Professor's portrait: Wasif Afzal
Wasif Afzal, Professor, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Division of Networked and Embedded Systems.
Please tell us briefly about your academic career – what decisions have brought you to where you are today?
After spending two years in industry after my bachelors and masters degrees in computer science and software engineering respectively, I knew I have to be in research and academia. It began with my doctoral studies at Blekinge Institute of Technology, Ronneby/Karlskrona, where I researched into improving software testing through prediction of defective software modules. In 2013, I started as a postdoctoral research fellow at Mälardalen University, associated with the Software Testing Laboratory research group at the Embedded Systems research environment. I am glad I made this decision as this environment enabled me to grow to a place where I am right now. I was able to build my industrial network and write research proposals with great support from the environment. I did my docent here in 2017 and became a full professor in 2020.
In what area do you conduct research?
My focus remains on assuring quality of embedded system software through improved testing approaches. Modern society is dependent on correct functioning of embedded system software and thus assuring their quality is of huge significance.
How would you describe your research environment at MDU?
Fantastic! There is a general good feeling of mutual respect that persists and one gets a lot of support from seniors to grow and succeed.
What is the driving force in your research?
Mostly conducting research with industrial collaboration and to mentor juniors as you want to give back what you have learned all these years. International collaboration is fun also as you get to see new research perspectives and continue to learn.
Which research domains are particularly important for you?
Assuring quality of the system software is a responsibility shared across different roles in the development team, so topics closest to my heart are test data generation, test data analysis, visualising test results and how requirements can be modelled to automatically generate test cases.
How do you feel about becoming a Professor given that MDU has recently become an official University?
It is of course a proud moment to be a professor with Sweden’s newest university. I see all professors as MDU ambassadors and becoming a University will help expand our industrial collaboration since it is a sign that we are mature.
What's the best part about conducting research at MDU?
Freedom to pursue your research goals! This of course comes after you spend days after days writing good research proposals, but hard work pays off.