PHD student wins prize money for video about his research

University of Wollongong postgraduate student Jiahong Zhao, and his team, placed runner up and won $2500 in the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s 5-Minute Video Clip Contest.

The team worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic to produce a video for the contest, run by the world’s premier society for signal processing for scientists and professionals.

Jiahong, from the School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering, used his research on Speech and Audio Signal Processing Utilising Co-prime Microphone Arrays as the focus for his video because it “exactly matched the theme of the competition – Let There Be a Beam!”.

“My research aims to make innovative contributions to improve the performance of acoustic signal processing applications such as direction of arrival (DOA) estimation, source separation and speech enhancement.  by using the novel geometry of co-prime microphone arrays and machine learning algorithms,” said Jiahong.

PHD student Jiahong Zhao

“I was actually really surprised to receive more than 2,000 votes worldwide, along with valuable feedback from researchers around the world.”


Jiahong’s team included undergraduate UOW students still in China, study remotely due to COVID-19. The team was supervised by Professor Christian Ritz and Professor Jiangtao Xi.

“It was a great experience to collaborate with this amazing team and condense my research into a five-minute video presentation,” he said.

Winning team: Hualin Ren (left), Zishan Gao, Jiahong Zhao

“Hopefully, my experience can provide an idea of what you can achieve as a team working from home in isolation. I hope it help motivate others to participate in similar competitions.”

What is Signal Processing?

Signal processing is the enabling technology for the generation, transformation, and interpretation of information. This is a subfield of electrical engineering focusing on analysing, modifying, and synthesising signals such as sound, images, and scientific measurements.

It’s a growing field and very dynamic with broad applications, such as smart phones, home assistants, robots, global health solutions, teleconferencing systems, Wi-Fi, 5G, autonomous vehicles, and multimedia forensics.