Xiangyun (Sean) Zhou

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



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

·       Check out our recent 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 was named the Best Young Researcher of the Asia-Pacific Region in 2017 by IEEE Communications Society Asia-Pacific Board. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.


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. He was a recipient of the Best Paper Award at the IEEE ICC’11 and IEEE ComSoc Asia-Pacific Outstanding Paper Award in 2016.



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. 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 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).

For students looking for BE honours projects: unfortunately I’m not able to take up more BE honours students in Semester 2, 2021.

Why choosing ANU for PhD study: ANU is consistently ranked among the top 50 universities in the world. According to 2022 QS World University Rankings, ANU is ranked 1st in Australia and 27th 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 scholarship is at the rate of approximately AUD$28,000 per annum tax free. 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.