MUT’s Faculty of Natural Sciences honours a leading giants in Information Technology (IT), Colin Ralph Fourie

16 April 2018

Press release statement

Submitted by Bheki Hlophe, Publications and Media Relations Officer

061 283 2257

MUT’s Faculty of Natural Sciences honours a leading giants in Information Technology (IT), Colin Ralph Fourie

On 19 April 2018, the Faculty of Natural Sciences will dedicate its graduation ceremony to Colin Ralph Fourie. Colin founded MicroVision in 1994. His vision was that the company would lead with innovation. Colin has developed his own software in addition to being entrusted with building systems at the core of many business entities. Colin is involved in every project, working to take mission-critical projects from concept through the entire development cycle to implementation.

As a small business owner, he is committed to the empowerment of SMME’s.  He founded 2063 Innovators Network Co-operative (2063INC) – an organisation focused on innovation and collaboration among small business and entrepreneurs, instead of competition. Colin has also served as the Chairman of various foundations. He is currently the Chairperson of the ICT Advisory Board of MUT. He believes education is the radical tool needed for achieving real transformation and as an active social citizen and educator, is dedicated to seeing this mission through.

Colin received a Master’s in Philosophy – Knowledge and Information Management – graduating Cum Laude from the University of Stellenbosch. He also holds a B.Sc. in Maths and Applied Maths (UWC), a B.Sc. in Computer Science, Operations Research and Statistics (UNISA), and a Higher Diploma in Education (UKZN).

The faculty sees it fit to honour this giant in IT.

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MUT staff dominate 6th colloquium

From left, Prof Ramogale, Prof Nokwethemba Ndlazi, Acting DVC- Resources and Planning, Dr Makua, and Prof Bawa, at the colloquium

Prof Marcus Ramogale has commended MUT staff who made presentations at the sixth annual three-day colloquium that took place in Durban this week. “MUT staff have shown ownership of the event. This is how seriously they regard the colloquium,” said Prof Ramogale. MUT staff constituted more than 15% of the total number of presenters.  Dr Manyane Makua, Senior Director of the Teaching and learning Development Centre, founder of the colloquium, said one of the high points of the colloquium was that MUT staff were been given space to show their mettle. Some MUT academics presented more than one paper under different themes. The colloquium had a very strong international flavour, with guest speakers from the US. It also enjoyed a huge support from sister institutions like DUT, UNIZULU, UKZN, WSU, UL, UWC, UCT, University of Mpumalanga, among others. There was also Prof Ahmed Bawa, the CEO of Universities South Africa. Prof Bawa said the country’s universities needed to plan their curricula around the students. Prof Ramogale said the colloquium came at an opportune time when it has become important to use technology at this sector. MUT has taken a decision to offer distance learning programmes, so e-learning is going to be more important.

It is also worth noting that the format of the colloquium is indicating that is has taken a slant towards being a fully-fledged conference. The highlight of the second day of the colloquium was the presentation of the VC’s Teaching and Learning Awards to MUT academics that have been chosen by their students as best in the profession.   The colloquium ended on Friday.

MUT to honour a philanthropist and servant leader

13 April 2018

Press release statement

Submitted by Ms Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing & Communications: Mbali@mut.ac.za

MUT to honour a philanthropist and servant leader

On Tuesday, 17 April, Mangosuthu University of Technology will proudly dedicate the Faculty of Management Science’s graduation ceremony to Dr Imtiaz Sooliman. Dr Sooliman is founder, director and chairman of Gift of the Givers. Professor Chandra Jinabhai, acting dean in the faculty said, “The Faculty unanimously agreed to honour Dr Sooliman. As a faculty, we wish to see many of our students replicate the life of Dr Sooliman. We would like people in general to become more selfless and people-oriented. These qualities epitomize the life of Dr Sooliman. He is so full of positive energy and we need this spirit as a country.”

Dr Sooliman already has a relationship with MUT. During the KZN storms, his office was among the first to respond to the plight of MUT students who had lost clothes, food and technological equipment. Upon realising that many students would not be able to undertake research as a result of the loss of laptops and computers; Gift of the Givers quickly purchased computers. A computer laboratory was set up in the Department of Electrical Engineering to the value of R250,000.

Throughout his life, Dr Sooliman has been a servant leader. His organisation, Gift of the Givers  implements 21 different categories of projects and in its 25 year history has delivered 2.1 billion rand of aid to millions of people in 43 countries, South Africa included.

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Facts about Gift of the Givers

  • Designed and developed the world’s first and only containerised mobile hospital of its kind in 1993, deployed in Bosnia and compared by CNN to any of the best hospitals in Europe.
  • Designed the world’s first containerised primary health care unit in 1994.
  • The first organisation in the history of South Africa to be given R60 million by government to design and roll out 204 000 food parcels.
  • Innovated the world’s first groundnut-soya high energy and protein supplement (Sibusiso Ready Food Supplement) in 2004, ideal in conditions of HIV/AIDS, TB, Malnutrition, Cancer and various debilitating conditions.
  • Developed Africa’s largest open source computer lab in 2007 and deployed it in Northbury Secondary School in Pietermaritzburg.
  • A special commemorative “Limited Edition” Gift of the Givers stamp was issued by the S.A Post Office in February 2013.
  • A book “A Mercy to All” on Dr Imtiaz Sooliman and Gift of the Givers was published in August 2014.

One of KZN’s female pioneer engineer to be honoured by MUT

13 April 2018

Press release statement

Submitted by Ms Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing & Communications: Mbali@mut.ac.za

One of KZN’s female pioneer engineer to be honoured by MUT

On Friday, 20 April, Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) will proudly dedicate the Faculty of Engineering’s graduation ceremony to Nelisiwe Magubane, the current Director-General in the Department of Minerals and Energy.

Nelisiwe is one of the first female registered African electrical engineers. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration. “Our Faculty of Engineering chose Nelisiwe on these strengths as well as on her illustrious career. We want to see our graduates emulate this career and think big and beyond SA like Nelisiwe whose extensive engagement in the Southern African region power sector includes Cahora Bassa power system negotiations with Government of Mozambique and Government of Portugal, the Grand Inga Treaty with the Governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Angola, Republic of Namibia and Republic of Botswana to name a few” said the acting dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Mrs Julia Baah.

One conspicuous aspect of Nelisiwe;s career is her vertical progression; starting her career at Eskom, becoming a consulting engineer in the private sector, and moving to government as a chief director responsible for the restructuring of the electricity sector, planning and implementation of the electrification programme. She was later appointed as a Deputy Director General responsible for the development of the policies that govern the electricity, nuclear and clean energy in South Africa. She was appointed as Director General of Energy in December 2009. She was responsible, amongst other things, of the development of the Integrated Resource Plan, improved access to electricity for over a million households in four years.

[ENDS]

Mbali@mut.ac.za

 

Notes about MUT honouree: Nelisiwe Magubane’s success”

Under her stewardship, the Department of Energy achieved, amongst other things:

  • The development and implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan;
  • Investments of US$ 13 billion by the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP);
  • Procurement of 1000 MW power generation programme through Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) by Independent Power Producers;
  • Under a stewardship, the Department of Energy received 4 international awards for successful and transparent procurement of the REIPPP;
  • Improved access to electricity for over a million households; and
  • Completed the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP), which is South Africa’s vision 2050 for the energy sector.

Ms Magubane is an expert advisor in energy regulation, policy and procurement. She is currently working advising the Government of Tanzania on the design of their reverse auctions. She is also working with the Tetratech team in restructuring Tanesco, the Tanzanian electricity utility, as part of Power Africa Transactions and Reform Program (PATRP).

MUT seems poised to add value towards conservation and tourist attraction

12 April 2018

MUT GRADUATION 2018

Press release statement

Submitted by Ms Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing & Communications: Mbali@mut.ac.za

MUT seems poised to add value towards conservation and tourist attraction

MUT’s Department of Nature Conservation has been growing exponentially through an introduction of new qualifications in Nature Conservation. In the past five years the department has introduced the following qualifications: Bachelor of Technology, Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation, Post-Graduate Diploma as well as a Master’s degree in Nature Conservation.

Professor Peter Small, the Head of the Department, has worked at MUT for more than 30 years. This has put him at an advantage to drive his strategy of aligning MUT with the National Development Plan. He said, “MUT was the first, among other Universities of Technology to offer the Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health. In 2017 the department began offering a Master’s programme in Nature Conservation, a first for a University of Technology in South Africa.”

MUT Nature Conservation graduates are at the forefront of water conservation, marine coastal management, as well as fresh water management. With the first Master’s class graduating on 19 April, MUT’s research is set to increase and add to the NDP 2030.

Mbali@mut.ac.za

Notes on the MUT 2018 graduation

  1. 2338 will be graduating: a slight increase from 2017’s 2296 graduates.
  2. 33 students will receive their qualification cum laude.
  3. A Civil Engineering student, Mr MS Nsele is receiving a Meritorious Student award from the SA Institute of Civil Engineering.

Mechanical Engineering graduate goes to Japan

Mkhulumeli showing his belt made in Japan. Note the two gold strips indicating the second dan

Mkhulumeli Cele, a second dan karate fighter, and a Mechanical Engineering graduate, will take part in International Karate Friendship in Tokyo, Japan, on 21 April 2018. Mkhulumeli has had to make a hard choice; he has had to forsake the Mechanical Engineering graduation which will be on the same day at MUT. The tournament takes place every after two years.  Mkhulumeli is confident he will do well in Japan. He is watching his weight, and eating appropriately. He is expecting six fights. There will also be Russians, who are very strong in the kyokushinkaikan karate, the kind of style that will be employed. This is full contact karate. It going to be very hard. “I am going for a win. Nothing less,” said Mkhulumeli, who has been training in this sport since 1997, at KwaMgaye, Mzumbe Municipality. His trainer was his brother, Sensei Kwanele Cele. Kwanele has a third dan.

