Change the world

Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology

Mr Mkuseli Mani, Lecturer in Human Settlement (far right) won the first prize at the Annual National Govan Mbeki awards held recently at Gallagher Estates in Johannesburg. Mr Mani won the first prize in “enhanced peoples housing process category” and had the best managed and implemented project.

Doing our 67 minutes of service: The Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology decided to visit Eastern Province Child&Youth Care Centre on Thursday 18 July. The centre takes care of 101 children. Each child received a blanket and a snack pack.

The kids and staff members signed birthday cards to Madiba and paid tribute by singing happy birthday to him.


New Dean for EBEIT

It is with pleasure that we announce the appointment of our new Dean of the Faculty, Dr Oswald Franks, who takes up his position on 1 July.

Dr Franks has extensive experience as a professional engineer, having practiced as a contracts and project engineer in the fabrication, mining, and nuclear energy sectors.

During his 27-year academic career, he has held the positions of Senior Lecturer, Head of Department, Director of the Institute of Technology, and Dean of the Engineering Faculty at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

He holds a PhD in Engineering Science, a first degree in Mechanical Engineering, an honours degree in Business and Administration, and a Government Certificate of Competency (Mines and Works).

Prior to his appointment to NMMU, Dr Franks was the Chief Executive Officer of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

We welcome him to the Faculty.

An Inaugural Lecture was done in honor of Prof Darelle van Greunen. Her paper touched on how ICT is used to address challenges by strengthening the following key issues:

  • Communication for quick and easy access, dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge;
  • Productivity to improve efficiency, competitiveness, and responsiveness of institutions, firms, and markets;
  • Accountability to increase transparency in private and public institutions and in regulatory and policy processes;
  • Inclusiveness to increase access to services, information and resources for poor and marginalized groups; and
  • Empowerment for a greater voice in the public decision-making process.

Mobile network operators have a leading role to play in the successful realisation of the benefits outlined in this paper, but they will need the collective support of key stakeholders.

NGOs, private enterprises, universities and governments must also contribute their knowledge and expertise to bring critical elements together.

The use of ICT can make a direct contribution to poverty reduction, giving producers and small entrepreneurs access to market information, job opportunities, business and technical skills and banking services. These technologies drive innovation, productivity and efficiency gains across industries, contributing to overall economic growth and competitiveness.

The research projects executed in the Eastern Cape are aimed at connecting people to their governments, strengthen service delivery and supporting basic human rights.

Finally, through the use of ICTs, development agencies, field workers, local organizations and communities are linked, enabling them to share knowledge and to find common solutions to some of the region's most pressing challenges.

We congratulate you on your achievement!


During an agreement meeting in May,the five authors of the original "Everyman’s Building Contract, First Edition 1989", cede in perpetuity and at no cost, all rights in terms of their authorship and copyright to the Department of Quantity Surveying.

Subject to explicitly stipulated conditions, In accordance with the conditions attached to this, updating of the contents will ensure the future accuracy and currency of this valuable document.

"Everyman’s Building Contract", written in easily-understood language and produced in a unique format, proved its worth and gained great popularity in the South African Construction Industry.

After having been out of print for longer than a decade, the Second Edition of "Everyman’s", is to be published by the QS Department, will be watermarked and issued free of charge to registered students, and also made commercially available (without a watermark) for Private Sector construction projects.

