Xiangyun (Sean) Zhou

IEEE Fellow

Associate Professor

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



This webpage was maintained up to December 2022. A more up-to-date personal webpage can be found here.

·      A Full PhD Scholarship Available [link].

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

·      Check out our tutorial on physical-layer security for wireless networks given at IEEE ICC’19 [link].

·      Check out our magazine article on covert communication which talks about techniques for hiding communication at the physical layer [link].

·      Check out our 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 studied at the Australian National University (ANU), where he obtained the Bachelor of Engineering degree with first class honours in 2007 and the Ph.D. degree in 2010. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at UNIK – University Graduate Centre, University of Oslo in Norway from 2010 to 2011. He returned to ANU in 2011 and is currently working as an Associate Professor at the School of Engineering. His primary research interests are in the fields of communication theory and wireless networks. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. He is also a member of the ANU Football Club playing in the Men’s Master League.


Sean currently serves as an Area Editor for IEEE Communications Letters. He has also served as an Editor for various IEEE journals, such as IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and IEEE Wireless 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 (e.g., ICC’20, PIMRC’21, ICC’22). He was the Chair of the ACT Chapter of the IEEE Communications Society and Signal Processing Society in 2013 and 2014.


Selected Honours and Awards:

·       IEEE Fellow (Class of 2023) “for contributions to physical layer security and wireless powered communications”.

·       AI 2000 Most Influential Scholar in Internet of Things Honorable Mention in three consecutive years of 2020, 2021 and 2022 “in recognition of outstanding and vibrant contributions in the field of Internet of Things”: This annual recognition is given to 100 world’s top-cited research scholars in broad field of Internet of Things for their research impact over the past 10 years.

·       Best Paper Award at 2022 IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM).

·       IEEE Wireless Communications Letters Best Editor Award in 2022.

·       IEEE Communications Society Asia-Pacific Best Young Researcher Award in 2017 “for his contributions and leadership in physical-layer security research”: It is one of the most prestigious awards for researchers in the field of communications under the age of 35 in the Asia-Pacific region. Only one researcher receives this award each year.

·       IEEE Communications Society Asia-Pacific Outstanding Paper Award in 2016: It is a prestigious award given by IEEE Communications Society to honour papers of the highest impact from researchers in the Asia-Pacific region. Typically 2-3 papers receive this award each year.

·       “Best of Globecom” Paper at 2014 IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM).

·       Best Student Paper in the Information Forensics and Security Track at 2014 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP).

·       Finalist of Heinrich Hertz Award for Best Communications Letters in 2013.

·       Best Paper Award at 2011 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC).


Research Interests:

In the fields of Communication Theory and Wireless Networks, focusing on the wireless technologies underpinning beyond 5G networks and the Internet of Things. Examples of specific research topics include:

  • Physical layer security
  • Wireless network security
  • Ultra-reliable and low latency communications
  • Wireless-powered and backscatter communications
  • Semantics, effectiveness and goal oriented 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 communication theory, 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 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.

If you are interested in what a typical B. Eng. student project looks like in the electronic and communications major, please see these examples: honours projects (Example 1, Example 2, and Example 3) and small R&D projects (Example 1).

Why choosing ANU for PhD study: ANU is consistently ranked among the top 50 universities in the world. According to 2023 QS World University Rankings, ANU is ranked 1st in Australia and 30th 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 April. 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 typical duration of a full-time PhD study at ANU is 3 - 4 years. No coursework is required (which is common in Australia). Teaching assistant duties are optional and will be paid with extra salary. Apart from the scholarship, ANU provides generous funding to PhD students to support conference travels and overseas university visits.