Investing in the human element of the research process is my focus. I firmly believe in meeting the students where they are and taking them to where they never thought they could be. Along the way, some students are disgruntled with the rigorous mathematical and scientific tools I insist on in my coursework. However for some others, these tools unleash a whole new world for their work that may not even become obvious except a year or two after they have taken my class.

Ahmed K. Sultan Salem is an Instructional Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) in the Computer, Electrical, and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (CEMSE) Division at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

Education and early career

Dr. Salem holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Prior to joining KAUST in 2010, he was an assistant professor of Electrical Engineering at Alexandria University, Egypt. Since 2008, he also jointly held an assistant professorship at the Wireless Intelligent Networks Center (WINC) at Nile University, Egypt.

Areas of expertise and current scientific interests

Dr. Salem has had extensive experience teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has taught courses in Digital communications, wireless communications and systems, digital signal processing, signal and systems, detection and estimation, probability and stochastic processes, engineering mathematics, signal processing for radar systems remote sensing, and automatic control.

Dr. Salem’s research interests are in energy harvesting, dynamic spectrum access, cognitive radio networks, cooperative communications, orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing for optical communications, distributed and sequential detection, cooperative relay-based multi-hop communications, physical layer-based secrecy, remote sensing, and synthetic aperture radar.

Career recognitions

Dr. Salem is the recipient of KAUST’s inaugural distinguished teaching award in 2017.

Editorial activities

Dr Salem’s research has led to more than 80 scientific publications in various peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

Why teach in the Systems track?

I believe the way to a successful research journey starts with a solid foundation of the basic sciences that make up one’s core knowledge in his/her area of expertise. I enjoy teaching and I enjoy guiding my students through the intricacies of the coursework in the systems track. My notes are replete with examples of real research problems that are solved using the tools that are taught in class. I believe this is essential to helping my students make the connection between theory and practice so that, hopefully, they can creatively use these same tools to solve the research problems they are working on.


KAUST is young, promising, and different. To me, all these unique features of KAUST make it a very attractive place to work, contribute, and be part of something remarkable.

Areas of Expertise and Research Interests

  • Energy harvesting
  • Cognitive radio technology
  • Dynamic spectrum access
  • cooperative communications
  • Distributed and sequential detection
  • Physical layer-based secrecy
  • OFDM for optical communications
  • Remote sensing and synthetic aperture radar (SAR)

Education Profile

  • ​Ph.D., Stanford University, 2007
  • M.Sc., Alexandria University, 2000
  • B.Sc., Alexandria University, 1997