School of Engineering


A Doctor at One Score and Four!

Twenty-four-year old Dr Sulaiman Saleem Patel is the youngest graduate to be awarded a PhD in Electronic Engineering at UKZN.

Patel’s lightening progression through academic portals can be attributed to focus, tenacity and hard work.

Having earned his BSc Engineering degree, Patel registered for a Master’s in Electronic Engineering. When the time came to submit however, the standard of his work was so high examiners recommended he convert to a PhD.

His thesis, supervised by Dr Tahmid Quazi and Professor Hongjun Xu, was titled: Uncoded Space-Time Labelling Diversity: Data Rate and Reliability Enhancements and Application to Real-World Satellite Broadcasting.

‘Dr Patel proposed enhancements to the recent terrestrial Uncoded Space-Time Labelling Diversity scheme and its adaptation to satellite systems,’ his supervisors explained. ‘The proposed enhancements increase spectral efficiency of the original system and link reliability, making it applicable to real-world satellite broadcasting systems.’

Postgraduate Administrative Officer, Ms Ausie Luthuli, congratulated Patel: ‘Well done, Sulaiman. It is not often that a master’s is deemed to be of such a high standard that the student progresses straight through to PhD research. You are one of the very few who has been able to do so.’

Words: Sally Frost

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal