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Telecommunications grad wins Thailand Research Fund award


AIT graduate Dr. Areeyata Sripetch received the second-level award from the Thailand Research Fund (TRF) for her doctoral thesis “Design of DWDM Networks for Power Utilities”. The awards are intended for Thai nationals who graduate with doctoral degrees. Dr. Areeyata Sripetch recently graduated from the telecommunications field of study at the School of Engineering and Technology. 

Five theses received top-level TRF awards this year, while 17 were awarded second-level awards. Dr. Areeyata’s thesis was one of two to earn second-level award distinction in the category of Engineering and Industrial Research. One thesis was awarded the top-level award. Dr. Areeyata was an advisee of  Dr. Poompat Saengudomlert, who is an Assistant Professor of telecommunications.

Her award-winning doctoral thesis considers a power utility company that tried to implement a communication backbone network whose links are optical fibers inside overhead ground wires on a power grid. Since power grid networks can often reach rural areas where other types of infrastructure networks cannot, implementing communication networks on top of power grids can serve as an effective means to reduce the digital divide between urban and rural environments.

The thesis provided a systematic approach (based on the optimization framework) to find a suitable communication backbone network topology that contained a set of nodes located at a subset of power substations. The result topology is computed such that each source-destination node pair is still connected, even though there is a link or node failure in the network.  

In addition to topology design, the thesis provided a solution-approach to computing routes and assigning  wavelengths for traffic connections, taking into account the presence of optical amplifiers and physical layer constraints such as end-to-end signal-to-noise ratios. 

The design-approach proposed in this thesis was applied to a realistic scenario based on the power grid topology of the Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT).