The Telkom Centre of Excellence (COE) at UNIZULU has reached a milestone as it celebrates ten years of existence this year.
Professor Matthew Adigun the head of the centre told of the many achievements realised over the past decade.
They include awards and nominations received such as the THRIP award in 2004 and the SATNAC third best paper award this year.
But most importantly it is the innovation and research that has come out of the centre that stands out.
– GUISET the centre’s flagship technology which drives the idea of affordable ICT for Small Medium Macro Enterprises (SMMEs). “GUISET was originally based on Grid computing taking advantage of Grid’s ability to pool resources for sharing among geographically dispersed owners who are willing to operate as a virtual organisation”
– Cost-effective, energy- efficient connectivity for multi-purpose application e.g. Smart home, e-learning in schools.
– The centre recently fulfilled the requirements for rolling out the Community Living Laboratory, having designed and implemented an on-campus test-bed.
– SmartDrive – a technology aimed at promoting road safety.
Also over the ten years about 30 people have graduated from the research activities at the centre at a ratio of 20 percent Doctoral and 80 percent Masters.
But Professor Adigun says the have been challenges along the way, some of which include the difficulties encountered in trying to attract the students to the centre. “This is because ICT graduates are in hot demand in the industry and only a small fraction of graduates remain to proceed to higher degree studies”. Prof Adigun says most postgraduate students are also repelled by the location of the university while also the limited student sponsorship is also an issue.
But programmes such as the Telkom Masters Bursary and the prospect of the centre’s graduates working for Telkom are positively influencing the undergraduates’ desire to study. “Our honours intake jas been boosted in the past because of the prospect of getting the Telkom Bursary”.
Possible internships and sponsorships with CSIR has also served to attract students to the centre.
Adigun pledged interested organisations to partner with the centre through research grant UNIZULU or capacity development bursary for training recipients who will become prospective employees