Bio & Interests

Short Biography

I was born in 1989 in the Lebanese capital, Beirut (Arabic: بيروت‎ Bayrūt), the midpoint of Lebanon’s gorgeous Mediterranean coast. Here’s my quick career highlights:

  • September 27, 2007: Started undergraduate education at the American University of Beirut (AUB). I majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • Summer 2010: Interned at  Laboratory of Information and Decision Systems (LIDS),  MIT. I worked on a  traffic testbed that would simulate people’s behavior when a large disruption hits a transportation network.
  • June 25, 2011: Graduated with a B.E. in ECE from AUB with two minors—one in Mathematics and another in Engineering Management.
  • Summer 2011: Started drinking coffee.
  • August 2011—August 2015: At Purdue, I was a teaching and research assistant with the Schools of ECE and Mechanical Engineering. I worked mainly on the security, optimization and control of uncertain cyber-physical systems, and applications in energy systems.
  • Summer 2014: Went for a summer internship at the University of Toronto and worked on the problem of dynamic integration of steady and transient state operations in power networks.
  • Spring 2015: Interned at Argonne National Lab as a visiting researcher with the Center for Energy, Environmental, & Economic Systems Analysis.  I worked with on cyber-security and control-related topics in smart-grids.
  • August 2015: Joined the ECE department at the University of Texas at San Antonio as an assistant professor.
  • August 2016: Started investigating problems in water and traffic systems; continued my research on energy systems.
  • Now: Still drinking coffee.

General Interests

My long term career goal is: (a) understanding how complex, nonlinear dynamic networks—present in infrastructure and urban systems—behave and misbehave, (b) proposing algorithms to manage these systems, and (c) streamlining this research by making it accessible to a wide audience through contemporary tools and approaches. Specifically, I am interested in solving complex engineering problems and developing tools, protocols, and control algorithms that would ultimately empower policy makers and system operators to make better decisions about their systems, while enabling more resilient and tolerant systems against disturbances and unwanted attacks. I have applied the techniques I developed to drinking water systems, sustainable energy networks, more recently to transportation networks. 

Specific Research Interests

I am specifically interested in the following interrelated research areas:

  • Uncertain Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) and Nonlinear Dynamic Network Theory for Urban Systems
  • Water Distribution Networks Control and Optimization
  • Sustainable Energy and Water Systems Operations, Stability, and Control
  • Estimation and Control in Traffic Networks with Connected Vehicles
  • Buildings-to-Grid Integration
  • Contamination Mitigation and Water Quality Control in Drink Water Networks
  • Cyber-Security of CPS, Smart Grids, Water Distribution Networks

Some of the above interests are fairly recent, some date to couple years ago, and some date back to my early PhD studies. The word ‘interest’ has an expiry date, too. 🙂