MUT staff participate in Maritime Youth Innovation Challenge

Dr Onunka, right, with some members of the team.
Dr Onunka, right, with some members of the team

MUT staff, Dr Chiemela Onunka of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, was part of a team that won the Maritime Youth Innovation Challenge which took place  at the Durban University of Technology, University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) and Transnet Port Terminal and concluded on 30 November 2018.

Dr Onunka participated along with Nonjabulo Gasa, Sandile Goqo, both from UKZN’s Mechanical Engineering and Ntuthuko Msimango Department of Electronic Engineering, in the same university.

The team provided solutions on infrastructure development and improvement which will enable Transnet Port Terminal at Durban to be more efficient. “We showed them the appropriate modern automation technology and virtual reality required to efficiently load and unload ships,” said Dr Onunka. “This will enable Transnet Port Terminal to save money and time.”

The challenge took six months to complete. The team went through various innovation presentations and emerged as winners of the Challenge. They were awarded Operations Efficiency from Transnet Port Terminals.  The Challenge was sponsored by Transnet Port Terminals, Aurecon, Adams & Adams, Oracle, Domino Foundation, DUT, Technology Innovation Agency, eThekwini Maritime Cluster and it was coordinated and hosted by Innovate Durban.

Chem Engineering staff wins big at South African Institution of Chemical Engineers

Sihle, Prof Bakare, and Dr  Lasich
Sihle, Prof Bakare, and Dr Lasich

Two Chemical Engineering lecturers were awarded at the 10th Annual South African Institution of Chemical Engineers research day held at the Riverside Hotel, Durban on 30 November 2018.

Dr Mathew Lasich, a lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering, was one of the winners.

Sihle Mtsweni, who is an nGap lecturer in the department, came third in the Oral Presentation Category out of 17 presentations conducted at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in October 2018 where participants from the Durban University of Technology (DUT), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and University of Stellenbosch took part.

Commenting on the achievements by his colleagues, Babatunde Bakare, Associate Professor/Head, Environmental Pollution and Remediation Research Group in the Department of Chemical Engineering, who was recently elected as a committee member on the South African Institution of Chemical Engineers Board, said it “really feels good when you see colleagues winning awards for their active involvement in research.” Prof Bakare said he was very excited to see Sihle awarded for his hard work. Prof Bakare is Sihle’s Doctoral supervisor and was Sihle’s Master’s supervisor. Prof Bakare added that they published three journal articles from Sihle’s Master’s research work in DHET accredited international journals, and made presentations in two academic conferences. Sihle is currently in the 2nd year of his doctoral studies.

Sihle said that the achievement has exposed him to what others in the field are doing. “Attending the conference at UKZN and winning was a great exposure for me. I was participating in the conference for the first time,” said Sihle.

VC welcomes a cohort of new managers

Jacob, Zolisa, Noni, VC, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, Fozia and Muzi
Jacob, Zolisa, Noni, VC, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, Fozia and Muzi

Mangosuthu University of Technology has this week welcomed five new managers to strengthen the leadership of the university. The new appointees will occupy offices in the Registrar’s division, Risk and Compliance, Operations, Legal Services and the Library.

Zolisa Gqamane has been appointed Deputy Registrar: Academic Administration. He will be responsible for student admission, registration and examinations.

Jacob Mabaso, who is the Director of Risk and Compliance, will focus on the financial health of the institution and ensuring that the university gets clean audits.

Muzi Khumalo, who is the Senior Director: Operations, said amongst his priorities would be “focusing on the safety of students within the university facilities. Team-up with other portfolios to improve the physical infrastructure of the institution”

Fozia Modhi, who is the new Senior Director: Legal Services, said her first priority is “to minimise legal matters by managing them properly, internally. This will save cost on legal matters and build relations across MUT and to ensure that the role of legal services is understood internally”. She will work closely with the VC to ensure legal compliance across the institution.

Noni Makhathini, the new Senior Librarian, said her focus would be to provide “a value-driven service where the library is more visible, modern and attractive to the young user”.