Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir

Professor, Senior Member IEEE, PhD (Electronic & Electrical Engineering), FHEA

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

Muhammad Zeeshan Shakir is Full Professor of Wireless Communications and Director of UWS Digital Connectivity for Sustainable Futures research group within Artificial Intelligence, Visual Communications and Network (AVCN) institute, University of the West of Scotland (UWS), UK, received over £3M research funding from bodies such as Innovate UK through KTP programme, British Council, Scottish GovernmentQatar National Research Fund (QNRF) of Qatar, ERASMUS+ programme and UK industries in the areas of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). He has particular interest in wireless technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for global connectivity. He has been actively involved in industry collaborative research projects with national innovation centers and has contributed to European project SELFNET and IEEE 4G/5G Standardisation. Previously, he has worked as PI/Co-PI on several commercial and non-commercial high impact research projects funded at Texas A&M University, Qatar, Carleton University, Canada and KAUST, Saudi Arabia.

With over 15 years of research expertise in design and development of wireless communication systems, he has published over 150 research articles including 50+ peer-reviewed top-tier journal articles; 70+ conference articles, and 10 books. He is a recipient of numerous research awards/prizes including Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE) STEM Inspiring Diversity and Inclusion award 2022 for successful delivery of CEMVO and Scottish Govt. funded project "Stay Safe Scotland", SICSA (The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance) Best Poster Award 2022, IEEE Communications Society Fred W. Ellersick Award 2021IEEE Communications Society and China Institute of Communications Best Journal Article Award 2019 and UWS STARS Award 2020 & 2018 (Staff Appreciation and Recognition Scheme)  for outstanding research and enterprise performance. 

He has successfully supervised over 15 PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows and more than 50 Postgraduate research students and Undergraduate Honours students as lead / co-lead supervisor. He has served as an external/internal examiner, assessor and chair for over 25 PhD theses at various UK and international higher education institutions. 

He has been a frequent Keynote speaker/tutorial speaker at IEEE flagship conferences such as ICEAAI, IEEE ComFutures, AFRICON, PIMRC, Globecom and  ICC and international events such the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) programmes. He has been serving as Chair/Co-Chair of symposiums/tracks in several IEEE flagship conferences, such as ICC, VTC, EUCNC, Globecom and GlobalSIP. He has also served on the technical program committee of numerous IEEE conferences, including Globecom, ICC, and WCNC. Recently, he has been appointed as technical program chair of IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, WCNC 2023, and IEEE Smartt Grid Communications, Glasgow, UK. He has been appointed as Executive Chair for IEEE International Conference on Communications ICC 2026 Glasgow. 

He has been serving as a senior editorial board for IEEE ComSoc Technology Newsletter (CTN) (ranked #1 online resource for communications technology news). He is an editor for IEEE Communications Letters, Frontiers in Communications and Networks and has served as a lead Guest Editor/Guest Editor for IEEE Communications Magazine, IEEE Wireless Communications and IEEE Access. He is also serving as an Editor for Elsevier Journal PHYCOM.

Recently, he has been appointed as Chair technical committee on smart algorithms and informatics IEEE Public Safety Technology Taskforce (PSTF) initiative. He is serving as a founding Chair of IEEE ComSoc emerging technologies initiative on backhaul/fronthaul communications and networking. He has been serving as an active member to several IEEE ComSoc technical committees. From January 2012 to January 2016, he served as an elected Secretary to the IEEE DySPAN 1900.7 standard working group.  He is full member of EPSRC Peer Review College. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, an active member of IEEE ComSoc and IEEE Standard Association. He is a Fellow of Higher Education Academy, UK and member of International Association of Smart Learning Environments (IASLE). Recently, he has been selected (through a competitive process) by the Scottish Parliament as a Member Scottish Parliament Framework Agreement Covid-19 Pandemic to provide expert advice on the impact of Covid-19 on digital infrastructure, energy, education and healthcare. He has been admitted to the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland through a country-wide competitive selection process. 

Dr. Shakir was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan's most cosmopolitan city situated on the Arabian Sea. He received B.E degree in Electrical engineering from one of the top universities in Pakistan, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, in 2002 and the MSc degree in Communications, Control and Digital Signal Processing and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Electronic engineering from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom, in 2006 and 2010, respectively. 

Area of academic expertise - outline

  • Mobile communications, networks & devices: HetNet design, network optimisation, resource allocation, interference management, green networks; mobile app development and security (android) 

  • 5G technologies and systems: small cell, machine type communications, Ultra reliable and low latent communications

  • Smart grid networks and communications: V2I communications, Electric Vehicle enabled microgrid, distributed energy resources 

  • Networked flying platforms: UAV base station placement, UAV backhaul networks, multi tier airborne networks, UAV relay networks, UAV for coverage hole detection

  • Internet of Things: LORAWAN, remote condition monitoring, faul monitoring and prediction, Blockchain, IoT test bed for smart home, water management and health care

  • Artificial Intelligence and machine learning: Big data analytics, predictive machine learning algorithms, without human in the loop systems

Current research activities

Research and Enterprise Projects:

I am leading follwoing research and enterprise projects as a PI/Co-PI: 






2023 - 2024

AI and IoT enabled environment monitoring



British Council 


AI enabled object classification and detection for immersive technologies



VR Hive Ltd and Scottish Enterprise


Performance evaluation of AI enabled Smart Wheelchair



Phoenix Instinct Ltd and UWS


KTP Project: The VR Hive: Virtual reality enabled cloud platform for online learning



Innovate UK


KTP Project: Embedding IoT and AI for development of SMART wheelchair 



Innovate UK


KTP Project: AI enabled network intelligence for fault detection and service interruptions



Innovate UK


mmWave-based future dense networks with UAV backhauling and AI-driven enhancement



Qatar National Research Fund (NPRP program)


AI and IoT enabled health and well-being health system over 6G networks (Competitive)



UWS studentship + industry contribution Orion Ltd.


Social Distancing App Stay Safe Scotland



CEMVO Scotland, Scottish Govt.


The design and manufacture of a novel liquid milk piglet feeding system in farrowing rooms



Co-Innovate & INTERREG VA program


KTP Project: Machine learning and IoT for water leakage detection



Innovate UK


ATHIKA Advanced Technologies in Health Innovation Knowledge Alliance



Erasmus Plus


Autonomous coverage hole detection in cellular networks (Competitive)



UWS studentship + £36k BT (benefit-in-kind) match fund


KTP Project: Develop the next generation of digital content management platform



Innovate UK


AI-enabled self-regulated leaning for smart environment (Competitive)



Govt. of Nigeria for competitive PhD studentship


Precoding for hardware impaired MIMO OFDMA



UK-Algeria exchange program


Enabling interference tolerant wireless network



Qatar National Research Fund (NPRP program)


Energy efficient cognitive radio networks



Global Collaborative Research (GCR) fund



Research Team:

KTP Associates /Post Doctoral Fellow

PhD Students (Current): (Director of Studies - first supervisor)

PhD Students (Graduated Supervised / co Supervised):

  • Hafiz Atta Ul Mustafa (2012-2015)

  • Hina Tabassum (2010-2014)

  • Nariman Rahimian (2012-2015)

MSc Students:

  • Pavan Kumar Mujumdar (2021-2022): Object detection for space monitoring

  • Jack Law (2021-2022): IoT and AI for athletes training 

  • Venkata Naveen Kumar Divvela (2020-2021): AI enabled fraud detection system

  • James Black (2020-2021): AI enabled carbon emission monitoring and prediction system

  • Rory Nisbet (2019-2020): IoT and ANN enabled music therapy app for stress and anxiety

  • Kaun Zhang (2019-2020): Image fusion based technique for social distance monitoring

  • Sorin Neagoe (2019-2020): Indoor localisation and distance measuring using mobile app

  • Sony Thomas (2019-2020): IoT and AI enabled remote water management for agrifood

  • Victor Ekaette (2019-2020)

  • Michael Okonkwo (2019-2020)

  • Maddasar Shahid (2019-2020)

  • Muhammad Waqas (2019-2020)

  • Craig Middleton (2019-2020)

  • Yingbo Zhu (2018-2019)

  • Obabiolorunkosi Malaolu (2018-2019)

  • Constance Farrell (2018-2019)

  • Nicky Carr (2018-2019)

  • Matthew Swinburne (2018-2019)

  • Tanveer Ahmed (2017-2018)

  • Syeda Sanober Jaffery (2017-2018)

  • Heather Brown (2017-2018)

  • Adil Arif (2017-2018)

  • Nilupulee Anuradha Gunathilake (2017-2018)

  • Madlena Padova (2016-2017)

  • Aqib Shehzad (2016-2017)

Hons Students:

  • Mohammed Alidinar (2021-2022)

  • James Lochhead (2021-2022)

  • Casey Hunter (2021-2022)

  • Adrien Chabaud (2020-2021)

  • Cailean Mcleash (2020-2021) 

  • Brian Downie (2020-2021)

  • Mohamud Ibrahim (2019-2020)

  • Darren Duff (2019-2020)

  • John Inglis (2019-2020)
  • Andrew Cooper (2018-2019)
  • Robert Mackiewicz (2018-2019)

  • Greg Francis (2018-2019)

  • Donald Carroll (2018-2019)
  • Edgars Griga (2017-2018)

  • Craig Torlay (2017-2018)

  • David Conolly (2016-2017)

  • Shannon Cuddihy (2016-2017)

External visitors:

  • Matthew Campbell (Castlehead High School, Paisley) (2020)

  • Andrea Voisin-grall (Aix-Marseille University, France) (2019-)

  • Widad Belaoura (National Polytechnic School, Algeria) (2018)
  • Romain Menguy (Aix-Marseille University, France) (2018)

  • Muhammad Zainul Abideen (Eastwood High School, Newton Mearns, Glasgow) (2017)


Since recently, I have been collaborating with several industrial and academic partners such as:  

Industrial partners:

  • UK/EU: Fido Tech, Nexawo Ltd., Kube Network, Phoenix Instinct, Toshiba Research Laboratory, T4i Engineering, BT, NATS, NEC Germany, MODO Ltd, NHS Ayrshire & Arran.
  • International: Telecommunications Laboratory Algeria, Huawei Canada, China Telecommunications, TELUS Canada, Nokia France, and Intel USA.

Academic partners:

  • UK/EU: University of Glasgow, University of York,  Scotland Rural College, University of Surrey, University of Leeds, Kings College London, Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal.
  • International: KAUST, Saudi Arabia, Qatar University, Qatar, Carleton University, Canada, York University, Canada and Texas A&M University, Qatar, LUMS, Pakistan, NUST, Pakistan, DHA Suffa University, Pakistan, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan, European Univeristy Cyprus, Cyprus. 


Most of my research and development projects have been funded by national and international funding bodies and research councils such as:

  • British Council
  • Innovate UK (KTP)

  • Scottish Funding Council

  • UWS VP Doctoral fund (competitive)
  • NSERC (National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

  • QNRF (Qatar National Research Fund) 

  • KAUST GCR (Global Research Initiative)

Target collaborative companies

I would like to collaborate with national and international companies with in following domain (but not limited):

  • Information communication and technology 
  • Cellular and mobile operators and vendors
  • Device/sensor manufacturers
  • Smart city (transportation, energy, buildings, healthcare)

Target collaborative organisations

I would like to collaborate and build prolific ties with the following types of national and international organization: 

  • Ministries and Govt. bodies 
  • Local Councils and social welfare bodies 
  • National/international research labs/centrer
  • Standardization and development organizations

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

  • Smartphone Application development 

  • Commercialisation and development

  • Servitisation 

  • Industry 4.0

  • Smart teaching and learning approaches 

Desired research direction

Prototype and real time implementation of UAV/Drone based wireless links for emerging applications including but not limited to:

  • Smart city

  • Disaster communications

  • Smart transportation

  • Cattle farming and agriculture

Current teaching activities and interests

  • COMP11061 Internet of Things and Applications (PG)
  • COMP11062 Mobile Networks and Smartphone Applications (PG)
  • COMP11060 Emerging Topics in Smart Networks (PG)
  • COMP09022 Data Communications and Networks (UG)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

External positions

External Examiner Post Graduate Taught Program Embedded Wireless Systems, University of York

20 Sept 202220 Sept 2026

Member The Royal Scociety of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland, Royal Society Of Edinbugh

11 Jul 2022 → …

Chair , Technical Committee on Smart Algorithms and Informatics IEEE Public Safety Technology (PST) Initiative

10 Mar 2022 → …

External Expert, COST Association

18 Dec 202031 Mar 2021

Member Scottish Parliament Framework Agreement Covid-19 Pandemic, Scottish Parliament

12 Jun 2020 → …

Editorial Board Member IEEE ComSoc Technology News, IEEE Communications Society

1 Jan 2019 → …

Full Member EPSRC Peer Review College, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

15 Nov 2018 → …

Chair IEEE ComSoc Emerging Technologies Initiative: Backhaul/fronthaul networking & communications), IEEE Communications Society

1 Sept 2015 → …


  • QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
  • Wireless communications
  • 5G Technologies
  • Communications Theory
  • Smart City and applications
  • Network flying platforms
  • Green networks
  • Small cells
  • Heterogeneous networks
  • internet of things
  • 6G Networks
  • artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning


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