Mkhulumeli was nominated in 2016 in Manilla, Philipines, after his all-conquering performance. “The final was a sixth fight. The whole tournament happened over a single day. It was challenging. There were just two of us from Africa. All others were Asians. For these guys, taking part in a tournament is life or death. They take losing very hard. They bring their A game.” He said his fighting style had a lot to do with him winning. The South African style confused them. They could not deal with the fact that he kept a distance, kept moving, going in and out as you attack. He mixed the kicks. They had never seen an ‘S’ kick. Most South Africans that went there made a mistake by adopting the Asian style.” The thinking Mkhulumeli said he won most of his fights by knock outs. The final competitor could not deal with Mkhulumeli’s shudan mawashi geri (round house kick to the stomach). A final knock out!

Linda Thoms, Project Manager: AT (SA) Qualifications, said it was wonderful to know there was such great support among educational institutions in Umlazi. “Thank you for your support.”

Proud moment! Ravi, standing, with Prof Haupt

“Prof Haupt changed my life. I am now looking at doing my PhD. But I won’t do it if Prof Haupt is not available. Our Master’s qualifications are at a different level.” This is how Ravi Chetty, HOD, Construction Management, commented about how Prof Theo Haupt, the Research Professor, Faculty of Engineering, has impacted the faculty. Ravi, Jan van der Westhuizen, HOD, Civil Engineering and Surveying, and Sanjivi Naidoo, a lecturer in Jan’s department, are three of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ that Prof Haupt has been supervising. They are all graduating in April with cum laude. Sanjivi said Prof Haupt ignited a potential in him. Prof Haupt, a man with less words, with great deeds, only had this to say about Jan: “It gives me pleasure to inform you that Jan has successfully completed his M.Sc. Eng. at UKZN and has been awarded a 84% cum laude pass.” Ravi’s and Sanjivi’s was M.Sc. Construction Studies.  There are eight others at MUT that Prof Haupt is supervising, two of these are PhD students. Prof Haupt has spent less than a year at MUT. This swift impact is part of a grand plan he is implementing. “I joined MUT because of its potential,” he said. His strategy is that students must take one step at a time, and push themselves and work in groups. Prof Haupt believes in working fast. He said he meets his students even over weekends. He looks at their research needs and then responds accordingly. Prof Haupt also conducts workshops where he teaches his colleagues how to supervise. He is currently supervising more than 20 other students.

MUT and partners assist Umlazi English teachers improve their knowledge

Elet’s Manager for English, Dr Richard Finch, giving a lesson to the teachers

In January every year everyone looks forward to the release of the matric results. But not everyone would think of how much they would have contributed to improving the quality of the education learners are given.  Available evidence shows that so much needs to be done to take the standard of teaching at the country’s schools to an acceptable level. Being aware of this situation, Marcomms partnered with Elet (Environmental and Language Education Trust), to source funding from Sun Sibaya who donated R150 000 for the supply of English education resources and ran a workshop that was held on 1 March 2018. The workshop was attended by 48 English teachers from 27 Umlazi Township schools. Mervin Ogle, CEO of Elet, said they were assisting in improving the English teachers’ level of the knowledge because they believed English was the basis of most subjects. “English forms everything academic that we do.” Elet provided the Educators’ Guides, and learner resources for 30 high schools, so they would be able to improve the level at which they teach comprehension, literature, etc. Sun Sibaya’s HR Specialist/CSI Practitioner, Ntsoareleng Mnguni said contributing to improving the standard of English at the schools was their way of giving back to communities. Gugu Jali, Umlazi District Project Coordinator, said the assistance offered by Elet, Sun Sibaya and MUT was giving learners a chance to improve their level of English.

 

Nature Conservation’s Master’s programme article does wonders on Facebook

Impressive! Prof Small, closer to camera, and Prof Coopoosamy, checking the performance of the article on Facebook

While everyone went away for the 2015 Festive Season break, Prof Peter Small, Head of  Nature Conservation department, remained a constant sight in his office, crafting a Master’s degree programme. This resulted in the department welcoming the first group of students in 2017, who produced a completed proposal as a prerequisite for the programme. Last week MarComms ran a GnF story about their first Master’s dissertation that was submitted by a student, Sipho Goge. The story was also posted on the MUT Facebook page. It has reached 10 057 people, who Liked, Reacted, Shared, and Commented on the post.  The department has been fielding calls from people from other universities who showed keen interest in the programme. Prof Small highlighted the role played by Prof Roger Coopoosamy who also coordinates the postgraduate programme in the Department. “Prof Coopoosamy supervised most of the six students that are going to graduate in April,” said Prof Small.  The department is known for its ‘firsts’. Among these are B-Tech, Post-Grad Diploma, Master’s and Post-Doctorate in Nature Conservation. The Facebook post can be accessed through the link: https://www.facebook.com/MUTUmlazi/