Highly Cited Researchers Spotlight Series: Mazen Omar Hasna

Highly Cited Researchers Spotlight Series: Mazen Omar Hasna
by Sarah Tanksalvala
Copywriter
Science Research Connect

In 1994, telecommunications was on the verge of exploding, with mobile phones, personal computers and the internet just starting to emerge. That’s why Mazen Omar Hasna – then an electrical engineering student at Qatar University – decided to make telecom research his life’s work. Today, that work has put him on the list of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.

He credits his success to identifying research trends and solutions to problems facing his community.

“Becoming a Highly Cited Researcher is a byproduct, and not a target by itself,” he says. “What matters is to work on problems that have an impact on society and try to contribute to their solutions.”

Affordable rural communication

Hasna has worked extensively to bring affordable internet and cell phone options to people living deep in the desert or in mountain villages. To do this, he’s helped create systems of cooperative and relayed communications which enhance network coverage at a low cost. They’re easy to deploy, low-maintenance and inexpensive.

“Everyone uses mobile phones, and sometimes users suffer from poor network coverage,” he says. “I was among the first researchers to work on solutions to these problems, with the aim to enhance network coverage and improve the quality of phone calls. This idea has gone far since my work in the early 2000s and found its way to telecommunication standards.”

One example of his work is the Comoros Islands Project on low cost wifi networks. This project developed a scalable technology to bring internet connection to the African nation’s three major islands. The same technology can be used to bring internet connections to many underdeveloped and rural areas. Google and Facebook are working to address similar problems, but Hasna’s team helped in creating (together with a team from Polytechnic De Torino) a simpler, cheaper and lower maintenance solution which local people could maintain and expand.

Hasna says digital communication will soon incorporate the Internet of Things, enabling devices, vehicles, buildings and other items to exchange data.

The road to success

After finishing his Ph.D., Hasna became an assistant professor at Qatar University. The country didn’t have much research funding at the time, so his research grants all came from one local telecom operator. Fortunately, the Qatar National Research Fund was established in 2006, enabling him to research fields as diverse as underwater communication, physical layer security analysis and interference management in wireless networks.

He says his success has hinged on following research trends and working to solve problems in society.

“The majority of my research is published in IEEE journals and conferences, and I use the IEEE database (which is part of the Web of ScienceTM) for most of my technical reading,” he says. “Attending scientific conferences and interacting with researchers in the field is the best way for me to stay updated and build relationships with researchers around the world.”

Now, he’s also Qatar University’s vice president and chief academic officer. In this position, he worked on the preliminary strategy for implementing Open Access at the university. Hasna anticipates that the trend towards Open Access will continue to grow, noting the strides that the Qatar National Library (QNL) is making to grant “national access to the most important databases” to institutions across Qatar.

Hasna says the best thing about his field is that he can feel the impact it has on a daily basis.

“It’s a nice mixture between theoretical research (where a lot of mathematical analysis is taking place) and applied research, where specific real life scenarios are considered and analyzed,” he says.

 

View some of Dr. Hasna’s most highly cited works* featured in Web of Science Core Collection:
End-to-end performance of transmission systems with relays over Rayleigh-Fading channels
Conference: 56th IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference Location: VANCOUVER, CANADA Date: SEP 24-28, 2002
Sponsor(s): IEEE Vehicular Technol Soc
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS Volume: 2 Issue: 6 Pages: 1126-1131 Published: NOV 2003
Hasna, MO; Alouini, MS
Web of Science Core Collection Times Cited: 678

 

A performance study of dual-hop transmissions with fixed gain relays
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS Volume: 3 Issue: 6 Pages: 1963-1968 Published: NOV 2004
Hasna, MO; Alouini, MS
Web of Science Core Collection Times Cited: 406

 

Optimal power allocation for relayed transmissions over Rayleigh-fading channels
Conference: 57th IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference Location: JEJU, SOUTH KOREA Date: APR 22-25, 2003
Sponsor(s): IEEE
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS Volume: 3 Issue: 6 Pages: 1999-2004 Published: NOV 2004
Hasna, MO; Alouini, MS
Web of Science Core Collection Times Cited: 325

 

Harmonic mean and end-to-end performance of transmission systems with relays
Conference: IEEE Global Telecommunication Conference (GLOBECOM) Location: TAIPEI, TAIWAN Date: NOV 17-21, 2002
Sponsor(s): IEEE
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATIONS Volume: 52 Issue: 1 Pages: 130-135 Published: JAN 2004
Hasna, MO; Alouini, MS
Web of Science Core Collection Times Cited: 266

 

Outage probability of multihop transmission over Nakagami fading channels
Conference: IEEE International Workshop on Advances in Wireless Communications (ISWC 02) Location: VICTORIA, CANADA Date: SEP, 2002 Sponsor(s): IEEE
IEEE COMMUNICATIONS LETTERS Volume: 7 Issue: 5 Pages: 216-218 Published: MAY 2003 Hasna, MO; Alouini, MS
Web of Science Core Collection Times Cited: 253

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