The NMMU Academic Awards ceremony was held in June at the Boardwalk Convention Conference Centre. Excellence is one of the University’s six values, which we believe is core to achieving our vision of NMMU. We congratulate the following four academic achievers who have made such a wonderful contribution towards this vision:

  • Andries Lotter recieved the First Diploma Award within the Faculty. In 2013, the he graduated with his NDip Information Technology (CUM LAUDE). He achieved a 92.5% average for his 3rd year. In 2012, he did an Internship with KORBITEC and has further developed a good relationship with the company. Based on Andries excellent work, he was awarded a bursary by Korbitec for his BTech.
  • Juan Olwagen was awarded the First Degree Award in the Faculty. Juan graduated with the BSc Construction Economics Cum Laude with an overall average of 85.3%.During Juan studies, he worked for DSE Fabrication Facility (Aveng Grinaker-LTA) and Aveng Grinaker –LTA Coastal as student Quantity Surveyor where he was exposed to a range of quantity surveying activities.
  • Norman Addis received the BTech Deagree Award within the Faculty.Norman graduated with National Diploma in Electrical Engineering cum-laude with 21 distinctions, and with an overall aggregate of 91%. In 2012, Norman graduated with an average of 84% in his BTech year.He is currently on VW’s graduate program and is working in the quality assurance analysis department
  • Marc Hocheuser received the Albert Wessels Trust Award for the Best Master Dissertation. In 2011,he enrolled for MEng: Mechatronics and graduated Cum Laude with an overall average of 92%.Marc has been working at IAV Automotive Engineering GmbH Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr in the Development Powertrain Division since February 2013.

The Southern Africa Cisco Academy Support Centre, an entity with in the School of ICT, recently trained 18 employees sponsored by the Vodacom Foundation.

This is a partnership involving Cisco Systems, Vodacom and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

The overall aim of the partnership is to train unemployed youth in ICT skills and to further develop them into entrepreneurs. Two trainees from each of the nine Vodacom ICT resource centres were trained and this programme will in turn train 15 other trainees.

The Vodacom trainees were trained in PC Hardware and Software maintenance, Cisco Academy programme management and instructional delivery. The Cisco Academy Support Centre is proud to have delivered customised training at non-commercial rates in keeping with the spirit of the global Cisco Academy programme.


The Human Settlement Chair (HSDC) together with Prof. Kobus van Wyk, held a workshop in June 2013 at Missionvale Campus.

To kick-started the workshop, the Department of Human Settlement, HSDC and Management highlighted and obtained clarity on all the activities that have to be undertaken and assumed responsibility for the projects agreed to.

These projects should add value to the climate of change in South African human settlements, especially through capacity development.

All delegates were encouraged to utilise opportunities, to respect the diversity of our country and to serve with integrity and responsibility towards our fellow human beings.

Mechanical Engineering senior lecturer Dr Russell Phillips has turned a lifelong passion for both aviation and invention into a light aircraft. His Whisper X recently graced the cover of popular aviation magazine SA Flyer. This is the second aircraft to be designed and built by Russell, 49, who also has several noteworthy inventions in the renewable energy field, including the “twerly”, a “green” street light completely powered by wind and solar energy, which is being commercialised. He is also patenting a new type of wind turbine with segmented blades for more efficient wind harvesting.

Russell’s first aircraft was the Whisper motor glider in 2004. Both planes are sold as “kits” which flying enthusiasts can purchase to put together themselves. “Other people watch TV, I build things, fix things and invent things,” says Russell, who built most of the Whisper X in the garage of his Walmer home. “I’m an inventor during the day and after hours.”

Russell, who has been flying since he was in standard eight (Grade 10) built his first plane in 1984, when he was a second year student at the former Port Elizabeth Technikon. “I’ve owned 35 aeroplanes and built more than half of them. Some were kits, some were planes I restored.” It was only a matter of time before this self-proclaimed “aviation fanatic” built his own.

“The Whisper X is not unique or aero-dynamically different. It’s a combination of all the features that I like in planes that I’m familiar with.”The plane project has consumed most of his free time since 2008, but he has also been able to bring certain aspects into the classroom. “One of the subjects I teach is CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and I often bring in components [of the plane] to show students it’s not just a page in a book, but a real part in an aeroplane ... I don’t just teach, I do – and I believe this helps my teaching,” says Russell, who has won several NMMU teaching awards over the years. The plane is a composite (made from glass fibre-reinforced plastics) and students are able to use aspects of the structural design process as classroom examples. This exposure to composites helped in establishing the university’s first composites lab, which was used to produce the university’s unique solar car last year. “Airbus and Boeing are using more and more composite parts, with each new model that comes out. This will be the material of choice for high tech manufacturers in the future.”

