For data centres to work to the best of their abilities, a great amount of research has to go into digital communications. But who is behind that research?
A massive part of being a researcher is being able to talk about your research and explain it to those less familiar with the scientific field.
Bernard Butler is a postdoctoral researcher at TSSG at Waterford Institute of Technology, focusing on digital communications.
Here, he talks about his background, his work and what a typical day is like for him as a researcher.
What is your role within TSSG?
I am a postdoc researcher, assigned to the Connect research centre, which is looking at the next generation of digital communications between people, between people and machines, and even between machines.
I supervise PhD students and carry out my own research. The Connect project I work on is concerned with intelligent transport systems (ITS) and is jointly funded by Intel. ITS offers the promise that road transport could be made more energy-efficient and less subject to traffic congestion if we could share information collected by sensors in vehicles and in the roadside infrastructure.
We could then use the information to help drivers make better choices regarding speed, lane changing and avoiding dangers in the road ahead.
Currently, I am off Connect and on a three-month secondment in a large company in the South of France that manages critical IT systems for transport customers. I am looking at how to identify and triage issues in its data centre.
Sometimes, when lots of user requests come in at once, a problem arises and those requests get backed up. The data centre operations staff need to find and fix the problem, otherwise there could be transport chaos for holiday/travel companies and their customers. I bring an alternative perspective and complementary expertise – we learn from each other, so everyone wins!
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Published by Silicon Republic on 12th July 2017.