Enseignant Chercheur



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+33 2 29 00 12 83


    Catherine Douillard is a Professor at the Electronics Department of IMT Atlantique. She received the engineering degree in telecommunications from the École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications de Bretagne, France, in 1988, the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Western Brittany, France, in 1992, and the accreditation to supervise research from the University of Southern Brittany, France, in 2004.

    Her teaching area is digital electronics, VLSI circuit design and digital transmissions (error correcting codes).

    She is a member of the Codes research team in the Lab-STICC laboratory and was in charge of the Interaction between Algorithms and Silicon (IAS) team until 2020. Her main research interests are forward error correction codes and iterative decoding, iterative detection, the efficient combination of high spectral efficiency modulation and coding schemes, diversity techniques and turbo processing for multi-carrier, multi-antenna and multiple access transmission systems. Between 2007 and 2012, she participated in DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) Technical Modules for the definition of DVB-T2, DVB-NGH and DVB-RCS NG standards. She served as the chairperson of the "Coding, Constellations and Interleaving" task force for the DVB-NGH TM group from 2010 to 2012.

    In 2009, she received the SEE/IEEE Glavieux Award for her contribution to standards and related industrial impact.

    She also served as the technical program committee (co-)chair of ISTC (International Symposium on Topics in Coding) in 2010 and  2018 and as the general (co-)chair of ISTC 2016, ISTC 2021 and ISTC 2023.

    ISTC 2023 logo

    On-going theses

    Mohammad  BAZZAL

    • "Novel algorithms  for ultra-high throughput trellis-based coding and decoding"

    • Thesis Co-Director with  Charbel Abdel Nour, co-supervised with Stefan Weithoffer

    • Started in November 2022


    Passed theses

    Joseph DOUMIT

    • "Optimising resource allocation for IoT with uncoordinated and non-orthogonal spectrum access"

    • Thesis Co-Supervisor with with Charbel Abdel Nour and Joumana Farah (Faculty of Engineering, Lebanese University, Roumieh, Lebanon)

    • Defended on 01/12 2023

    Vinh Hoang Son LE

    • "Design of next-generation Tb/s turbo codes"

    • Thesis Co-Director with Prof. Emmanuel Boutillon (University of Southern Brittany), co-supervised with Charbel Abdel Nour

    • Defended on 09/03/2021

    Marie-Josepha YOUSSEF 

    • "New approaches for MIMO systems in communication networks using non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) techniques"

    • Thesis Co-Director with Prof. Joumana Farah (Faculty of Engineering, Lebanese University, Roumieh, Lebanon), co-supervised with Charbel Abdel Nour

    • Defended on 19/11/2020

    Antoine KILZI

    • "New approaches for the optimization of resource allocation in 5G and beyond mobile communication networks"

    • Thesis Co-Director with Prof. Joumana Farah (Faculty of Engineering, Lebanese University, Roumieh, Lebanon), co-supervised with Charbel Abdel Nour

    • Defended on 10/02/2021

    Rami KLAIMI

    • "Study of non-binary turbo codes for 5G"

    • Thesis Co-Director with Prof. Joumana Farah (Faculty of Engineering, Lebanese University, Roumieh, Lebanon), co-supervised with Charbel Abdel Nour

    • Defended on 03/07/2019

    Marie-Rita HOJEIJ

    • "5G transmission systems based on non-orthogonal multiple access techniques"

    • Thesis Co-Director with Prof. Joumana Farah (Faculty of Engineering, Lebanese University, Roumieh, Lebanon), co-supervised with Charbel Abdel Nour

    • Defended on 30/05/2018

    Naila LAHBABI

    • "Faster-than-Nyquist signalling for digital radio mobile communications"

    • Thesis Director, co-supervised with Charbel Abdel Nour

    • Defended on 22/06/2017


    • "Study of non-binary LDPC codes associated to high-order modulations"

    • Thesis Co-Director with Prof. Emmanuel Boutillon (University of Southern Brittany), co-supervised with Charbel Abdel Nour and Laura Conde Canencia (University of Southern Brittany)

    • Defended on 12/09/2017


    • "Mitigating the effect of correlated fading via advanced coding and interleaving techniques"

    • Thesis Director, co-supervised with Charbel Abdel Nour

    • Defended on 20/01/2015

    Ammar EL FALOU

    • "Analysis and design of  space-time codes for coded MIMO transmissions"
    • Thesis Director, co-supervised with Charlotte Langlais and Charbel Abdel Nour

    • Defended on 23/05/2013

    LI Meng

    • "Hardware implementation of a coded modulation system: from the algorithm to the prototype"
    • Thesis Director, co-supervised with Christophe Jégo and Charbel Abdel Nour

    • Defended on 11/01/2012 

    Dhouha KBAIER

    • "Towards ideal codes: looking for new turbo code schemes"

    • Thesis Director, co-supervised with Sylvie Kerouédan

    • Defended on 26/09/2011 

      Amina PIEMONTESE

      • "Advanced low-complexity multi-user receivers"

      • Thesis co-supervised with University of Parma. Co-advisors: Giulio Colavolpe and Alexandre Graell i Amat

      • Defended on 28/03/2011 

      Roua YOUSSEF

      • "Distributed coding strategies for multi-source cooperative relay networks"

      • Thesis Director, co-supervised by Alexandre Graell i Amat

      • Defended on 05/04/2011 

      Charbel ABDEL NOUR

      • "Spectrally efficient coded transmissions for wireless and satellite applications"

      • Defended on 31/01/2008 

        Laura CONDE CANENCIA

        • "Turbocodes and high spectral efficiency modulations"   

        • Defended on 15/06/2004

        Fathi RAOUAFI

        • "Adequation turbo codes/digital signal processors"

        • Defended on 13/07/2001

        Frédéric LE ROY

        • "High-level synthesis of asynchronous circuits for high-throughput applications"

        • Deefended on 14/06/2000

        On-going research projects


        NF-PERSEUS: "Networks of the Future: Power-Efficient Radio interface for Sub-7GHz distributed massive MIMO infrastructUreS", 2023-2027

        NF PERSEUS is a PEPR "5G-networks of the future" project which aims at increasing the maturity of cell-free massive MIMO (CF-mMIMO) technology towards achieving power and spectral efficient massive access in scalable B5G sub-7GHz networks. Specifically, NF-PERSEUS targets to propose robust PHY and MAC layers based on signal propagation measurements and the incorporation of hardware impairment models.

        Our contributions to NF-PERSEUS are related to efficient resource allocation and interference management using Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA) schemes. 


        AI4CODE: "AI-aided FEC code design & decoding", 2021-2025

        The aim of the ANR AI4CODE project is to explore and assess how Machine Learning (ML) techniques can contribute to improvements in coding  theory, techniques, and practice. The focus is placed on Forward Error Correction (FEC),and the project is built around four inter-related objectives:

        Objective #1: Explore how ML can contribute to improving the state of the art (SoA) in FEC decoding. 
        Objective #2: Investigate how ML techniques can  improve current knowledge and practice in FEC code design.
        Objective #3: Learn from the machine.
        Objective #4:  Develop  a  general  expertise  and  critical  thinking  on  ML  algorithms  and  their applications to coding theory and practice. 

        In AI4CODE, we will  lead  the  investigations  on  AI-based  structured  interleaver  design  for  Turbo codes, considering both very short codes and very long codes for which different challenges arise. 


        Beyond5G: "Support for investment in strategic sectors for the resilience of our Economy -  5G Telecommunications", French recovery plan, 2020-2024

        The Comité Stratégique de Filière (CSF) for digital infrastructure aims to articulate initiatives to organize the sector to develop a sovereign "industry" for digital telecommunications and its applications in other user sectors ("verticals") such as healthcare, transportation and production industries.

        The Beyond5G project is part of this approach. Its main objective is to propose technical solutions for the development of sovereign and secure 5G/post 5G networks. It articulates these solutions to the needs of the verticals in the context, on the one hand, of a sustained effort in R&D and, on the other hand, of a significant interfacing between R&D and verticals. This can be done through the platforms that will be set up with the resources made available by the partners of the  project, or through the portability of functional blocks and services resulting from the project's work.

        QCSP: "Quasi-Cyclic Short Packet", ANR project, 2019-2022

        The aim of the ANR QCSP project is to contribute to the evolution of IoT networks by defining, implementing and testing a new coded modulation scheme dedicated to IoT networks. The “big bet” of the project is to work on the emergence of Non-Binary (NB) codes combined with a Cyclic Code Shift Keying (CCSK) modulation. This new coded modulation scheme, called CCSK-NB-code, can be easily implemented in a cost efficient way at the device side. CCSK-NB-code provides several advantages compared to state of the art waveforms: it offers self-synchronization and self-identification capabilities, and is able to operate at ultra-low Signal-to-Noise Ratios (SNR).

