Meet the Researcher: Mohamed Seliem

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Mohamed Seliem is a CONFIRM PhD Student based at Univeristy College Cork (UCC)

“Studying STEM is a very rewarding experience, think carefully, make sure you are interested and follow your dreams.”

Tell us a bit about your research...

We interact with many complicated things and systems in our everyday life. Almost all of them are operated by computers, which interact with the world not only through a touchscreen but through direct actions performed in the physical world. These are called Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS).
The most common CPS that we see every day are modern cars, in which computers control not only the engine, but also the braking, the vehicle stability, and often support the driver tasks. CPSs are also present in many other elements of our daily lives, such as energy networks, factories, automated warehouses as well as planes or trains. All these physically entangled systems are of crucial importance for the quality of life of the citizens and for the European economy.
Cyber-physical systems are very complex, especially when several CPS need to be combined. That is the case for The Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, which is a new phase in the Industrial Revolution that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data.
My research revolves around making deterministic communication, which is more critical than ever to Industries. To connect such CPSs and provide a means for determinism over standard networks, we need Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN). TSN brings four features and benefits to its users, which are as follows:

  • Time Synchronization: offers real-time communications with strict time boundaries, making all devices working in unison and at the same point in time.
  • Frame Pre-emption: prevents low priority frames from delaying higher priority traffic thus avoid any shutdowns or damage.
  • Time aware traffic shaper: separates communications into time slots and repeating time cycles, which gives guarantees that transmissions won’t be interrupted.
  • Seamless redundancy: replicating frames at the traffic sources and eliminating the redundant frames before or when it arrives to the source. By sending those duplicate frames through multiple paths, it guarantees the frames’ delivery even if one of those paths fail

 

To be specific, what I am working on currently is:

  1. Solving the problem of traffic scheduling in industrial applications through combining software-defined networks and TSN.
  2. Deploy a network model to support wireless devices to extend industrial networks.
  3. Model accurate traffic sources (end and network devices) to support multiple use cases

Could you give a real-world application of your research?

COVID19 pandemic has brought to fore the importance of process industries such as chemical and pharmaceutical plants in sustaining the well-being of humankind. My research applies to safety-critical systems deployed in these facilities, ensuring improved safety and reliability in their everyday operation.

What did you study as an Undergraduate?

I did my Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Electrical communication, 2006-2011, faculty of Engineering, Cairo University. The focus of my studies was more about computer networks, communication, and computer architecture and organization.

What made you decide to go into research?

I have been inspired by my research graduation project and I wanted to pursue my interests in terms of always learning something new, honing my problem-solving skills and challenging myself in new ways. In addition to that, research gives the opportunity to work closely with very talented and knowledgeable teammates where it helps to expand my knowledge all the time.

What do you enjoy most about being a PhD Student or Post-Doc?

I’m thoroughly enjoying my time in doing my PhD, good work primes over immediate value. In my PhD journey, I am keen to do things the right way instead of doing things the fast way. It is very rewarding. In addition, the level of freedom is not comparable to any other field-related work. “love for failure”, taking the risk to fail motivates my PhD research so even if I fail to produce something after 10 or 20 trials, I am sure continued work will result in something of high value, and this is what I really enjoy the most. I am passionate about my research and I hope to make the world a better place through my contributions.

How could your research be applied in the real world?

Many companies, e.g. Pharmaceutical, started using smart manufacturing to enhance their production to meet global demands as a result of the COVID -19 pandemic. Without these smart manufacturing solutions, including my research which assures the reliability and time requirements of smart manufacturing, it would have taken a lot longer to meet the challenges and demands that arose from pandemic.

Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about a career or research in STEM?

Studying STEM is a very rewarding experience, think carefully, make sure you are interested and follow your dreams.

In terms of a PhD, research is a very community-oriented space. So while choosing the right field is quite important, choosing the right advisor is equally so, since if you work with an advisor, you will inherit their problems, tools and community.

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