From Bangladesh to Boston, York College’s Dr. Khan Galvanizes Engineering Students
The Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at York College of Pennsylvania is using his background in optical wireless communication to help Engineering majors stay a step ahead.
Mahmudur Khan, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at York College of Pennsylvania, began his undergraduate studies in electrical engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. When he moved to the United States to complete his graduate studies, his focus shifted to computer engineering.
“Computer engineering is an overlap of electrical engineering and computer science,” he says.
Drawn by the intersection of these two fields, he began working on his master’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. During this time, Dr. Khan became intrigued by optical wireless communication, or OWC, a field that presented unique opportunities for innovation in wireless communication.
During a three-year stint as a teaching assistant while completing his graduate degree, Dr. Khan realized he also had a penchant for teaching. The discovery ignited a passion that would shape his career trajectory. Driven by this newfound love to educate, he sought a position where teaching was at the forefront.
“I used to teach labs mainly, but I would have to fill in for my advisor occasionally. I learned that I loved teaching at that time,” he says.
A teaching-focused opportunity
After earning his doctorate in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2018, Dr. Khan spent time at the University of Alabama and the New Jersey Institute of Technology before he discovered York College. The College seemed a perfect fit. His family enjoyed the proximity to cities such as Washington, D.C., and he appreciated the opportunity to combine his love of teaching and research.
“My wife, my family, we love York,” he says.
Since joining York College in the fall of 2020, Dr. Khan has taken hands-on learning opportunities to the next level. Whether he’s teaching Foundational EPADS (Electrical and Computer Engineering Practices and Design) or overseeing advanced capstone projects, his students are setting themselves apart. Through these courses, they explore a range of topics from electrical components to digital design, microprocessor system design to embedded system design. His courses delve into the intersection of computer and electrical engineering.
One of the highlights of Dr. Khan’s tenure at York College is the success of the OWC capstone projects he has overseen. In 2023, a team of Engineering students secured the Susquehanna Section 2023 Capstone Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. The students not only excelled academically but had the opportunity to travel to an international conference held in Boston.
York College’s winning team, consisting of 2023 Computer Engineering graduates Riley Gartrell, Ryan Black, and Kyle Bush and Electrical Engineering major Josh Gilbert ‘24, crafted a groundbreaking OWC module equipped with multiple optical transceivers. The project showcased the potential for higher data rates and enhanced security compared with traditional radio frequency-based wireless technologies.
‘If you love hands-on work…’
In addition to such academic accolades, Dr. Khan appreciates the close-knit relationships with students and fellow faculty fostered at York College. With small class sizes of 12 to 16 students, he cherishes the connections he forms with his students and strives to create an environment conducive to learning and collaboration.
Beyond the confines of the classroom, Dr. Khan is dedicated to outreach programs. Driven by his commitment to nurturing an early interest in engineering, he has been involved in sessions at local middle and high schools, featuring hands-on experiences with robotics and drones.
As Dr. Khan continues to shape the minds of future engineers at York College through his dedication to teaching and cutting-edge research, he is molding the future of electrical and computer engineering and inspiring a new generation of technical students.
“If you love hands-on work, if you want a close relationship with faculty, you’ll love coming here to York College,” he says.