DAUDU: Blazing A Trail In Computer Engineering
Paul Blaise Daudu is an upwardly mobile young Nigerian, who recently did Africa proud, when he bagged a first class in the very difficult and rare field of Digital Systems and Computer Engineering. He was able to achieve this feat through sheer hard work, parental control and innate discipline. The focus, which he demonstrated through out his academic career, earned him the affection and admiration of both his faculty and course mates, as he is sought after and respected for his personal and professional views.
The Edo-born was recently invited by Mitsubishi UK to showcase his work at the prestigious Mitsubishi 3D Robotics Integration Seminar 2014. Global Invacom UK Ltd. also honoured him with an award for his achievement. This, no doubt, is a welcome and heart-warming development, as it helps to project the country in good light, especially now that more Nigerians are registering many firsts on the international radar.
Growing up for Paul was pretty normal. He didn’t have a lot of friends because his parents didn’t allow him to go out that much. However, that worked to his advantage, as he ended up making quality, though few friends. And as far as role models are concerned, Daudu would gladly give it to his mum.
Nigerian government has not done much to attract foreign companies into the country. Neither have they done much to regulate those currently operating in the country. Nigerian government needs to urgently provide infrastructure, enact and rigorously implement laws that would make it easy for foreign companies to do business in Nigeria
“Her patience, contentment and unparalleled endurance even in the face of difficult situations have helped me in developing a positive attitude in life, regardless of the situation I find myself,” he says.
His dad hails from Edo State, while his mum is from Kaduna State and this explains why he readily identifies with both states. Having spent only a little time with relatives from both sides, he feels more of a Nigerian and a Catholic than an Edo or Kaduna state indigene.
“I have four older siblings and I am the last child. I was born in Kaduna State but immigrated to Abuja at a very early age. My parents were extremely strict disciplinarians and so for me, discipline has been a core value while growing up as a child,” he says.
Daudu is very quiet and soft spoken. He is not the kind of person that likes drawing attention to himself on account of his Christian background. Asked how he feels to be so honoured, he says:
“I’m very grateful for the honour done to me. I have certainly enjoyed my degree and I am keen on building on the technical and leadership skills that I have acquired. Although at the moment I am not working on any project, but I hope to work on something new and major within the next couple of months”.
While studying in the UK, he purposed in his heart to build on his family’s Christian strict principles and academic excellence rather than be distracted by some of the things that derail others in similar situations abroad. Brilliance runs in his family, as members are known as record breakers. This fact helped him stay on track in the game of life, as he is scrupulous and values both little and great things.
He acknowledges that being disciplined made him mature faster than his age, as mum and dad imparted a lot of values and virtues into them, while growing up.
“Sometimes, the whip did some of the talking and completed what the lips couldn’t finish. Not only did the discipline, which I received as a child helped me to obtain first class, but the manner with which I achieved it drew the admiration of my course mates and faculty. Furthermore, my advice has been sought on numerous occasions both at the personal and professional levels due to the confidence people impose in me. The ripple effects are immeasurable,” he reminisces.
He recently graduated from the University of Hertfordshire, where he passed his B.Eng. in Digital Systems and Computer Engineering in flying colours. He was educated both in the United States and the United Kingdom, where he hopes to dedicate the rest of his life to helping in making the world a better place by leveraging on his engineering skills.
Already, Mitsubishi has offered him a job and his future plan is to become a researcher in the field of Electrical Engineering to create a long-lasting impact in a field that he loves and admires so much. Ultimately though, his goal is to help make quantum-photonic computing feasible. This probably explains why he turned down Mitsubishi’s offer for a job. He is eager to pursue further studies in the US.
For someone that has bee exposed to two worlds, one of the things he enjoys is meeting people of different nationalities in all the countries that he has visited, which has made him to appreciate the oneness of humanity. This also explains why he is poised to do his part, by being as useful as possible to the best of his abilities. For now, his interest is to mentor young people like himself, as well as spend time with his family and friends.
Interestingly, while Paul was growing up, his one desire was to be an artist. So, he devoted a lot of time into art and craft. However, all these started to fall apart shortly after coming into contact with computers during his early primary education. His interest in computer got a boost, when his parents bought him a desktop computer for home use.
“I gradually started spending more time with the computer than the art and crafts. So, my interests shifted from arts to computer and electronic devices. It was then that I resolved to become an electrical and computer engineer. So far, I have succeeded in achieving a Bachelor degree in Computer Engineering. I would say, however, that my dream is still unfolding, as I still have a lot to achieve in my young life and in my chosen field.
“I settled for a course in engineering because I am fascinated by how engineering has shaped our lives for good within the last century. I am quite thrilled by the possibility of contributing to this revolution in my own little way and by so doing enhance the larger society and Nigeria in particular,” he explains.
Daudu particularly loves the Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA), which is an industrial robot that is commonly used in product assembly lines.
“Since my alma mater enjoys a healthy partnership with Mitsubishi (UK), we were given the robot by Mitsubishi® for research purposes. The project was the brainchild of my supervisor and Mitsubishi UK. The goal of the project was to implement a low-cost, wireless, real-time control system for the robot. Real-time control is most beneficial in industry, where the environment is dynamic and constantly changing.
“Current real-time systems for industrial robots are expensive and complex, but by using a low-cost real-time alternative, companies are able to save installation and operation cost and this might translate to lower prices for their goods,” he explains.
Presently, he is processing his NYSC scheme. His plan is to proceed for his graduate studies immediately after the completion. Having just recently returned to Nigeria, he hopes to put his skills into good use with a reputable engineering firm in the country. The future direction of the project now lies with his alma mater (University of Hertfordshire) and Mitsubishi UK shortly after the completion of the project.
Despite his achievement and experience in this field, however, Paul would not consider himself an expert, at least not yet. Neither would he consider himself done yet, since he is still in the process of achieving that status. His core strength lies in the fact that he currently knows his place within the industry and he is also aware of where he hopes to be in the nearest future.
Making comparisons, he believes that studying and living in the UK for the most part, is pretty much similar to what obtains in Nigeria.
“The real difference lies in industry. British companies value undergraduates. This is most evident through the provision of robust internship programmes that are designed to add quality, value, and class to the lives of their future graduates, who come out of school with great enthusiasm and technical knowledge that are necessary for them to easily and quickly fit into full-time jobs. Companies in Nigeria are not doing this as much as they should.
“Furthermore, the Nigerian government has not done much to attract foreign companies into the country. Neither have they done much to regulate those currently operating in the country. Nigerian government needs to urgently provide infrastructure, enact and rigorously implement laws that would make it easy for foreign companies to do business in Nigeria,” he says.
Concerning bridging the gap between both worlds, Daudu is disturbed by the fact that the current ratio of businesses to workers is very low and that since the backbone of any successful nation is largely built on honest industrialisation and taxes rather than government jobs, his candid view is that it is very imperative that the Nigerian government and citizens welcome foreign corporations that want to do business in the country for Nigeria to transform and truly move forward.
Daudu is a patriotic Nigerian, who doesn’t consider himself as better than anyone else. However, he is not satisfied with the way things are being done in Nigeria. He believes that so much needs to be urgently done to save the country.
“My dream Nigeria is a country where the religious, political, and tribal barriers in society are completely broken down. Unfortunately, most Nigerians are not exposed enough to know these things, or to understand that whilst outside the country, foreigners label everyone as a Nigerian regardless of these barriers. ”