The Whisper X is a similar design to the non-composite RV, which is the most popular “home built” in the world with over 8 000 flying worldwide, but Russell has designed his aircraft to outrun the slower RV, with a top speed of over 300km/h. Instead of the traditional “round gauges” in the cockpit to show speed and altitude, there is place for an iPad, which takes care of all the electronics at the touch of a screen. “There is less wiring, less complexity and less expense,” says Russell. “Most airliners today also have glass cockpits.”

Throughout the building process, the Whisper X was inspected and approved – but the first flight in his creation was still “terrifying”. “It’s a high performance, very fast aeroplane. If anything had gone wrong, it could have been fatal hence every precaution was taken”, says Russell, who is also a test pilot. NW


If you’ve noticed the variety and number of strange contraptions on the roof increasing then your eyesight is not deceiving you. The EBEIT Wind Energy Research Group (WERG) is hard at work with a number of experiments to do with harvesting of various renewable energies. The WERG group now has 4 interns working fulltime on the projects and big things are planned for 2013. Some of the main projects for 2013 are:

Heating of air using parabolic collectors and transferring this heat to a bed of rocks insulated within a vacuum (It is hoped to be able to store heat for a few days and use as required. Great for those rainy days!)

Refining our Solar Tracker (By tracking the sun with your solar panels you can gain up to 40% more energy per day)

Developing a cost effective, rugged solar cooker (We hope to offer you a solar cooked boerewors roll before the end of the year and/or a solar heated cup of coffee!)

Refining and commercializing our “green street light”. eNTsa is hard at work on this.

Developing the NMMU patented variable geometry wind turbine blade which hopefully will show improved daily energy yields over current designs. Hold thumbs!

Installation of wind turbine / solar panel power at a number of local schools.

Most of the projects are made possible by funding sourced through the Merseta / AIDC initiatives run by Karl du Preez and his dynamic team.

So if you’re at all interested in saving the planet (and your pocket) and have an interest in one or more of these exciting new green technologies pop in and pay us a visit at the Renewable Energy Lab in the E Block

A graduate of the Department of Building and Human Settlement Development (BHSD), Asithandile Rangile was recently appointed with Investec Bank Limited, based at the Head Office in Sandton as a Property Graduate in Industrial Development. His appointment involves undertaking feasibility studies, and the development of multi million rand forthcoming projects in South Africa.

Asithandile completed a B Tech Quantity Surveying (QS) in 2011 and a B Tech Construction Management (CM) in 2012 respectively. Asi as he is known, had to undergo strenuous panel interviews with the Managing Director of the group, and the final interview with the global CEO of Investec Property.

According to Asi, both the qualifications obtained at the NMMU have given him the edge over graduates traditionally employed in the past from renowned universities such as Wits and UCT.

Asi is full of praise of the NMMU, the BHSD department and the lecturers involved in the programme presented, further stating that the knowledge he obtained was essential to understand what really happens in the corporate world.

He encourages current B Tech students to make the most of their studies and emphasises that the B Tech CM / QS offers them more than they realise. Students need to develop, promote themselves and apply for top positions without fear. 

Congratulations Asithandile – we are proud of you!



The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) in collaboration with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) launched the Uyilo E-Mobility Programme, on the 13th of March 2013. This programme seeks to speed up the development of new technologies to create a sustainable infrastructure for the use of the electric vehicles through South Africa.

