Technologies developed by electrical engineers have enriched our lives in countless ways and revolutionized our daily environment. Electrical engineers gave the world the internet, telephone, satellite and TV networks along with power distribution networks. Electrical engineers develop new pacemakers for ailing hearts, ultrasonic diagnostic devices for detection of tumours, and NMR machines. They provide secure and reliable communication to expeditions in remote and dangerous locations and to astronauts in space. They are responsible for numerous household and personal items, from your smartphone, electronic wristwatch to your iPod. Electrical engineers work in multimedia, telecommunications, electric power, signal processing and control. They work with physicians on new diagnostic devices and with urban planners on new efficient vehicles. Their work makes our lives more interesting, effective and safe and increases our productivity and standard of living. Electrical engineering is grounded in mathematics and sciences. More than 23 full-time PhD research-active faculty members in all areas of EE with research labs in 9 clusters.
As summer approaches, high temperatures in Pakistan bring a host of…
As summer approaches, high temperatures in Pakistan bring a host of challenges beyond the physical discomfort of the heat. With frequent power outages plaguing the country’s energy grid, keeping cool and comfortable can be a struggle. Pakistan, like many other countries, is turning to renewable energy like rooftop solar panels and net metering to power homes and businesses. However, unlike technologically advanced countries, Pakistan does not have a distribution management system (DMS) to handle the influx of renewable energy from rooftop solar panels.
Dr Raheel Zafar, Assistant Professor from the Department of Electrical Engineering at LUMS, is working on solutions to help manage energy grids more efficiently and reliably, not only for Pakistan but globally. In 2023, he published two papers in IEEE Access, one as the first author of an international collaboration and the other one with his research assistant as the corresponding author. We will take a closer look at another one of Dr Raheel’s recently published papers in the reputed research journal, IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy titled Multi-Timescale Coordinated Control with Optimal Network Reconfiguration using Battery Storage Systems in Smart Distribution Grids
The paper proposes a new optimization framework to improve the performance of power distribution networks, which are responsible for bringing electricity from the transmission system to consumers. While the framework was developed by Dr Raheel, the co-author Dr Hemanshu R. Pota, Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales Canberra in Australia, provided valuable input during the structuring and revision stages of the article.
The paper deals with feeder reconfiguration, which involves changing the network’s topology by opening and closing switches to modify the connections between parts of the network. Dr Raheel proposes the co-optimization of feeder reconfiguration, creating a plan to schedule the use of (1) traditional voltage regulating devices, such as the on-load tap changer (OLTCs), to regulate the voltage of the traditional power grid, and (2) utility-scale distributed energy resources like battery energy storage systems and photovoltaic (solar energy) inverter.
To determine the optimal coordination between these different sources of power, Dr Raheel used a mathematical model called “mixed-integer second-order cone program”. This was solved using the GAMS software, an abbreviation for General Algebraic Modeling System, to find the best solution for the power grid, or “global optimum”, by exploring possible solutions and identifying the combinations that produce the best outcomes. Furthermore, the feasibility of the solution was tested using the Distribution System Simulator (OpenDSS) software. The model calculated an optimal switching plan on a daily basis, using 20-minute intervals for batteries and photovoltaic inverters, and hourly intervals for OLTCs.
Through this model, Dr Raheel was able to reduce energy losses by a staggering 24,1% and improve load balancing by 25%, compared to the current fixed topology system. The model could be used for day-ahead scheduling, making it a promising solution for optimizing power distribution.
Over the past decade, huge progress has been made in the development…
Over the past decade, huge progress has been made in the development of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), also known as self-driving or driverless cars. But it is still too early to sit back and nap - you can take your hands off the wheel but you still need to have your eyes on the road. The AVs currently out on the roads are only partially automated, meaning they require human oversight to work safely.
As most of the communication on AV networks take place through wireless communication links, there is an inherent risk of the technology being hacked for malicious purposes. This is why securing the network is key for AVs to deliver on their promise of being safer than traditional cars. Compromised security can cause casualties which may have fatal outcomes. Ali Hussain Khan, Dr Naveed Ul Hassan and Dr Zartash Afzal Uzmi from the Department of Electrical Engineering at LUMS, and Dr Chuadhry Mujeeb Ahmed from University of Strathclyde have published a research article to address the security issues associated with this vulnerable technology. The research proposes and tests an authentication framework based on blockchain technology, termed Proof-of-Communication-Capability (PoCC), which acts as a defence mechanism in wireless networks against malicious actors pretending to be valid communication devices. This type of hacking attack is also known as communication capability spoofing.
