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“ Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, intellectual giftedness, or skill.”


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

“ Artificial Intelligence Enabled Self-Organizing Wireless Networks; Internet of Things; Cross-disciplinary Applications of Big Data; Control and Data Plane Split Architectures; Aerial platforms (Satellite/HAPs/Drones…) based connectivity; System Level Simulators. ”

Dr Ali Imran has over 14 years of research and development experience in areas listed above in both academia and industry. He has been and is currently leading over a dozen multinational projects focused on above topics for which he has secured highly competitive research grants totalling over $4 million as lead principal investigator. He is founding director of AI4Networks Research Lab ( www.ai4networks.com ) at the University of Oklahoma, where he leads a team of over a dozen researchers. AI4Networks Lab is also home to world-class 5G and beyond testbed TurboRAN .

He has published over 100 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings and has several granted/pending patents on the above topics. His publications include some of the most influential papers in the field. For example, his seminal paper presenting the first complete framework for leveraging AI to achieve an end to end automation in emerging networks titled “Challenges in 5G: How to Empower SON with Big Data for Enabling 5G”, is credited for triggering the current paradigm shift towards AI-based network automation in 5G and beyond. This paper was selected to feature in TECH FOCUS on 5G in Sep 2015. His other highly cited paper “A Survey Of Self-Organization In Future Cellular Networks” is the first paper in the field to lay the foundations and provide a systematic taxonomy of network automation and SON and is considered as the most influential and cited reference on this topic. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, in 2019 Dr Imran has been awarded William H. Barkow Presidential Professorship at the University of Oklahoma.

The multimillion-dollar mega research projects led by him over the past decade on the topic of AI and SON have resulted in a game-changing start-up AISON ( www.aison.co ). AISON is based on the pioneering research of his team in AI and Big Data Empowered Automation of Mobile Networks. AISON’s core product leapNET offers unprecedented gains over existing SON solutions while solving many key issues for network operators that current SON and classic machine learning paradigm fails to solve.

Before joining OU in Jan 2014, for three years he has worked as a Research Scientist at Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC), Doha, Qatar. QMIC is a national innovation centre embodying a unique initiative by the state of Qatar to carry out multidisciplinary applied research in the field of data science for applications in mobile networks. In this position, Dr Imran led the development of a wide range of innovative solutions in the domain of automated networked systems while coordinating a multidisciplinary team consisting of data scientists, software developers and research assistants and post-doctoral fellows.

Prior to joining QMIC, he has worked for five years as a research fellow on mobile networks automation and optimization at the Institute of Communications Systems (ICS), at the University of Surrey, UK. ICS is Europe’s largest and most reputed research centre in the field of cellular networks. In that position, Dr Imran has contributed to a number of pan-European and international research projects focused on automation of mobile networks. In these projects, he worked in collaboration with key industrial players such as NEC Europe Ltd. (UK), Telefónica (Spain), DOCOMO (Germany), Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (Poland), Qualcomm (Germany), TTI (Spain), mimoOn (Germany), CTTC (Spain), CEA– LETI (France) and Surrey Space Center. In two years preceding joining ICS at the University of Surrey, UK, he has worked as RF data analyst and optimization engineer.

He is an Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy (AFHEA), UK; president of ComSoc Tulsa Chapter; Member of Advisory Board for Special Technical Community on Big Data at IEEE Computer Society; board member of ITERA, and Associate Editor of IEEE Access special section on heterogeneous networks for 5G.

He has also designed and taught several extensive postgraduate courses, given tutorials at numerous international conferences on above-listed topics. He has also served as a keynote speaker on many international industrial fora on these topics. Dr Imran’s research tackles real-world problems and he is routinely invited to serve as a consultant to several major players in the field such as Google, Huawei, AT&T, T-Mobile, Ericson, Fujitsu, Vodafone, Telefonica and Orange.

He is a Member of Advisory Board for Special Technical Community on Big Data at IEEE Computer Society; an Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy (AFHEA), UK; President of ComSoc Tulsa Chapter; board member of ITERA, Associate Editor of IEEE Access. Dr Imran’s team’s research has been recognized by numerous awards and honours that include William H. Barkow Presidential Professorship Award 2018, Dissertation Excellence Award, 2018, first prize in IEEE International Competition for Best AI-based Green ICT Solution, 2017, Paris, France; OU VPR Award for Outstanding International Impact 2017, Norman, OK; and most attended Tutorial Presentation PIMRC 2017, Montreal, Canada; Best Graduate Thesis Award at OU, 2016, Best Research Presentation Award at OU 2016 and 2015; and Best Paper Award IEEE CAMAD 2013.

