Dr. Çelik awarded IEEE Communications Society’s 2023 Outstanding Young Researcher Award 

By David Murphy 

KAUST research scientist Dr. Abdulkadir Çelik received IEEE Communications Society’s 2023 Runner-Up Outstanding Young Researcher Award for the Europe, Middle-East, Africa (EMEA) region. Çelik, a researcher in the Communication and Computing Systems Lab (CCSL) at KAUST led by Professor Ahmed Eltawil, received the award for his “research activities for the benefit of the Society.” 

The award honors researchers who have been active in the IEEE through ComSoc publications and conference activities over the last three years. As part of the award, he received a plaque and an honorarium. 

“This award is a testament to the pioneering work that Abdulkadir is doing and a recognition of its impact on the Society. Many notable members of the Society have held the award; it is indeed a great and well-deserved honor for Abdulkadir and the excellent teamwork at CCSL,” Professor Eltawil said.  

According to Çelik, receiving the 2023 IEEE ComSoc Outstanding Young Researcher Award was an incredibly humbling and exhilarating experience. He sees the award as a validation of his work direction and a demonstration of the efforts of his colleagues
“The award inspires me to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation in information and communication technologies. It is not just a personal milestone but a collective testament to the collaborative efforts of my mentors, especially Prof. Eltawil, and my colleagues at KAUST and across the globe.  
“I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my family for their unwavering support and inspiration, as I know it is not easy living with a research enthusiast,” he added. 
Striving for connection  

We live in a rapidly evolving digital era, yet this technological progress remains unevenly distributed worldwide. Globally, many underdeveloped communities still encounter significant barriers to gaining basic internet access. Through “connecting the unconnected,” Çelik's work aims to aid these communities by giving them access to essential digital services crucial to their economic development. 
A blend of innovation and practical application distinguishes his research, which focuses on improving wireless network connectivity, reliability and latency by exploring new communications and networking paradigms. What sets Çelik’s research apart is his comprehensive approach to exploring the complete spectrum of wireless communication technologies that exploit acoustic, radio frequency and light waves. 
“Establishing reliable and efficient communication in diverse transmission mediums and extreme environments necessitates the exploration of the entire spectrum of wireless communication technologies,” he explained. “My research involves not just increasing the speed or bandwidth but transforming the very nature of connectivity to be seamless, efficient and robust.”  
This connectivity enhancement is vital for supporting the burgeoning demands of modern smart cities and applications, such as autonomous vehicles and advanced telemedicine immersive technologies, all of which require ultra-reliable and low-latency communication networks. 
“Utilizing communication theory and network science with optimization tools and artificial intelligence, I produce research that overcomes challenges posed by underlying communication technology and its environment,” Çelik emphasized. 
Such multi-faceted exploration has yielded over 100+ publications and 2023+ citations, reflecting the impact and novelty of the young Turkish researcher’s work.  
“The solutions offered by my research have the potential to revolutionize how we perceive and utilize wireless networks, making them more efficient, reliable and accessible. I believe our work will not only improve the quality of life and economic opportunities for those currently disconnected but also propel the technological capabilities in connected regions,” he concluded.