Blockchain, a technology popularized for crypto-currencies, can be utilized effectively for wireless communication between AVs. Blockchain works by replicating the data at multiple computer nodes, thereby making a network more secure and less prone to failures. However, blockchain’s strength can also be its weakness. Blockchain inherently relies on consensus – informally speaking, consensus can be defined as an agreement between a set of computers which communicate over a network. If this consensus is subverted or delayed, nodes in a blockchain slow down which can be catastrophic for AVs. Hussain Khan and his fellow researchers identified four different types of attacks that are capable of downgrading the system.
These nodes can either (1) falsely report superior communication capabilities; (2) turn malicious after joining the network and start reporting upgraded wireless communication; (3) report downgraded wireless communication capabilities while joining the network; or (4) turn malicious after joining the network and start reporting degraded wireless communication capabilities.
PoCC authentication framework helps detect these malicious nodes by providing a set of consensus rules, a form of test to ensure that only non-malicious nodes join the network. For instance, the claimed capabilities of nodes can be tested through physical features like location and propagation time (the time it takes to transmit data) before joining the network to prevent type (1) malicious nodes to enter. PoCC authentication framework comprises of consensus rules that have been developed in relation to every possible malicious node to prevent them from sabotaging the blockchain. After testing the framework in different scenarios where nodes turn malicious, the researchers concluded that the PoCC authentication framework is not only capable of detecting malicious nodes, but the physical attributes of the consensus rules make it difficult to trick the system. Implementation of the proposed framework in AVs could contribute in avoiding causalities on the road without human intervention and thereby push AVs one step closer to widespread adoption.
Turning a New Page in Battery Health Monitoring Interdepartmental research at SBASSE gets published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Dependency can lead to complacency. The craving to extract oil is partly derived from its…
Dependency can lead to complacency. The craving to extract oil is partly derived from its incessant need in our industrial sector. Most of the moving parts involved post industrial revolution need some form of fuel, extracted from oil. The cries of scientists from the 1980s fell on partly deaf ears, when they warned of oil scarcity, but the short-term economic benefit of ‘black gold’ was to decapitate our vision for the long term.
Many years later, the question remains still: what will be the alternate when the world runs out of oil? Fortunately, scientists who foresaw this predicament began to work on solutions that may help steer our direction to a more sustainable, renewable resource. One of the products of this enterprise were the birth of electric vehicles (EVs). These machines with futuristic, cyber-punk aesthetics come in all sizes and shapes and appeal to a wide variety of the demography. Some claim them to be a game-changer for the transport industry. Today, electric cars and their charging ports can be seen more frequently in big cities like Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. However, like all emerging technologies, electric vehicles come with their own challenges.
Needless to say, that an electric vehicle run on batteries that store charge. With developments in battery technology, efforts have borne fruit to make them more power and cost effective. Still, the high costs of EVs make it a less attractive competitor to traditional gasoline-run cars. Moreover, the lifespan of the batteries installed in EVs are limited, which adds to the already high cost of producing (and owning!) one. Additionally, the reliability of these installed batteries needs to be improved to make charging efficient. Afterall, they compete with a most environmentally unfriendly entity - oil! It is at this junction of reliability on battery technology, and the efforts to understand their health deterioration, that we meet science superheroes from within SBASSE.
Mr. Huzaifa Rauf from the Department of Electrical Engineering, along with Dr. Naveed Arshad from the Department of Computer Science, at SBASSE, are utilizing machine learning to understand and possibly help reduce these problems around EV batteries. The team’s research is focused on lithium-ion batteries, since they are the most advanced and much-sought batteries used in EVs. Mr. Rauf’s team has used multiple machine learning methods to model parameters to understand how a battery degrades. State-of-health and remaining-useful-life are the most important parameters determining a battery’s reliability and lifespan. The team’s primary research objective is determining which machine learning method best models the battery degradation model of lithium-ion batteries. Hence, they presented battery degradation model in several machine learning methods and algorithms. The results of these models were presented to compare their accuracy, and ability to handle the complex data.
These models can also reduce the strain on laboratory-based methods for understanding battery health degradation and produce results faster. This research presented by Mr. Rauf’s team is still at its early stages. However, such tools are elemental to understand battery health and reliability, which will enable the vast use of electric vehicles.
Their most recent paper highlighting this work was published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, a 15.0 impact factor journal. We congratulate them on such a tremendous achievement and wish them best of fortune in their future work.
Huzaifa Rauf, Muhammad Khalid, Naveed Arshad, Machine learning in state of health and remaining useful life estimation: Theoretical and technological development in battery degradation modelling, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 156, 2022, 111903, ISSN 1364-0321, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2021.111903.
