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Smida named ECE Director of Graduate Studies

Besma Smida

Associate Professor Besma Smida was named Director of Graduate Studies for the ECE department this fall.

In this role, Smida supervises the administration of graduate studies in the department, serves as the liaison among graduate students, faculty, the College of Engineering, and UIC’s Graduate School administration. She is also the point of contact for ECE’s 200 graduate students, including 87 masters’ and 113 doctoral students enrolled this Fall.

She will advocate for prospective and current graduate students to help them achieve academic success and thrive intellectually and professionally. Born in Tunisia in North Africa, Smida will leverage her experiences as a former international student to help international graduate students find a welcoming home at UIC. Additionally, Smida, who was previously listed by Insight Into Diversity Magazine as a recipient of the “100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award,” intends to continue her work in making electrical engineering an attractive field for everyone.

Smida is part of the Networks Information Communications and Engineering Systems Laboratory (NICEST), and her research focuses on wireless communication theory, full-duplex communication, integrated sensing and communication, radar, and backscatter modulation. Her research is currently supported by several grants, including an NSF CCF CIF award (co-PI) of $1,200,000, Continental Inc award of $170,000 (sole PI), and is co-PI on an $239,805 NSF supplemental grant to broaden the participation of women in computing.

She’s received multiple awards, including the Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Communication Society (2021-2023), the Best Paper Award for IEEE Global Communications Conference (2021), and the UIC College of Engineering Teaching Award (2018 and 2022). She received an NSF CAREER award in 2015.