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Freeha Azmat

I joined Warwick 3 years ago on a full-time research degree in wireless communication networks. I'm working on spectrum sensing and spectrum prediction modules of cognitive radio. Previous to this I undertook a Masters in Computer Science at University of Leicester, while my undergraduate degree was in Information and Communication Systems Engineering from National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan.

I decided to come to Warwick for two main reasons. Firstly, I was fortunate to be awarded the Chancellor's International Scholarship to undertake a three year PhD degree, and secondly, the outstanding ranking and reputation of the University endorsed my decision. Warwick is quite different to the other institutions I have studied at. Here there are activities for all students who have different interests and backgrounds - these range from art, music, religion, academic to research.

I have had an interest in maths since school, which consequently proved to be useful for choosing engineering as a professional study route. During my undergraduate course, I realised that I am interested in learning more about communication networks, mobile and wireless systems. The interest in communication triggered me to start PhD with a specialisation in wireless communication.

One of my best memories so far are associated with the poster competition being held as part of the 2nd Annual Symposium of School of Engineering. I was given the chance to present my research in its simplest form to my colleagues and receive feedback from them. This was a valuable experience for my professional development.

After the completion of my research degree, I would like to go in to academia. I was lecturer at Bahria University in Pakistan before starting PhD and I would like to continue working in teaching and research in my future too. The PhD degree from a prestigious university will help me to find a good position in academia.

Outside my research studies, I attend several workshops on teaching and learning in higher education. I also try to meet people at the PGR (postgraduate research) lunch each term to make contacts.

Alongside my PhD work, I have been teaching a module "Microcontroller applications" at Coventry University to the undergraduate combined engineering students. I am teaching programming on PIC18 microcontrollers using C and Assembly language. I have also been a PhD Funding Mentor for two months, where I was helping students to polish their scholarship applications. This was a very rewarding experience. I have also published 14 research papers.

As I had already completed a Masters in the UK, I didn't feel any cultural shock when I came to Warwick . Overall I must say, that people don't interfere in each others matters and work quite independently from each other, both on a domestic level and within organisations. This is quite different in Pakistan.

I would highly recommend Warwick to anyone considering postgraduate study. One can get really involved in University activities, both academic and extracurricular. Warwick is a beautiful university with all the facilities required and dedicated, helpful staff members constitute the overall feel. The caring student support services with attractive activities offered by the Students' Union, will give you a homely feeling to any international student while at university. The Pakistani community is very active in organising events to welcome new students, EID festivals, a poetry competition and fashion shows. I attend them whenever I want to take break from research.

Title of research project: Bio-Inspired Cognitive Radio
Supervisor: Dr. Yunfei Chen and Professor Nigel Stocks