Communication has been at the heart of our survival. We itch to be heard, and to be understood.…
Communication has been at the heart of our survival. We itch to be heard, and to be understood. In modern times, the need to communicate has seen a reincarnation in that it is not only still part of our biological construct but also our civic and technological design altogether. Couple the fact that we can beam electronic signals through waves of energy and that the Earth is round, making it impossible for a beam of precious signals that inherently moves in a straight line, to follow the curves path of our world’s contours. We needed something better – we needed satellites!
In this work, Dr. Naveed ul Hassan and his co-authors worked out the energy efficiency of a satellite network coupled with ground infrastructure and compared it with the energy efficiencies of Traditional Terrestrial Heterogeneous (TTH) and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks (in other words – older technology). For an increasing cell density, it was shown that the satellite-terrestrial network performs better in terms of energy efficiency as compared to the TTH and LTE networks. These results are promising and show that satellite networks can complement terrestrial networks for providing communication resources to the users.
Communication satellites have been in service for a long time. They are used to provide communication services to far off and difficult to reach places. Conventional satellites have been large-sized, expensive, and very difficult to deploy. They are also very far away, which introduces significant lag. With the recent uprise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and wireless networks, the service requirements have changed. High data rates with low latency are required, and the current ground-based infrastructure is already overloaded. Due to these circumstances, a rise to the development of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, which have a lot less lag and better bandwidth availability. These satellites are deployed as Dense Small Satellite Networks (DSSN), across the globe, covering a large fraction of our planet at any given time.
These satellite networks have many advantages in telecommunications. Their most crucial benefit is extending coverage to areas that are otherwise difficult to cover with land infrastructure. They also provide low-latency transmission as compared to satellites in higher orbits. There is an exponential increase in the number of connected devices. Satellites can be deployed alongside ground infrastructure to support a massive number of devices. Satellite networks can provide the data rate and bandwidth requirements in areas where there is a sudden increase in network traffic and the ground infrastructure becomes loaded. Satellite networks also complement GPS systems to provide accurate locations for location-based services and can be used to cache data for reducing latency.
LEO satellites do not have a stationary footprint on the ground. Therefore, to use them in telecommunications, the satellite network infrastructure needs to be carefully planned. Satellites could form a constellation with identical satellites or clusters with non-identical satellites performing different functions. The orbital pattern of the satellites could be set as polar, rosette or hybrid. The inter-satellite communication could be based on radio frequency links, optical wireless communication links or visible light communication links. The satellite to ground contact could be either direct, could utilize a space or ground relay, or could be hybrid to utilize both types of relays.
Some technologies will aid the adoption of satellite networks in communications. Owing to the changing distances and positions between satellites, they should be fitted with intelligent, steerable, and high gain antennas. Multiple access techniques should be utilized for satellite networks where there should be provision to reuse frequency resources. Satellite networks are solar-powered, and their energy consumption characteristics are predictable because of known trajectories. Solar power optimization can be used to provide the required energy. To cater flexibility and advancement in network design and operation, satellites systems should be upgradeable to cater for new functionalities to be added remotely without changing the expensive hardware. Satellite network deployment should be optimized for resources such as capacity, power, latency and quality.
N. U. Hassan, C. Huang, C. Yuen, A. Ahmad and Y. Zhang, "Dense Small Satellite Networks for Modern Terrestrial Communication Systems: Benefits, Infrastructure, and Technologies," in IEEE Wireless Communications, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 96-103, October 2020, doi: 10.1109/MWC.001.1900394
Robots! Drones! Advanced AI! The future has arrived faster than we could have anticipated, and the students of LUMS finally have the opportunity to step into a utopian cyberpunk-esque age. The National Engineering Robotics Contest (NERC 2023) is approaching steadfastly for all you tech enthusiasts wanting to make your mark in the world of Robotics & Mechatronics.
This special collaboration between NUST and the STEM Careers Program HEC arrives again for its 4th edition as the most prominent competition in Pakistan for those aspiring in robotic designs, control algorithms, and architectures. Participants will be able to showcase their talents over 5 days, 11-15th July, at NUST CEME, competing amongst other university representatives and establishing themselves as leading pioneers of robotics research in Pakistan. The Electrical Engineering department of LUMS invites students, even those outside SSE, to team up and unify their creative geniuses to this momentous occasion. Having students even from the SDSB in past, Dr. Jahangir Ikram invites everyone with a burning desire to learn and create to apply.
