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Dr. Lian Zhao

Lian Zhao
BE, MASc, PhD, PEng
416-979-5000 ext. 6101

Areas of Academic Interest

Wireless communications

Resource management

Mobile edge caching, computing and communications

Vehicular ad hoc networks

Service provisioning for heterogeneous edge networks

Machine learning-based resource orchestration

Internet of Things


Year University Degree
2002 University of Waterloo PhD
1993 Wuhan University MASc
1990 Civil Aviation University of China BE

Courses Taught

Course Code Course
ELE 635 Communication Systems
ELE 745 Digital Communication Systems
EE 8103 Random Processes


Wireless communication expert Lian Zhao’s CV speaks for itself. Her achievements – journal and conference papers, awards, thousands of citations and multiple editorships at top-tier publications – are too many to list. And yet, when she speaks about her early beginnings as a professor, her humility all but dominates the conversation. It’s hard to imagine, but at one time, Zhao, who took a brief pause in her academic career for five years in the civil aviation industry, wondered if she measured up to her PhD peers. In fact, if it weren’t for the dot-com burst of the early 2000s, steering Zhao away from industry, along with the encouragement of her PhD supervisor, Zhao may never have applied for the Ryerson faculty position she’s held since 2003.

Now with a solid research output under her belt, Zhao’s work on radio resource management and vehicular networks is paving the way for widespread implementation of autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things (IoT). For Zhao, advancing research is most fulfilling. “Everybody talks about 5G, IoT. My research is to explore these cutting-edge technologies. That makes people very excited. It makes me excited as well.”

Lian Zhao

“Editorships and graduate student supervision drive me to keep learning. I don’t isolate myself in my research but get to know other people’s work as well.”

  • Best Land Transportation Paper Award, IEEE Vehicular Technology Society, 2016
  • Best Paper Award, International Conference on Wireless Communications and Signal Processing, 2013
  • Best Student Paper Award, IEEE Chinacom, 2011
  • Top 15 Editor for Outstanding Contributions and Services to IEEE Transaction on Vehicular Technology, 2015
  • J. Gao, S. Zhang, L.Zhao, and X. Shen, “The design of dynamic probabilistic caching with time-varying content popularity”, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, early access, Jan., 2020.
  • J. Gao, L.Zhao, and X. Shen, “The study of dynamic caching via State Transition Field - the case of time-invariant popularity”, in IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, vol. 18, no. 12, pp. 5924-5937, Dec. 2019.
  • A. Sultana, L. Zhao, and X. Fernando, “Efficient resource allocation in device-to-device communication using cognitive radio technology”, IEEE Transaction on Vehicular Technology, vol. 66, No. 11, pp10024-10034, November, 2017.
  • K. A. Hafeez, L. Zhao, B. Ma, and J. W. Mark, “Performance analysis and enhancement of the DSRC for VANET's safety application”, IEEE Tran. on Vehicular Technology, vol. 62, No. 7, pp3069-3083, September, 2013
  • P. He, L. Zhao, S. Zhou and Z. Niu, “Water-filling: a geometric approach and its application to solve generalized radio resource allocation problems”,  IEEE Transaction on Wireless Communications, vol. 12,  No. 7, July, pp. 3637-3647, 2013.
  • Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE Communication Society
  • Editor, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
  • Editor, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
  • Editor, IEEE Internet of Things Journal
  • Guest Editor, IEEE Internet of Things Journal, special issue on “IoT for Smart Ocean”
  • General Chair, IEEE GreenCom 
  • Symposium Leading Co-Chair, IEEE Global Communications (Globecom) 2020, Wireless Communication Symposium
  • Symposium Co-Chair, IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) 2018, Wireless Communication Symposium
  • Workshop organizer (Program Co-Chair), “Networked Vehicles for Intelligent Transportation and Smart Grid (NetV)”, IEEE VTC2017-Fall
  • Panel Expert, Canada Foundation for Innovation, 2020 College-Industry Innovation Fund Competition
  • Panel Expert, NSERC Discovery Grant Evaluation Committee for Electrical and Computer Engineering