Lightwave Communication Research Group (LCRG) focused on imparting the participants with some knowledge on the optical communications, particularly regarding the use of the Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR). The session was held at a laboratory in Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan for about two hours beginning at 2 in the evening. Among lecturers from the COMM Department who had participated in the program as facilitators were Dr. Asrul Azam Azmi, Dr. Muhammad Yusof Mohd Noor, Dr. Muhammad Al Farabi Muhammad Iqbal, Dr. Nadiatulhuda Zulkifli and Dr. Nor Hafizah Ngajikin. The sharing session exposed the participants to the current knowledge within the area of optical communications. They had also been given the opportunity to acquire some experience in handling the OTDR. OTDR is an important instrument used among others, for the optical fiber cable integrity testing. As a whole, participants were very excited with the experience they have had and they appreciated the prospects derived from the session very well. They had acknowledged that handling the OTDR practically had strengthened their understanding of what they had learned in class theoretically.
7th March 2017 – A member of Communication Engineering Department and Advanced Telecommunication Technology (ATT) research group, Dr. Nurul Mu’azzah Abdul Latiff was invited to a round-table dialogue session between Y.B Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh and young lecturers from public universities. The session was held at Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), Putrajaya on 7th March 2017. The topic of the discussion was about National Transformation 2050 (TN50) in which it is regarded as legacy to be inherited by future generation as envisioned by Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak. The dialogue is a part of series of engagement from a diverse group of people to share their aspirations as well as expectations post 2020. Among other participants of the session were Professors and Senior Lecturers from public universities such as UPM, UM, UiTM, UniMap, and USM, as well as Secretary-General of Ministry of Higher Education, YBhg. Tan Sri Dr. Noorul Ainur Mohd. Nur, Deputy Secretary-General and other officers from MoHE. The dialogue was coordinated by Mr Johan Mahmood Merican, Deputy Director General (Human Capital) of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU). Since the focus of TN50 is on younger generations, the bottom-up approach is used where more series of dialogues will be held throughout the year before the policy is officially documented. It is hoped that the ideas and insightful opinions delivered through this dialogue would benefit the future generations for the betterment of our country and nation.
Meanwhile, in an effort to strengthen the research networking and on the invitation of Security Division of UTM Skudai, some members of ATT research group had a meeting with the Vice Chancellor of UTM, Prof. Datuk Ir. Dr. Wahid bin Omar at his office on 26th March 2017. This meeting was held to discuss a possible implementation of an Internet of Things (IoT) smart barrier in UTM Skudai campus. The proposed project was presented by Head of ATT research group, Dr Rozeha A. Rashid. The Security Division had nominated ATT research group as the consultant for this proposed project, which is a part of Smart Campus initiatives. The project is expected to overcome the issues such as unauthorized vehicle access and parking on certain areas on campus. Moreover, the collaboration will open up to further potential applications of IoT in the campus such as smart guard touring system and many more.