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Full Name: 
David Johnson
Academic Role: 
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Dr David L Johnson is a Principal Researcher at the CSIR and an adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Computer Science Department of the University of Cape Town. He received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from University of Cape Town in 1995, a Masters in Computer Engineering from University of Pretoria in 2008, a Masters in Computer Science from University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 2012  and a PhD in Computer Science at UCSB in 2013.

He has 18 years experience in software and telecommunications engineering research and development including software design, RF engineering, radio planning, operating systems, embedded programming, networking in rural areas, network traffic analysis, mesh networking, Bluetooth, WiFi, community-based GSM and TV White space networks. Between 2004 and 2007, he was a key initiator and leader of Wireless Africa – a wireless mesh networking research and development programme at Meraka with strong collaboration with SA Universities.

Research Project / Interests: 

His early research and trials and experiments with mesh networking protocols eventually became part of the networking devices that are used in many national level projects such as the BB4All project connecting rural schools in South Africa. Through the CSIR Meraka studentship programme with multiple universities in South Africa, he was able guide many students on rural networking topics and provide research leadership for University programmes around the country.

At UCSB, he was part of the team that initiated VillageNet – a large $1.2 million multidisciplinary research grant that spanned Computer Science and Media Studies and provided solutions for improving connectivity in resource-constrained networks in developing regions. He also played a key leadership role in providing a bridge between UCSB and a rural network trails in Africa. At the CSIR, he co-supervised 2 Masters and 2 PhD student and while at UCSB, he co-supervised 3 Masters students. He has participated in and completed 40 ICT projects and 39 publications including top conferences in the field such as WWW and ICTD and leading journals such as Ad-hoc networks, and International journal of communications. 

He is currently a Principal Researcher in the Telecomms and Media group at the CSIR Meraka Institute and heads up the Net4D research group at UCT. The group consists of 4 PhD students, a masters student and a Post-Doc focussing on TV White Spaces, Cognitive Radios, Mesh Networks and Network measurements and localization using cloudlets.