Dr. Roger Wahl currently resides in Pretoria. He has a distinguished and diverse background in the world of technology and currently devotes most of his time to overseeing the implementation of data warehouses for a car dealership. Further to his experience, he was involved in several software and applications development projects in various industries such as vehicle telematics, retail, and telecommunications. His very first graduation at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) was for a master’s degree in Information Technology.
Dr Wahl currently works for a car dealership company in the capacity of a Data Engineer. He was awarded a PhD in Information and Communication Technology during the VUT’s 2021 winter graduations. Dr Wahl’s thesis “An Innovative Internet of things solution to control real-life autonomous vehicles”, focuses on the exploration and plausibility of routing autonomous vehicle analogues to packet-switched networks by applying similar principals and protocols. “Since it is a novel concept, I believe it can further encourage an exponential amount of research encompassing the topic, especially when factoring in some of the benefits,” says Wahl.
The essence of the research came about with the proven realisation that there’s a global increase in congestion on roads and the consequent increase in the rate of fatalities on both national and international roads. 1.3 million people are killed on the roads globally, and millions are injured. With the many inventions produced thus far, Dr Wahl demonstrated his research focus by designing a computer Internet of Things (IoT) model of the concept. Experimental research in the form of a developed computer simulation was adopted as the most appropriate research approach, containing the algorithms that simulates the theoretical model of IoT vehicular technology. The merits of the constructed prototype were analysed and discussed, and the results obtained from the implementation exercise were shared. An analysis was also conducted to verify arguments on assumptions to clarify the theory, and the outcome of the research (an IoT model encompassing vehicular wireless technologies) shows how the basic concept of packet switching can be assimilated as an effective mechanism to route large scale autonomous vehicles within the IoT milieu, culminating in an effective commuter operating system.
Now that Dr Wahl has achieved this huge milestone, he says he feels “Euphoric and some relief at the thought of officially concluding my studies. There were moments of stark frustration but were eventually overcome by perseverance. I consider it to be an esteemed milestone and a reminder that anything is possible with a bit of dedication”. With no concrete plan yet he would like to continue adding to the body of knowledge in his field and hopefully contribute towards a few more publications.
Dr Wahl’s words of encouragement to students or colleagues, looking to study further: “When considering the benefits, you reap, the hardships always make it worthwhile. Never lose sight of the end goal.”
Dr Wahl’s motto in life is “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny” – C.S. Lewis. Dr Wahl partly funded his studies and was also supported by post-graduate bursaries.
Article by: Qhawekazi Memani