The Jonsson School
Dr. Naofal Al-Dhahir

Dr. Naofal Al-Dhahir

Erik Jonsson Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Head for Undergraduate Education

Career Highlights

The Qualcomm Faculty Award, 2021

Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, 2020

2019 IEEE Signal Processing and Computing for Communications Award

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow, 2008

Co-recipient of the 2006 IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award

Holder of 43 patents

Center Affiliation: Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE)

Research Interests

Wireless localization, machine and deep learning applications, smart grid, physical layer security

h-index = 50, with 13,000 citations, according to Google Scholar

Publications

Doppler Applications in LEO Satellite Communication Systems (2002)

Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Transactions on Communications, January 2016 to December 2019

Education

MSc in Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

PhD in Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Dr. Naofal Al-Dhahir

Dr. Naofal Al-Dhahir

Erik Jonsson Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Head for Undergraduate Education

Career Highlights

Qualcomm Faculty Award, 2021

Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, 2020

2019 IEEE Signal Processing and Computing for Communications Award

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow, 2008

Co-Recipient of the 2006 IEEE Donald G. Fink Best Paper Award

Holder of 43 patents

Center Affiliation: Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE)

Research Interests

Wireless localization, machine and deep learning applications, smart grid, physical layer security

h-index = 50, with 13,000 citations according to Google Scholar

Publications

Doppler Applications in LEO Satellite Communication Systems (2002)

Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Transactions on Communications, Jan. 2016 to Dec. 2019

Education

MSc in Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

PhD in Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

Dr. Naofal Al-Dhahir, the Erik Jonsson Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering at The University of Texas at Dallas, was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the highest professional distinction given to academic inventors.

The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science researcher is one of 175 inventors from 115 research universities and institutes worldwide who will be inducted at the 10th annual meeting of the NAI Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. The NAI has 1,288 fellows worldwide representing more than 250 universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes.

Recently, Al-Dhahir also received a 2021 Qualcomm Faculty Award, which supports leading faculty members who play a key role in the company’s recruiting of top graduate students. Seven of Al-Dhahir’s former graduate students have joined Qualcomm after graduation.

Al-Dhahir’s work focuses on improving the speed and reliability of broadband communication systems, which send signals over wide bands of frequencies. The wider data pipeline increases bandwidth, or volume of information that can be sent, and the speed of data transmission, but it typically experiences more interference than communication systems that transmit over fewer frequencies. Al-Dhahir, who holds 43 patents, has developed algorithms to mitigate noise and interference in broadband systems and a channel shortening equalizer, which decreases the lag time between when a signal is sent and when it arrives across longer distances.

As a graduate student at Stanford University, Al-Dhahir became interested in communications technology while taking courses from Hitachi Professor Emeritus of Engineering Dr. John M. Cioffi, who is also CEO and chairman of the board of Adaptive Spectrum and Signal Alignment. Adaptive Spectrum and Signal Alignment’s pioneering research was instrumental in developing and standardizing the digital subscriber line modems that made internet access widely available. Al-Dhahir worked at the General Electric Company Research and Development Center and at AT&T’s Shannon Labs for nine years before joining The University of Texas at Dallas in 2003.

“I would like to thank all of my mentors, collaborators and students over the last 30 years. Successful collaborations are ones in which the whole is more than the sum of the parts. That’s what I try to instill in my students.”

Dr. Naofal Al-Dhahir

Al-Dhahir was elected an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow in 2008. He was a co-recipient of four IEEE best paper awards, including the Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award, and received the 2019 IEEE Signal Processing and Computing for Communications Technical Recognition Award. He also served two terms as editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Communications.

Al-Dhahir, who serves as associate department head for undergraduate education for electrical and computer engineering at UT Dallas, said he is grateful for the supportive environment at the University. “I would like to thank all of my mentors, collaborators and students over the last 30 years. Successful collaborations are ones in which the whole is more than the sum of the parts,” he said. “That’s what I try to instill in my students.”

Al-Dhahir said his inspiration comes from his father, now a retired mathematics professor. “He always told me: ‘Whatever you do in life, always leave things better than you found them,’” Al-Dhahir said. “That’s what I try to do every day, whether through teaching, research or service.”

Al-Dhahir joins two current Jonsson School faculty members who also are NAI fellows:

Dr. Lakshman Tamil, professor of electrical and computer engineering (2020).

Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, Founders Chair in Engineering and Computer Science and executive director of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute (2018).

NAI logo

Al-Dhahir was named an NAI Fellow for "demonstrating a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.”