I am currently a PhD Candidate at Northeastern University, working with Professor Kaushik Chowdhury. I have spent the past five years designing and building intra-body communication systems. I believe in a future where health and wellness IoT devices will become part of our every day lives and I am committed to researching novel, safe, secure and energy efficient communication systems for wearables and implants. In 2019, during a 6-month internship with Qualcomm, I worked on implementing non-RF methods for audio wearables. I have developed communication systems and sensor networks with Galvanic Coupling, Magnetic Resonance Coupling and Capacitive Coupling, as well as models of the human body as a communication channel for all three methods.
PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Northeastern University, Boston MA
Dissertation Title: "Coupling Methods for Wireless Intra-body Communication and Sensing"
MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Northeastern University, Boston MA
Concentration in Computer Networks and Systems
BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester MA
My research on galvanic coupling started with the characterization of an arm-wrist-palm galvanic channel model for a biometric authentication application. I also led the design and implementation of a MISO beamforming system utilizing intra-body galvanic coupling signals to transmit and receive sensor data. The purpose was to provide an efficient implant to relay communication system for intra-body networks from the muscle to the skin layer of human tissue.
Magnetic Resonance Coupling
I proposed magnetic resonance coupling as a low-power communication methods between implanted nodes. I continued by designing a magnetic resonance network of implants and a wearable transceiver to achieve safe, low-power communication throughout the human body for remote health monitoring.
Capacitive Coupling and Sensing
In order to extend sensed data communication outside the body, to IoT nodes in the user's environment, we research the radiative properties of the entire human body. I led the design of a sensing and communication system that induces a human antenna field to connect with other IoT devices in the near field- within 2.5 meters. This is the final piece for truly connected health monitoring that completes the full cycle of data flow, from implanted to wearable devices and finally from the body network to the computational cloud for the next generation of IoT-enabled healthcare.
Awards & Fellowships
I led a team that successfully applied to the NSF I-corps program for commercializing research products. We received $50,000+ to fund customer discovery on a Smart Mask sensor network system, which measures proximity, hand gestures, correct mask placement and vitals and identifies patterns of safe behavior with regards to airborne disease spread.
I received the N2Women Fellowship award to attend and organize an event at INFOCOM 2019 in Paris, France. I had the honor to organize and monitor a panel of distinguished women in computer engineering and discuss the experience of progressing professionally in the industry and in academia as a minority.
NSF Student Travel Grant
I received the NSF Student Travel Grant Award to attend NANOCOM 2018 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
S Banou, K Li, KR Chowdhury, "MAGIC: Magnetic resonant coupling for intra-body communication", IEEE INFOCOM 2020
WJ Tomlinson, S Banou, S Blechinger-Slocum, C Yu, KR Chowdhury, "Body-guided galvanic coupling communication for secure biometric data", IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, 2019
WJ Tomlinson, S Banou, C Yu, M Nogueira, KR Chowdhury, "Secure on-skin biometric signal transmission using galvanic coupling", IEEE INFOCOM 2019
S Banou, M. Swaminathan, G Reus Muns, D Duong, F Kulsoom, P Savazzi, A Vizziello and KR Chowdhury, “Beamforming Galvanic Coupling Signals for IoMT Implant-to-Relay Communication”, IEEE Sensors Journal, 2018
WJ Tomlinson, S Banou, C Yu, M Stojanovic, KR Chowdhury, "Comprehensive survey of galvanic coupling and alternative intra-body communication technologies", IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, 2018