College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Graduate Learns PhD Journey Not One-Size-Fits-All

Graduate Learns PhD Journey Not One-Size-Fits-All

Studying towards a Doctorate is a demanding and challenging task and every doctoral student and graduate has a story to tell in this regard.

As such, Dr Virginia Ebhota who graduated with a PhD in Electronic Engineering, has her fair share of stories to tell about her “overwhelming moments” whilst on her doctoral journey which resulted in her not moving at the pace she had initially anticipated.

‘It became like a marathon as it required my intense focus on different topics at the same time to ensure I really get to do something am very passionate about. In honesty, it is easy to feel so unmotivated at a different point through this journey,’ she said.

Her research work dealt with utilised Artificial Neural Network in modelling a telecommunication system by developing a novel hybrid adaptive neural network predictor for an enhanced signal power prediction in microcellular outdoor environments. ‘The research drive is to find an efficient predictive model for adaptive prediction of large-scale signal power or equivalent signal propagation loss with minimal error in any microcellular radio propagation environment,’ said Ebhota.

She believes her research will increase the evolution of different mobile broadband (MBB) wireless systems such as HSPA, WiMAX and LTE as well as upsurge demand of multimedia services by mobile phone users everywhere and anytime. Her research findings were published in various Department of Higher Education and Training accredited journals and IEEE International Conference.

Ebhota plans to continue exploring the field of artificial neural network in modelling different communication networks. She urged aspiring PhD students to always remember why they choose their path and always strive to keep moving forward.

She considers her supervisor, Professor Viranjay M Srivastava, as her role model because of his genuine support, encouragement and always being able to bring out the best in his students.

‘Dr Ebhota is a sincere researcher. I congratulate her on this achievement and a life’s milestone of successfully completing her Doctorate. I am now confident about her saying that she is an independent researcher and can do better for her career and research community,’ said Srivastava.

Words: Manqoba Hadebe

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal