STAFF REPORT IBD: Muhammad Aamir Cheema has received the 2012 Malcolm Chaikin Prize for Research Excellence in Engineering. This prestigious prize carries with it a medal and $10,000 and is given each year to the doctoral student in the Faculty of Engineering at University of New South Wales, Australia, for producing the best PhD thesis, in the broadest sense, within the calendar year.

His PhD thesis proposes state-of-the-art techniques for several important location-based queries that have many interesting applications such as finding the nearest facilities (ATMs, restaurants), navigation and location-based SMS advertisement.

During his PhD, Aamir published 17 research papers 12 of which had appeared in top-tier conferences and journals. His PhD thesis titled “Efficiently Processing Proximity Based Spatial Queries” is a collection of eight of his best publications including four top-tier conference papers and four top-tier journal papers.

His publications won him several awards including two best paper nominations in ICDE 2010 and ICDE 2012, the best poster award in ICDE 2011, the best paper award in ADC 2010, and two CiSRA best research paper awards in 2009 and 2010, consecutively.

Aamir’s PhD thesis was highly appreciated by the examiners. One of the examiners stated “This is the best thesis I have ever reviewed, in terms of research quality”.

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