GRA,Postdoc and Visiting Positions at AI4Networks Lab

At AI4Networks Lab were are already looking for top talent. Visit www.ai4networks.com for current opportunities and how to apply.


E. 41st Street, Building 4, Room 4209, Tulsa, OK 74135, USA; Ph: +1-(918)-660-3348; Email: ali.imran at ou.edu

Opportunities for Summer Internships in UK

For details visit IRES US-UK project

AI4Networks Lab Website


ASSH Project link


Internships for High School Students at AI4Networks Lab


EDEN Project Link


QSON Project Link


“Every expert began as an amateur.”


“The only skill that cannot be perfected is perfection itself.”

Systems and Standards

Self Organzing Networks
Mobile cellular and wireless system concepts and architecture
5G enabling techniques
Satellite/HAPs/LAPs/drones based wireless network deployments

Analytical and Technical

Communication Theory
Stochastics and advance probability
Mathematical modelling and optimization Theory
Machine Learning
Data Analytics




Teamworking and Leadership
Project Management
Teaching and Assessment

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”


"Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know"


Dr Imran's work has been recognized by numerous awards and honours. For complete list awards and honours see news section at our lab page( www.ai4networks.com ) .

William H. Barkov Presidential Professorship, University of Oklahoma, 2019

Vice President Research Award for Outstanding International Impact, University of Oklahoma, 2018

IEEE Award for Best Green ICT Solution, Paris, France. The competitors included teams from over 30 countries. , 2017

Best Paper Award, IEEE CAMAD, Germany, 2013,

PhD Scholarship –University of Surrey, UK, 2008
• value over £75000

HEC Scholarship – Government of Pakistan, 2006
• value over £ 20000

BISE National Merit Scholarship, Pakistan, 2003
• Country-wide competitive merit scholarship.

First Prize in All-Pakistan Sci-Tech Competition, 2002

Gold Medal –SA Degree College, BWP, Pakistan, 2001

Gold Medal –SA High School, BWP, Pakistan,1999

PhD in Elect. Engineering- Oct 2007– NOV-2010
Center for Communication Systems Research, (CCSR) University of Surrey, UK

Thesis Title: "Self Organisation in Future Cellular Networks".
Thesis research contributed to several EU ICT framework projects.

Associate Fellowship of Higher Education Academy, UK - Jan 2010 – Sep 2010
Higher Education Academy, UK

• An accredited nine month training course for academic research and teaching career.
• Training in pedagogical techniques specialised for higher education sector.
• Training in assessment, evaluation, feedback, supervision, lesson planning, small and large group dynamics management, and diversity management.
• Training in pedagogical techniques specialised for higher education sector..

MSc Satellite Communication Engineering- Oct 2006–Sep 2007
University of Surrey, UK

• With Distinction
• Mobile Communication as second major

BSc Electrical Engineering- Jan 2002–Nov 2005
University of Engineering & Technology Lahore, Pakistan

• With major in communications and side major in power and software engineering

FSc, (Equivalent to A Levels)- May 1999 – Aug 2001
Govt. SA College, APE, Bahawal Pur, Pakistan

• Majors: Maths, Physics, Chemistry.
• Average in majors 95%

Matriculation (Equivalent to GCSE)- Apr1997 – May 1999
Govt. SA Highschool, APE, Bahawal Pur, Pakistan

• Majors: Maths, Physics, Chemistry. • Average in majors 96%

“To acquire knowledge one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must experience”


"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship."
Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, USA - Since Jan-2014
Telecommunication Engineering Program

Research: Lead PI on the $1.045 million international research project QSON (www.qson.org)
Teaching: Telecommunication Technologies , Fall 2014

Research Scientist, QMIC, Qatar - Oct 2011 - Jan 2014

• Leading and conducting multidisciplinary research activity spread across telecom, software, sensing domain focused at enabling smart living.
• Generating funding by identifying the needs of regional commercial and government sectors and proposing applied research plans and ideas to develop novel solutions for them.
• Establishing international collaborations with key industrial and academic partners leading towards common mutual interest.
• Providing advisory and consultancy service.
• Giving tutorials and lectures at national as well as international forums public knowledge dissemination.

