Civil Engineering student comes full circle as she rejoins the department as a lecturer

Nonsindiso, left, with Dr Joseph Bwapwa

“Returning to my alma mater as a lecturer provides a unique opportunity for me to give back to the academic community that played a crucial role in my development. It allows me to share my knowledge and experiences with new generations of students, fostering a sense of continuity and contribution to the Institution’s legacy.” This is a response from an MUT graduate who has now been appointed as a lecturer in her former department – Civil Engineering.  Nonsindiso Mkhize, now a PhD student, enrolled at MUT in 2011 for her undergraduate qualification. Mkhize says she was fascinated by what she saw happening in the construction sites. “My secondary school Life Science teacher gave me more information; I was then inspired to study Civil Engineering,” Mkhize said. Mkhize graduated four years later. Mkhize immediately registered for a B.Tech with South Africa’s biggest distance university, Unisa. She graduated in 2018. In 2023 she obtained her Master’s degree from DUT with cum Laude (Deans merits).

Mkhize says that her general plan as she rejoins the Institution is to research and publish papers in reputable journals. “A robust research portfolio will enhance my credibility as a lecturer. I must gain teaching experience through various methodologies and opportunities such as guest lectures or workshops. I want to foster collaboration by attending conferences, workshops, and seminars, and network with academics and professionals in my field.”

This former Little Flower Secondary learner says her “biggest wish is to contribute to bringing the MUT Civil Engineering alumni on board to facilitate mentorship programmes and advise on curriculum development since they have experience from the industry”. She says she will facilitate a connection between the alumni and the current students, particularly for internship opportunities.  This mentorship can provide valuable guidance and advice for students’ personal and professional growth, Mkhize said. Mkhize hails from a place called Hlokozi, in the inner south coast of KwaZulu-Natal.  Mkhize’s co-supervisor for her PhD is Dr Joseph Bwapwa, a Lecturer in the department.