This year's theme also resonates deeply with Pakistan's future, particularly in developing and integrating robotic elements within agriculture, which is considered primarily a traditionalized industry. Students acquiring recognition and acknowledgement through NERC 2023 would ensure that successful inventions find their way into mainstream technological utilization within this leading industry of Pakistan.
This theme revolves primarily around how robots could improve overall efficiency and quality of crop production, contributing to reduced manual labor and booms in economic growth. Those of you intrigued by the limitless approaches can begin your engineering journey here and expand your vision into creative territories unknown to you until now. Under the expert guidance of Dr. Jahangir Ikram, and Mr. Mudassar Ejaz as your mentor, all that is required for success in the competition is a passionate drive to create. The future awaits!
All interested candidates can reach out to Mr. Mudassar Ejaz on firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP.
All necessary details and categories are available on the website.
Robots! Drones! Advanced AI! The future has arrived faster than we could have anticipated, and the students of LUMS…
The Electrical Engineering Department at LUMS is organising the ‘LUMS Electrical Engineering Graduate Open House-2023’ on Saturday, February 18th 2023, at SBASSE, LUMS. We invite prospective students to explore our university facilities and various graduate programs offered by the EE department, including:
- Intelligent Systems
- Machine Learning
- Communications and Control
- Electronics and Embedded Systems
- Modern Power and Energy Systems
Also, the participants will have,
- Campus Tour
- Lab Visits
- Free Refreshment
- Social Hour
- Meet-up with EE Faculty
Please register yourself today.
The Electrical Engineering Department at LUMS is organising the ‘LUMS Electrical Engineering Graduate Open House-2023’ on Saturday, February 18th 2023, at SBASSE, LUMS.
دنیا بھر میں جدت کے معیار کو برقرار رکھنے کے لئے آئے روز ٹیکنالوجی کی دنیا میں ترقی کی نئی مثالیں قائم ہو رہی ہیں۔ بیشتر ممالک کی طرح ٹیکنالوجی کی اس تگ و دو میں ہم قدم رہنے کے لیے لمز یونیورسٹی کے الیکٹرکل انجینیرنگ ڈیپارٹمینٹ نے رواں سال ایم ایس ڈیجیٹل اینڈ ایمبڈڈ سسٹم پروگرام کی شروعات کیں۔ یہ پروگرام اپنے طرز کا پہلا اور اکیلا پروگرام ہے ۔ جس کا مقصد ٹیکنالوجی کے حصول کے لیے بہترین ممکنہ راہ فراہم کرنا ہے ۔ حالیہ دور میں ڈیجیٹل اینڈ ایمبڈڈ سسٹم کی افادیت و استعمال کو زیرِ غور رکھتے ہوئے اس پروگرام کو تشکیل دیا گیا ہے۔
فروری2023 میں شروع ہونے والا یہ دلچسپ پروگرام بنیادی طور پر دو مضامین پر مشتمل ہے جنھیں تکنیکی زبان میں ڈیجیٹل انٹیگریٹڈ سرکٹ(IC) اور ایمبڈڈ سسٹم کہا جاتا ہے۔ اس پروگرام کے ذریعہ طلبہ کو نہ صرف جدید و نفیس ہارڈویر ذرائع سے روشناس کرایا جائے گا جو ڈیجیٹل سسٹم کی ڈیزایئننگ کے لیے اہم ہیں بلکہ ساتھ ہی ساتھ اعلی درجے کی تربیت کے ذریعے طلبہ کو ایسے سافٹ ویئر ہنروں سے متعارف کرایاجائے گا جو ایمبڈڈ سسٹم کی بین الا قوامی سافٹ ویئر مارکیٹ میں نہایت قدرو قیمت کے حامل ہیں۔