        Our contribution to QCSP is mainly related to the investigation of non-binary turbo codes optimized for CCSK modulation.

        Past research projects

        EPIC: "Enabling Practical wIreless Tb/s communications with next generation channel Coding", H2020 project, 2017-2020

        H2020 European project in collaboration with 7 industrial and academic partners. EPIC aims to develop a new generation of Forward Error Correction (FEC) codes to enable practical wireless Tb/s technology, corresponding to a 10x-100x throughput improvement over the SoA for beyond-5G (B5G) systems.

        Our contributions to EPIC are mainly related to new architecture-aware high-throughput turbo decoding algorithms and to the investigation of non-binary turbo codes.

        FANTASTIC-5G: "Flexible Air iNTerfAce for Scalable service delivery wiThin wIreless Communication networks of the 5th Generation", H2020 project, 2015-2017

        H2020 European project, stemming from the 5GPPP consortium with 16 industrial and academic partners and led by Alcatel-Lucent. FANTASTIC-5G aims at developping a new multi-service 5G Air Interface (AI) for below 6 GHz through a modular design. To allow the system to adapt to the anticipated heterogeneity, the pursued properties are: flexibility, scalability, versatility, efficiency, future-proofness.

        In this project, we have contributed to the enhancement of the LTE turbo code and to the proposal of non-binary turbo codes for the different 5G core services: eMBB, URLLC and mMTC. We also studied new efficient resource allocation techniques for NOMA (Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access) transmissions.

        M3: Mobile Multi-Media, ANR project, 2010-2013

        French ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) project in collaboration with 7 industrial and academic partners: Orange Labs, CNES, Alcatel-Lucent, Teamcast, Parrot, Mitsubishi Electric, and INSA-IETR.  Mobile Multi-Media  project  addressed the cooperation of broadcast and broadband standards, likely to be used to deliver multi-media services, whatever the location, the type of receiver, and the mobility situation of the user. Telecom Bretagne was in charge of studies related to Forward Error-Correcting (FEC) coding and diversity techniques.

        ETNA: Enhanced wireless Technologies for News and security Applications, Eurostars project, 2011-2013

        Eurêka/Eurostars European project in collaboration with European SMEs, Teamcast (FR), Nulink SA (CH), AKAtech (CH), bSoft (IT) and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (CH).  This project project aimed at defining, developing and validating an optimised system for wireless video links for applications in the electronic news gathering and security sectors. Telecom Bretagne’s contribution mainly dealt with the validation and optimization of some innovative modulation and diversity concepts for the physical layer of the wireless video link.

        ENGINES: Enabling Next Generation NEtworks for broadcast Services, Celtic+ project, 2010-2012

        Eurêka/Celtic European project in collaboration with more than 30 industrial and academic partners, intended to develop the next generation broadcasting standards and their implementations for portable, mobile and handheld reception. 

        Turbo codes, signal space diversity and MIMO techniques were studied in the framework of the project and also proposed for standardization to the DVB-H technical module.

        SME42: SME for T2, Eurostars project, 2008-2010

        Eurêka/Eurostars European project in collaboration with two European SMEs, Teamcast (RennesFrance) and Sidsa (Madrid,Spain).  This project aimed to deliver the world first complete DVB-T2 prototype. Telecom Bretagne’s contribution dealt with the design of the coding and modulation hardware architectures in the transmitter and receiver.

        B21C: Broadcast for the 21st Century, Celtic project, 2007-2009

        Eurêka/Celtic European project in collaboration with more than 30 industrial and academic partners, intended to elaborate technical propositions for the future of European digital TV.  A new generation hybrid turbo code (3D-Turbo Code) and a signal space diversity technique were studied in the framework of the project and then proposed for standardization.

        BSDT: study of enhanced digital transmission techniques for Broadband Satellite Digital Transmissions, ESA project, 2006-2009

        Research contract European Space Agency/Newtec: Proposal of a coded modulation scheme based on a Continuous Phase Modulation (CPM), for satellite transmission. This scheme, called 4CPM, has been implemented in the Belgian company Newtec’s triple play service terminals, Sat3play. These terminals were successfully put onto market via several satellite operators, including SES Astra (Astra2Connect service).

        Teaching topics

        • Digital Electronics
        • Digital integrated circuit design, VHDL modeling
        • Error correcting codes (turbo codes)