Researcher, CCSR, University of Surrey, UK - (Jan 2008- -Oct-2011)

• Mainly worked on European Commission, EPSRC-UK and internationally funded research projects to research performance enhancement techniques in wireless systems. Derived analytical solutions of optimization problems. Developed innovative concepts and algorithms and evaluated them by implementing detailed system level simulation models.
• Disseminated research outcomes in variety of other forms different than publications, namely deliverables, technical reports, presentations, international consortium meetings and teleconferences with international project partners and summer and winter training schools.
• Supervised and facilitated MSc and PhD students.
• Delivered short courses on latest developments in the field. Designed and delivered crash courses on number of basic analytical research tools to MSc and first year PhD and students.

Consultant on Base Station Sub-System, MES, Pakistan - Mar 2006 - Dec 2006

• Provided technical consultancy to design teams and to teams working in the field on RF planning & optimization of base station subsystem.

Cellular System Transmission Engineer, MES, Pakistan - Jul 2005 - March 2006

• Worked as team leader as well as member in a team of 20 professionals to meet tight deadlines of new base station site deployments as well as their troubleshooting.
• Installed & troubleshot microwave links, including configuration of IDU & ODU using PNMT, Paso link, Hyper software tools.
• Executed Site Surveys & LOS clearance tests, prepared link profiles on Pathloss Software, designed link budget & frequency plan for microwave transmission links.

Demonstrator in HUAWEI-UET Cellular System LAB, Lahore - Nov 2004 - Jul 2005

Telecom IT Centre (Part time) • Did set up, configuration and troubleshooting GSM lab equipment
• Gave tutorials to junior undergrad students on cellular system architecture and hardware

Private Tutor for Elect. Engineering Students (Part time) - Jan 2004 - Jul 2005

• Tutored over 20 student in group of 1-4
• Tutored students from, Iran, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Somalia
• Tutored in 20 different subjects in Elect. Engineering discipline.

Coaching Academy Tutor for 12 Grade Students (Part time) - Mar 2002 – Dec 2004

• Taught Math and Physics to groups of up to 85 students

Continued Education and Training

Training course on Graduate Program Design and Management, Mar, 2013
By Dr. William Wiener, Dean of the graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and hosted by Qatar University at Qatar.

‘Preparing to Teach’ professional training course, 2009-2010
A 9 month course leading towards the award of Associate Fellowship of Higher Education Academy

Multiple Training courses on Soft Skills, 2006-2010
Attended over a dozen trainings courses by university of surrey delivered by high profile subject specialist. The key soft skills polished through these trainings are: o Leadership and Research Management
o Increasing the impact of research
o Creativity and problems solving in research
o Academic writing and getting published
o Research project and time management
o Communication and interpersonal skills
o Assertive and negotiation skills

Training on GSM Architecture and Air interface, Summer-2003
The training covered GSM overall architectural concepts & hardware Installation. It was conducted at HUTIC (HUAWEI UET Telecom IT Centre, Lahore, Pakistan) by subject specialists from HUAWEI, China.

“The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact”


Few excerpts from my published work (see references therein, for details)

Distributed Self Optimization of Antenna Tilts

“Self Organization of Tilts in Relay Enhanced Networks: A Distributed Solution,” IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, vol.13, no.2, pp.764,779, February 2014,

See more

A Taxonomy for SON Tools

“A Survey of Self Organisation in Future Cellular Networks,” Communications Surveys & Tutorials, IEEE , vol.15, no.1, pp.336,361, First Quarter 2013

See more

C-RAN vs Hetnets

Self Organizing Cloud cells: A Resource Efficient Network Densification Strategy”, Transactions on Emerging Telecommunication Technologies, April, 2014, doi: 10.1002/ett.2824

See more

Conflict Avoidance in SON

A Framework for Classification of Self-Organising Network Conflicts and Coordination Algorithms‘, In Proceedings of IEEE Personal Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC’ 2013), pp. 2913 –2918, 2013

See more

Multi Objective Optimization of Cellular Systems

A novel Self Organizing framework for adaptive Frequency Reuse and Deployment in future cellular networks,” 21st Radio Communications (PIMRC), IEEE; vol., no., pp.2354-2359, 26-30 Sept. 2010

See more

High Altitude Platform based Cellular deployment

Performance & capacity of mobile broadband WiMAX (802.16e) deployed via High Altitude Platform,” 15th International European Wireless Conference; vol.,no., pp.319-323, 17-20 May 2009

See more


"It is not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, that the lover of knowledge is reluctant to step into its waters"
For an almost up to date list of my publications see <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=NA-g40QAAAAJ">Google Scholar Profile</a>

For an almost up to date list of my publications see Google Scholar Profile

I no longer frequently maintain the publication list below, as Google Scholar does an acceptable job for me. For a more up to date list of publications you can see my Google Scholar Profile Patent: Ali Imran, Adnan Abu-Dayya, “METHODS OF OPTIMIZING TILT ANGLE...

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“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe”


"More greatness comes from what you create, less comes from what you imitate"
ASSH: Project Website - Oct-2016-Sep-2019
Designing Agile and Scalable Self-Healing Functionalities for Ultra Dense Future Cellular Networks

Status: To be kicked off
My Role: Principle Investigator
Funding: $ 505,812 USD, National Science Foundation, USA
Project Collaborators:
AT&T Labs
5GIC, University of Surrey, UK
University of Glasgow

EDEN: Project Website - Jun-2016-Jun-2019
IRES US-UK: Enabling Ultra-Dense Future Cellular Networks (5G)

Status: In progress
Role: Principle Investigator
Funding: $249,394 USD, National Science Foundation, USA
Project Collaborators:
US Cellular
5GIC University of Surrey, UK
University of Glasgow

BSONLab: www.bsonlab.com - Jan-2014-To date
Big Data Empowered SON Research Center

Status: In Progress
Role: Founder and Director
Funding: $200,400USD, The University of Oklahoma, USA.
Project Team/Collaborators:
10+ Post Graduate students
US Cellular
5GIC University of Surrey, UK
University of Glasgow
National Instrument
University of Leads…

QSON (www.QSON.org) - Feb-2013-Jan-2016
QSON: Quality of Service Aware Energy Efficient Self Organizing Future Cellular Networks

Status: Completed
Role: Lead Principle Investigator
Funding: 1.045 m USD, Qatar National Research Fund (Award ratio ~20-%)
Project Collaborators:
5G Innovation Center, University of Surrey, UK
University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, OK, USA
Qatar Mobility Innovations Center, Qatar
Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC), Spain
Leads University, UK (Adhoc Collaborator)

HONP (http://www.cocodi.org/honp/index.html) - Apr 2012–Mar 2015
HONP: Holistic Network Planning, Optimization, and Management for 4G Wireless Systems

Status: In progress
Role: Research Scientist, at QMIC (Apr 2012-Dec-2013)
Funding: 1.048 million USD , Qatar National Research Fund
Project Collaborators:
King Abdullah Univ. of Science & Tech (KAUST), KSA
University of Texas, at Austin, USA (Consultant)
American University of -Lebanon

BeFemto (http://www.ict-befemto.eu/ ) - 2001 - 2004
Jan 2010–Jun 2012

Status: Completed
Role: Work package leader at CCSR, Surrey, UK
Funding: 10.2 million Euro, ICT FP7 EC and Industry
Project Collaborators:
NEC Europe Ltd.
Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa-Poland
CEA– LETI-France
University of Oulu-Finland

Self Organising Networks ( http://www.iu-atc.com ) - Sept 2008–Dec 2009

Status: Completed
Role: Research Fellow at CCSR, Surrey
Funding: 7.8 million USD, EPSRC, UK and Indian Research Council
Project Collaborators:
University of Surrey, UK
Indian institute of Technology, India

DYVINE (http://www.dyvine.org ) - Jan 2008–Sep 2008

Status: Completed
Role: Research Fellow at CCSR, Surrey
Funding: 4.2 million Euro, ICT-FP6
Project Collaborators:
EADS DS SA (France)
CRC - Germany
REALVIZ (France)
MARTEC (France). CEA (France)
EPFL (Switzerland), UPV (Spain)
University of Leuven - KUL (Belgium)


