AIDRC Seminar Series - Prof. Robert Schober

Jul 05, 2022
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Prof. Robert Schober

Prof. Robert Schober

Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Germany


5th July 2022, 4:00pm - 5:00pm (GST)



Modelling and Optimization of Intelligent Reflecting Surfaces: From RF to optical frequencies


Intelligent reflecting surfaces (IRSs) have the potential to transform wireless communication channels into smart reconfigurable propagation environments and are expected to become an essential part of 6G wireless systems. The realization, modeling, and optimization of IRS-assisted systems strongly depend on the operating frequency. In this talk, we compare the modelling and optimization of radio-frequency (RF) and optical IRS-assisted systems. To this end, we present physics-based IRS models for both cases and study the implications for system design. For RF wireless systems, we propose a scalable framework for optimization based on offline IRS beam design and online IRS beam selection. For free-space optical (FSO) systems, we show that one IRS can support multiple links and that an IRS-assisted link can outperform a direct link without IRS by employing non-linear phase shift designs. Furthermore, promising directions for future research on both IRS-assisted RF and FSO systems are provided.


Robert Schober (S'98, M'01, SM'08, F'10) received the Diplom (Univ.) and the Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Germany, in 1997 and 2000, respectively. From 2002 to 2011, he was a Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada. Since January 2012 he is an Alexander von Humboldt Professor and the Chair for Digital Communication at FAU. His research interests fall into the broad areas of Communication Theory, Wireless and Molecular Communications, and Statistical Signal Processing. Robert received several awards for his work including the 2002 Heinz Maier­ Leibnitz Award of the German Science Foundation (DFG), the 2004 Innovations Award of the Vodafone Foundation for Research in Mobile Communications, a 2006 UBC Killam Research Prize, a 2007 Wilhelm Friedrich Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the 2008 Charles McDowell Award for Excellence in Research from UBC, a 2011 Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, a 2012 NSERC E.W.R. Stacie Fellowship, a 2017 Wireless Communications Recognition Award by the IEEE Wireless Communications Technical Committee, and the 2021 ACM NanoCom Milestone Award for “fundamental contributions to the modelling, design, and analysis of molecular communication systems”. Since 2017, he has been listed as a Highly Cited Researcher by the Web of Science. Robert is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, and a Member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Communications from 2012 to 2015 and as VP Publications of the IEEE Communication Society (ComSoc) in 2020 and 2021. Currently, he serves as Member of the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the IEEE, as Member at Large of the ComSoc Board of Governors, and as ComSoc Treasurer