’Diversity connects’: students drive 5G research forward

The students Carlos Tablante and Ricardo Quiceno work as research assistants at
The students Carlos Tablante and Ricardo Quiceno work as research assistants at the Group of Andreas Mitschele-Thiel.

Engineering for a Sustainable Future" - with this goal in mind, people from almost 100 nations study and work together at TU Ilmenau. Professional, but also human encounters, successful cooperation and peaceful coexistence characterize living together on the university campus. In our new series "Diversity connects", we introduce students and employees from different cultures who have arrived in Ilmenau and are involved at the university in a variety of ways - this time with Ricardo Quiceno from Colombia and Carlos Tablante from Venezuela. They are researching 5G networks and their potential applications as research assistants at the Group for Integrated Communication Systems in the Department of Computer Science and Automation at TU Ilmenau. In UNIonline, they explain why this works so well in an international research environment.

Faster internet despite the growing number of networked devices: The 5G network, the upcoming mobile communications standard in Germany, will not only increase the speed of data transmission. It also aims to meet the growing demands on the reliability of the network.

Industry and science are working closely together to expand the 5G network nationwide and research its application potential - including TU Ilmenau. At the Group for Integrated Communication Systems , not only research assistants and doctoral students, but also students such as Ricardo Quiceno from Colombia and Carlos Tablanteaus from Venezuela are driving the development of the 5G network in Germany. As research assistants, the students of the Masters Research in Computer & Systems Engineering ( RCSE ) are involved in research projects with practice partners who are researching 5G for various domains.

In the 5G-RACOM project, short for "5G for Resilient and Green RAil COMmunications", Ricardo is developing algorithms for rail transportation. Together with the project partners, he wants to control trains using 5G in the future. The use of this technology is intended to make even more efficient use of the existing rail infrastructure and increase train throughput on routes. Carlos is working on what is known as network slicing in 5G. This technology makes it possible to build multiple networks on a shared physical infrastructure. Each "slice" or part of the network is assigned to a user. In such an intelligent network (smart grid), the network is not only optimally utilized. Depending on demand, it is also possible to prioritize who is supplied first.

The students and friends work on their projects every week in the laboratories at TU Ilmenau. They are supported not only by the head of the Group for Integrated Communication Systems, Prof. Andreas Mitschele-Thiel, but also by colleagues from Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The Group is currently characterized in particular by its international research environment, in which Carlos and Ricardo feel at home. Ricardo, who worked in the telecommunications industry for seven years before completing his Master’s degree, wants to use his knowledge to develop technological solutions for the challenges of the future. He and Carlos are using their student work in research projects to specialize in 5G networks during their studies. Ricardo considers the research conditions at TU Ilmenau to be ideal:

We have numerous projects to choose from, which give us the chance to further our professional training and pursue our focus in computer science. The scientists are open to our ideas and offer us projects that are tailored to our interests.

Carlos also enjoys spending time in the lab. In addition to programming, his main tasks include designing systems. By working on projects, he has managed to expand his knowledge in a very short space of time:

By working on the research projects, we are not only familiarizing ourselves with a specialist area, but also gaining a better understanding of 5G technology in a broader context. We can also transfer our methodological knowledge to other subject areas and quickly familiarize ourselves with new projects.

Bringing together the best minds from different countries - that is important to Prof. Andreas Mitschele-Thiel. Research in his field benefits from the experience of scientists from different countries:

We want to have the best young scientists in our field and not limit ourselves to one country. Many of my colleagues have already worked at renowned companies all’over the world and this is very valuable for our research.

Almost 100 nations on campus

Carlos and Ricardo have also arrived in Ilmenau away from the labs. They appreciate the opportunity to come into contact with people from almost 100 nations on campus, make friends and get involved in the university’s clubs. Ricardo is currently helping out at the bar in the BD student club and getting to know lots of new students. Carlos enjoys playing basketball and has joined the basketball team at the University Sports Center at TU Ilmenau, which is made up of students from different countries. For him, the internationality on the TU Ilmenau campus is one reason why he likes his studies in Ilmenau:

When I look around the university environment, it’s something special that so many nations study and work together here. I really appreciate the fact that we can exchange ideas and learn from each other.