Alexander Tyrrell (DOCOMO, Europe), Atta-ul-Quddus, (University of Surrey, UK), Awais Amin (Qualcomm, Europe), Adnan-Abu-Dayya (QMIC, Qatar), Beatriz Solana (Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo , Spain), Christian Sgraja (Qualcomm, Europe), Cedric Abgrall (CEA-LETI, France), Carmen Palacios (TTI Spain), Desmond McLernon (University of Leeds, UK), E. Pateromichelakis (University of Surrey, UK), Elias Yacoub (QMIC, Qatar), Emilio Calvanese Strinati (CEA-LETI, France), Harri Pennanen (University of Oulu, Finland), Jochen Giese(Qualcomm, Europe), Karl Aberer (EPFL, Switzerland ) Lorenza Guipponi (CTTC Spain), Mark C. Reed (ANU, Australia) Muhammad Imran (University of Surrey, UK), Mehdi Benis (University of Oulu, Finland), Mehrdad Shariat (University of Surrey, UK), Mariano Lopez (TTI Spain), Manuel Palmowski (mimoOn, Germany), Mounir Ghogho (University of Leeds, UK) Mischa Dohler (Kings College London), Nazir Mohsin (University of Uulu, Finland), Nicola Baldo (CTTC Spain), Raquel Garcia-Perez(Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo , Spain), Serkan Uygungelen (DOCOMO, Europe), Des Salil Kanehri (UNSW, Australia), Syed A. R. Zaidi (University of Leeds, UK), Sylvie Mayrargue (CEA-LETI, France), Youngwook Ko, (Queens University, Belfast, UK), Zaher Dawy (AUB, Lebanon), Hazem Refai (OU, USA)

“I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead - ahead of myself as well as you.”


"Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach."
Telecommunication Technologies - Fall 2014, University Oklahoma, Tulsa, USA

It is a postgraduate course that I am teaching at university of Oklahoma-Tulsa. This course provides extensive understanding of state of the art wireless and optical technologies, and then delves into cellular principles with LTE in focus including terrestrial/HAP/satellite deployments.

Emerging Topics in LTE-Advanced and 5G - Spring 2015, University Oklahoma, Tulsa, USA

This course is designed to train graduate students for their research to advance the state of the art in wireless cellular system. This course provides an overview of selected topics that are currently being researched globally for developing LTE-A and 5G cellular network technologies. These topics include: self-organizing networks, applications of big data analytics for optimizing cellular networks, network densification, split of control and data plane, network virtualization, heavy and localized cache, infrastructure sharing, concurrent operation at multiple frequency bands, simultaneous use of different MAC and PHY layers, and flexible spectrum allocation, mmWave Small cell, and Massive MIMOs. To achieve its objectives the course is divided into three parts: 1) Overview of LTE-A & 5G Landscape 2) Self Organizing Networks (SON) 3) Big Data Empowered SON for enabling 5G.

SON for Energy and Spectral Efficiency: Research Challenges in the Key Enabler of 5G and Beyond - May, 2014, Barcelona

A half day short course which was delivered at the 20th European Wireless Conference, May, 14-16, 2014, Barcelona, Spain. //www.ew2014.org/tutorials-menu.html.

Self-Organization: An enabler for Energy Efficient operation of 5G Cellular Systems and Beyond - April-2014, Istanbul

A half day short course which was delivered at IEEE WCNC-2014, 6-9-April, 2014, Istanbul, Turkey http://wcnc2014.ieee-wcnc.org/program/tutorials#tutorial5.

Self-Organizing Networks (SON): From Conception to Realisation - Jun-2013, Budapest

This half day short course was delivered at IEEE ICC-2013, 8-12-Jun, 2013, Budapest, Hungary http://icc2013.ieee-icc.org/programTutorials.html#T7

SON as an inevitable paradigm for future cellular networks - April-2013, London

This half day invited seminar was delivered at Queens Marry University, 16 April, 2013, London UK

A Unified View on Self-Organizing Techniques for Heterogeneous Networks - Feb-2012, Barcelona

This invited half day short course was give at joint BeFemto and Freedom Femto cell Winter training school, 09-Feb-12, Barcelona, Spain. http://femtoschool.cttc.es/


Gave a plenary talk in a panel on “5G network infrastructure challenges” held at the 20th European Wireless Conference, May, 14-16, 2014, Barcelona, Spain. The Abstract and details of panel can be found at http://www.ew2014.org/panel-session.html. The panel consisted of following speakers:
Ali Imran (University of Oklahoma)
Javier Benítez (Colt Technology Services, Spain)
Xavier Costa Pérez (NEC Laboratories Europe)
Hans-Peter Mayer (Alcatel-Lucent)
Josep Mangues-Bafalluy (CTTC)

The panel was attended by over 150 attendees.

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