College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Dr Mohamed Elmezughi was awarded his PhD in Electronic Engineering.

PhD Study Delves into Future Wireless Channel Models

Dr Mohamed Elmezughi was awarded a PhD in Electronic Engineering for his research on novel improvements of empirical wireless channel models and proposals for machine-learning-based path loss prediction models for future communication networks. He was supervised by Professor Thomas Afullo.

‘In his research on 5G/6G networks, Elmezughi proposed new path loss models that improve the standard close-in and floating-intercept models at millimetric wave frequencies,’ said Afullo.

‘His study further investigated higher-order logarithmic dependency of the standard close-in path loss model on the distance between the transmitter and the receiver. Finally, he evaluated the performance of several machine learning methods and proposed a neural network-based path loss model.’

Having graduated as the top Electronic Engineering student at the University of Tripoli for his undergraduate degree and completed his MSc cum laude at UKZN under his mentor Afullo in record time and with research publications to his name, Elmezughi decided to remain at UKZN for his PhD to make the most of the experience, knowledge and skills he had accumulated and the University’s supportive work environment and research facilities. Two years later he has proudly donned the red PhD gown.

‘My research field focuses on millimeter-wave wireless channel modeling for 5G and 6G communication systems,’ explained Elmezughi. ‘My PhD work presents novel improvements of well-known wireless channel models and proposes machine-learning-based path loss prediction models for future communication networks.

‘The research findings (which were published in four Q1 international journals and presented at three international conferences) revealed their prediction accuracy compared to existing standard models.’

Elmezughi’s interest in this field was motivated by the fact that path loss is the primary factor that determines the overall coverage of networks.

‘Designing reliable wireless communication systems requires accurate path loss prediction models,’ he said. ‘Future wireless mobile systems will mainly rely on the super-high frequency (SHF) and the millimetre-wave (mmWave) frequency bands owing to the massive bandwidth required to meet projected users’ demand, such as the needs of the 5G and 6G wireless systems and other high-speed multimedia services.

‘However, these bands are more sensitive and exhibit a different propagation behaviour from frequency bands below 6 GHz. Improving existing models and developing new ones are vital to characterise the wireless communication channel in both indoor and outdoor environments for future SHF and mmWave services.’

Elmezughi said the results of his study are vital for planning, evaluating and optimising future wireless communication networks since the proposed models showed extremely high accuracy in fitting real measurement data compared to well-known models and could be reliable models to predict path loss for 5G and 6G indoor wireless channels.

His future plans lie in academia, with the aim of eventually becoming a full professor. He dreams of founding a private university in Libya, which he says will make a massive difference to his home country.

He paid tribute to his parents, brothers and sisters for their support, especially his brother Dr Khaled Elmezughi for his assistance and guidance over the years.

‘Finally, I would like to offer my thanks, appreciation and gratitude to Almighty Allah, who created, taught and guided me,’ said Elmezughi. ‘With the blessings Allah has bestowed upon me, I am now receiving my PhD with health, family and hope for a wonderful future (and tears of joy on my cheeks). I am fully aware that without Allah’s support and help, I would not have reached this level, and this research work would not have seen the light of day.’

Words: Sally Frost

Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan