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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Electrical Engineer Yanchao Zhang Receives NSF CAREER Award

Yanchao Zhang, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at NJIT, has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his research project entitled “Dependable Data Management in Heterogeneous Sensor Networks.”

The award provides $400,000 between 2009 and 2014 to support Zhang’s research and teaching activities.  The CAREER Award is one of the NSF's most prestigious awards honoring scholars who are likely to become academic leaders in the future.

“A storage-centric heterogeneous sensor network (SC-HSN) consists of a large number of resource-poor sensor nodes at the lower tier and relatively fewer powerful master nodes at an upper tier. Sensor nodes produce and submit data to nearby master nodes which then answer the queries from the network owner on behalf of sensor nodes. SC-HSNs are ideal data-sensing solutions in remote and extreme environments such as oceans, volcano, animal habitats, and battlefields,” he said.

In such adverse environments it is often impossible or prohibitive to maintain a stable always-on communication connection from the sensor network to the external network owner. Thus, in-network data storage is a must such that data continuously produced by sensor nodes are stored inside the network and await ad-hoc queries via an on-demand communication connection.

The outcome of this research will advance the state of the art in data management in wireless security networks and provide an integrated solution to reliable, secure, efficient data storage and retrieval in SC-HSNs. The results of this project will also provide great insights for dependable data management in other types of emerging wireless networks such as mobile ad hoc networks, wireless mesh networks, and vehicular networks.

Zhang is the director of the Wireless Networks and Security Laboratory at NJIT which works on research topics in network and distributed system security, wireless networking, and mobile computing. He is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, a feature editor of IEEE Wireless Communications, and a guest editor of IEEE Wireless Communications Special Issue on Security and Privacy in Emerging Wireless Networks. 

Zhang received his bachelor’s degree in computer science and technology from Nanjing University of Posts & Telecom, Nanjing; his master’s degree in computer science and technology from Beijing University of Posts & Telecom; and a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Florida.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.