Feature Stories 2017: Shaad Mahmud: PhD in Computer & Electrical Engineering

Shaad Mahmud: PhD in Computer & Electrical Engineering
Feature Stories 2017: Shaad Mahmud: PhD in Computer & Electrical Engineering
Shaad Mahmud: PhD in Computer & Electrical Engineering

Shaad Mahmud PhD '18 won first place at the Sigma Xi research exhibition for his research on a portable NICU for premature infants.

Year: Class of 2018
Degree program: PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Previous degrees: MS '16
Hometown: New Bedford, MA; originally from Bangladesh
Awards: 1st place, Sigma XI (2016); 3rd place, 3 Minute Thesis Competition (2016); 1st place Global Startup battle (2015)
Research: Portable neonatal intensive care unit for premature infants, "Smart Case" with biomedical sensors and an emergency button for smartphones
Internship: Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Next steps: Growing the 'Smartcase' company

Cutting edge of communication systems

I have always found being at the forefront of a field of knowledge very exciting. To be in touch with and to be a part of the cutting edge of electronics and communication research is something I have always yearned for.

My interest started developing in the early stages of my life, when I studied the invention of computers, particularly the transformation from the large computer to small laptops. The combination of math and engineering in these courses not only reinforced my interest in electrical engineering and signals, but also encouraged me to think about a possible research-oriented education at the graduate level in communication systems and signals.

Portable NICU research

My research with Prof. Honggang Wang is focused on non-contact sensors that measure premature infants' vital information. Babies born before the 37th week of gestation are considered premature and are sometimes referred to as “preemies.” 

We went to UMass Medical to begin our research. That was the first time in my life I saw a preemie. They are palm-sized babies with undeveloped and very sensitive skin. Preemies are actually wrapped up with all the wires and patches for continuous monitoring, which fueled our ideas.

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is the newborns’ protective environment for a limited period. The amount of sophisticated equipment in the NICU can be overwhelming and sometimes scary.

Research on intelligent phone case

My other research focus is "Smart Case," an intelligent case for smartphones with biomedical sensors and an emergency button. The case can be used for monitoring health and other personal emergency alert.

The technical components of sensor and communication parts in the project are supported by a National Science Foundation grant titled "Design of wearable biosensor system with wireless network for the remote detection of life threatening events and neonates."

I've already formed a company for Smart Case, and I want to move forward with it after I am done with my PhD.

Shaad Mahmud presenting at the 22nd Annual Sigma Xi Research Expo.

Grateful for faculty support

Dr. Wang is an incredible professor and an even better mentor. He is always willing to go above and beyond for students, whether or not he is their advisor. He guided me, but he also advocated for me. He saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. I am grateful for his unyielding support and approachable manner.

More information

College of Engineering: Electrical and Computer Engineering

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