اس کورس کی تشکیل کے وقت مقامی مارکیٹ میں پیدا ہونے والے مسائل اور ضروریات کو زیر غور رکھا گیا ہے۔ اس پروگرام کا حصہ بننے والے طلبہ کو بنیادی سے اعلی درجے تک کی سسٹم ڈیزائننگ کی مشق دی جائے گی۔ اس تعلیم کے ذریعے نہ صرف وہ ڈیجیٹل اینڈ ایمبڈڈ سسٹم کی مقامی بلکہ بین الا قوامی مارکیٹ میں بھی اہم پیشرفت کرنے کے قابل ہوں گے اور الیکٹرانک اور سیمی کنڈکٹر انڈسٹری میں بھی اپنا لوہا منوا سکیں گے۔
اس کورس کے بارے میں مزید جاننے کے لئے ہم نے ایم ایس ڈیجیٹل اینڈ ایمبڈڈ سسٹم کی اولین جماعت کا حصہ بننے والے ہنر مندطالبعلم محمد احد کا انٹرویو کیا۔ احد کا تعلق بورے والا شہر سے ہے اور انہوں نے اپنی بیچلرز کی ڈگری کمپیوٹر انجینیرنگ میں یو ای ٹی UET ٹیکسیلا سے حاصل کی۔ ڈگری حاصل کرنے کے بعد احد نے نہ صرف انڈسٹری بلکہ فری لانسنگ میں قسمت آزمائی اور 10x نامی انجینیرنگ کمپنی میں ٹریننگ حاصل کرنے کا موقع پایا۔
احد کا کہنا تھا کہ بچپن سے ہی ریموٹ کنٹرول کار چلانے سے زیادہ دلچسپی انہیں اس چیز میں تھی کہ یہ چلتی کیسے ہے۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ ان کے بچپن میں آنے والی موبائل اور کمپیوٹر جیسی ایجادات نے جہاں دنیا کو حیران کردیا وہیں انہیں اتنا متاثر کیا کہ انہوں نے اس کم عمری میں ہی سوچ لیا کہ انہیں اسی علم کو حاصل کرنا ہے۔ بڑے ہوتے ہوئے جب احد نے ٹیکنالوجی کو پوری دنیا پہ قابض ہوتے دیکھا تو ان کا یہ ارادہ مزید پختہ ہو گیا۔
10x انجینیرنگ میں ٹرینینگ کے دوران انہیں 10x انجینیرنگ کے LinkedIn پیج سےلمز کے ایم ایس ڈیجیٹل اینڈ ایمبڈڈ سسٹم پروگرام کا علم ہوا۔ وہ اس پروگرام کے بارے میں جانتے ہی سمجھ گئے کہ یہی وہ موقع ہے جسکی انہیں تلاش تھی اور انہوں نے بلا تاخیر اس کے لئے درخواست جمع کرائی جہاں ان کا انتخاب ہوا اور وہ ان چند خوش نصیب لوگوں میں شامل ہو سکے جنھیں اس پروگرام کے پہلے دستے کے طور پر چنا گیا۔
احد کا کہنا تھا کہ اس کورس میں کثیرالاہمیت تجرباتی تعلیم, پروجیکٹس اور لیکچرز کے ذریعے ان کی تکنیکی ہنر اور ذہنی قابلیت کو ترقی حاصل ہوئی. ان کا کہنا تھا کہ اس سے قبل (Field Programmable Gate) FGPA Array) جیسا آلہ انہیں دستیاب نہیں تھا۔ لیکن اس کورس میں انہیں اس جدید آلے کی رسائی حاصل ہوئی ۔اس کے ذریعے آپ فیلڈ پر موجود اپنے خیالات کو عملی تشکیل دے سکتے ہیں ۔ایمبڈڈ سسٹم کی فیلڈ میں کام کرنے والوں کے لئے یہ بہترین مو قع فراہم کرتا ہے۔
احد کا مزید کہنا تھا کہ چار ماہ کے مختصر عرصے میں جدید طرز کی تجربہ گاہوں، آلات ،ورکشاپس اورصنعتی دوروں کی صورت میں ملنے والی تعلیم نے انہیں ابھی سے اس قابل بنا دیا ہے کہ وہ ایک اساسی درجے کی ایپ تیار کر سکیں۔ پراسیسر اور کنٹرولر کی کوڈنگ اور ڈیزائیننگ بھی اب ان کے لیے مشکل کام نہیں۔ مختصراً اس کورس کے مواد سے ان کی سوچنے سمجھنے کی صلاحیتوں اور تکنیکی قابلیت کو بے حد فروغ ملا ہے۔
جاتے جاتے احد کا کہنا تھا کہ یہ پروگرام ہر لحاظ سے ان کی امیدوں سے بڑھ کر ثابت ہوا اور وہ ڈیجیٹل اینڈ ایمبڈڈ سسٹم کے شعبے سے منسلک ہر شخص کو یہ تجویز دیں گے کہ اس کورس کا حصہ بنیں۔ انھوں نے مزید کہا کہ اس کورس کے ذریعے انہیں سیکھنے کے ایسے مواقع فراہم ہوئے ہیں جس سے وہ اپنے سیلیکون ویلی میں کام کرنے کے خواب کو عملی جامہ پہنا سکیں گے اور اس کے لیے وہ لمز کے تہہ دل سے شکر گزار ہیں۔
دنیا بھر میں جدت کے معیار کو برقرار رکھنے کے لئے آئے روز ٹیکنالوجی کی دنیا میں ترقی کی نئی مثالیں قائم ہو رہی ہیں۔…