School of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science

Research into Wireless Communications Earns PhD

Helping further the 4th Industrial Revolution while gathering a myriad accolades along the way, Dr Dauda Olayinka Ayanda is a force to be reckoned with!

This PhD graduate, who started his academic career in Nigeria, earned his honours and master’s degrees from the Obafemi Awolowo University in his home country in the field of Computer Engineering before registering at UKZN where he has been awarded a PhD in Electronic Engineering.

Pushing limits and boundaries helped Ayanda exceed all expectations and achieve his goals; and his interest in digital communications led him to a career path in the world of wireless communications.

His UKZN supervisor, Professor Hongjun Xu, explained: ‘Dauda’s research focuses on uncoded space-time labelling diversity systems and his contribution lies in improving this scheme in terms of error performance analysis, link reliability, detection complexity and real-world implementation where antenna channels are correlated.’

Professor Xu had published a US patent on this novel system in 2018, which made Dauda’s research even more challenging. But his perseverance and determination saw him receiving various accolades, including a best paper award at the 2019 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Wireless Africa conference in Pretoria. His thesis template was also published in Overleaf LaTeX UK for postgraduate researchers at UKZN.

He received a UKZN Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s commendation for being part of a South African team that won the first global Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) Outstanding Medium Section Award from IEEE; and under his leadership as Chapter President, an Outstanding Chapter Award from IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) USA in May 2020.

Said Dr Albert Lysko, Principal Researcher for the CSIR and past Chair for IEEE South Africa: ‘Dauda, in his role as the Section Vice-Chair in 2017-2018, successfully worked with complex challenges to boost the growth of the IEEE designated professions in South Africa. He co-ordinated events, promoted community outreach and IEEE values and activities as well as participated in activities which enhanced students’ skills. Through these roles, he gained valuable leadership, management and professional experiences.  He was a part of the team that earned South Africa several accolades, including the global 2019 MGA Outstanding Medium Section Award.’

Said Ayanda: ‘I am currently upskilling on deep learning and exploring research on next-generation wireless systems. I intend to develop a further career in research and development in wireless communications for industrial applications.’

Ayanda certainly proves that he does live by the following stated credos:  ‘To be is to do.’ (Socrates); ‘To do is to be.’ (Sartre); ‘Do be do be do.’ (Sinatra)!

Words: Swastika Maney

Photograph: Supplied