Xiangyun (Sean) Zhou

Senior Lecturer

Research School of Engineering

The Australian National University

115 North Road

Acton, ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA

Phone: +61 2 6125 4054       

Email: xiangyun.zhou@anu.edu.au




Teaching & Research Supervision










         Biography                 Research Interests                 Prospective Students



·         IEEE ComSoc Best Readings in Physical-Layer Security [link].

·         Sean received the Asia-Pacific Best Young Researcher Award from the IEEE Communications Society Asia-Pacific Board in 2017.

·         Congratulations to my former PhD student Wanchun Liu who received Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad in 2017.

·         Check out our recent work on covert communication: hiding communication at the physical layer [link, link, link, link].

·         Check out our recently submitted magazine article on backscatter communications which introduces an emerging communication paradigm for future IoT networks [link].

·         Check out our magazine article on wirelessly powered communications which provides answers to some frequently asked questions in the field and points out possible research directions [link].


Brief Biography:

Sean grew up in the city of Chengdu, China. He went to Australia in 2004 and obtained the Bachelor of Engineering degree with first class honours in 2007 and the Ph.D. degree in 2010, both from the Australian National University (ANU). He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at UNIK – University Graduate Centre, University of Oslo in Norway from 2010 to 2011. Then, he joined ANU again in 2011 and is currently working as a Senior Lecturer* within the Research School of Engineering. He has also spent time as a visitor (duration varies from 1 week to 3 months) at a number of overseas universities in the past few years, including University of Texas at Austin, University of California at Irvine, Aalborg University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and National Tsing-Hua University. His primary research interests are in the fields of communication theory and wireless networks. He was named the Best Young Researcher of the Asia-Pacific Region in 2017 by IEEE Communications Society Asia-Pacific Board.


Sean is a Senior Member of IEEE and is a current or former Editor of various IEEE journals, such as IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Wireless Communications Letters and IEEE Communications Letters. He was a Guest Editor of the 2015 special issue on Wireless Physical Layer Security in IEEE Communications Magazine and the 2014 special issue on Energy Harvesting Wireless Communications in EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking. He was an organizer and chair of various reputable international workshops including ICC’14-16 and Globecom’16-18 workshops on the topics of physical layer security and energy harvesting communications. He also served as a symposium/track chair for major IEEE conferences. He was the Chair of the ACT Chapter of the IEEE Communications Society and Signal Processing Society in 2013 and 2014. He was a recipient of the Best Paper Award at the IEEE ICC’11 and IEEE ComSoc Asia-Pacific Outstanding Paper Award in 2016.


* [link]


Research Interests:

In the fields of Communication Theory and Wireless Networks, focusing on the wireless technologies underpinning future cellular networks and the Internet of Things. Specific research topics include:

  • Physical layer security
  • Wireless network security
  • Ultra-reliable and low latency communications
  • Machine-to-machine communications
  • Wireless powered communications
  • Backscatter communications




Student Research Opportunities:

I’m looking for self-motivated students with strong mathematical background and good communication skills in English who want to pursue a Ph.D. degree in wireless communications, networking and security. Information about the application process and scholarships can be found here for both domestic and international students (also here for some additional information and here for students from China). Additional scholarships may be offered anytime throughout the year subject to funding availability.

Prospective students (Ph.D., M.Phil, B.Eng (Hon), R&D) interested in working with me can send me an email together with your academic transcripts (and a CV for Ph.D. and M.Phil students). Please check out my research interests (and recent publications) before contacting me. Thanks.

For students looking for BE honours projects: unfortunately I’m not able to take up more BE honours students starting in Semester 2, 2018.

Why choosing ANU for PhD study: ANU is consistently ranked among the top 50 universities in the world. According to 2016/2017 QS Top Universities Rankings, ANU is ranked 1st in Australia and 22nd in the world and its Electrical & Electronics Engineering is ranked 2nd in Australia and 44th in the world. ANU is located in Canberra - the capital city of Australia. ANU has its main round of international PhD scholarship applications due in August and domestic PhD scholarship applications due in October. In addition, another round of scholarship applications for both international and domestic applicants is due in March/April, subject to scholarship availability. In addition to the university scholarship, individual academic staff often have research fund available to support extra scholarships which may be offered anytime throughout the year. The scholarship is at the rate of approximately AUD$27,000 per annum tax free. The normal duration of a full-time PhD study at ANU is 3 year to 3.5 years. No coursework is required. Teaching assistant duties are optional and will be paid with extra salary. Apart from the scholarship, generous funding is provided to students to support conference travels and overseas university visits.