Awareness was created for the public with the programme launch that took place the 12th of March 2013. The pre-launch consisted of experiential stops at the Greenacres shopping mall, Govan Mbeki taxi rank, Sasol filling station in Summerstrand and at NMMU North Campus cafeteria. The public had the opportunity to view the cars and give their input regarding the new exciting programme. At the NMMU North campus, the student hype was incredible. As the university promotes an environment of technology transfer and innovation the programme was well received by the students, academics and researchers of the institution. 

The Uyilo E-Mobility Programme hosted by NMMU and supported by several vehicle manufacturers, such as BMW and Nissan. Furthermore, NMMU provides a live testing facility which enables research activities to be undertaken, while private sector partners would provide market experience and TIA would provide funding.

Various power services are involved in this programme to encourage research and development of the technology and infrastructures to support both electric and hybrid vehicles. The electric vehicles will be powered by electricity whereas the hybrid vehicles will be powered by the use of two or more distinct power sources.

It is part of TIA’s mandate to promote research and technological innovation within the country and Higher Education Institutions. For this reason the NMMU technology station, eNtsa, was selected to host this project due to their ability to deliver projects on time, for their skills and expertise within the group reflected by past projects.  

It is foreseen that the electric vehicle inevitable influence the face of the automotive industry and positively influence the investment within the South African economy and in turn challenge the perception of transportation.


During the month of March, Human Set­tlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has launched the country’s first Chair for Education in Human Settlements Devel­opment and Management at NMMU in March.


The launch of the four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Human Settlements is ex­pected to contribute an important body of knowledge towards finding solutions to tackle the challenges facing the sector.


The degree will ensure that graduates who enter the profession understand the key issues and debates in the sector and are competent to implement policies and solutions.


“This degree will create academic oppor­tunities, beyond debates and discussions for serious formal scholarly discourse, research, specialist knowledge skills and development for sustainable Human Settlements in South Africa said Minister Sexwale.


“The structure of the Human Settlements Development Degree course is designed in a way that is organic and evolutionary, bearing in mind that in our fast changing world of high technologies, particularly in­formatics, the course offered may have to adapt to new demands from time to time,” he said.


Matriculants and those interested in spe­cialising in Human Settlements will be able to study for this degree at NMMU from 2014.


Speaking at the launch, Professor Kobus van Wyk, the head of the degree pro­gramme at the university described the initiative as a dream coming true. “Have you ever dreamt a dream for 20 years and it comes true. This has one ma­jor aim that is to improve people’s lives”.


Prof. Van Wyk added that the decision to initiate the degree came after a careful consideration and realisation that South Africa needed a focused intervention if the country was to effectively deal with the is­sues of poverty and homelessness.


He said international research had indi­cated that about 8-million of the 1.2-billion people living in informal settlements or slums in the world were in South Africa. “I hope that this degree, with the body of knowledge that we will share, will some­how make a huge contribution,” he said.


Rayne Reid, an IT Masters student, recently took part in "Kaspersky’s CyberSecurity for the Next Generation" Asia-Pacific & Middle East African (AP&MEA) Cup 2013 held in Singapore.

Her paper entitled "Back to basics: Information security education for the youth via gameplay" was one of the very few accepted for presentation in Singapore as an AP&MEA regional finalist.

The paper introduced the suggestion of providing information security education to primary school kids via board games.

It presented an information security snakes and ladders game which was created to be brain-compatible to the target audience.

She won 3rd place as well as the award for the "Paper with the most practical application". This includes a trip to London in June 2013 for the International finals and some prize money.

When asked about the experience, Reid said: "I feel very privileged and grateful for the opportunity to have had my efforts heard and acknowledged.

This opportunity is a happy result of hard work which was done by our NMMU Information security research group, my supervisor ,Prof Johan Van Niekerk, and myself.

I am very thankful for such a fantastic result and I hope it leads to even greater opportunities in the future."

Subsequent to her achievements, her paper is in process of collaboration with the "Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)" with regards to youth cyber security education in Singapore. Prof Steve Furnell from University of Plymouth presenting Ms Reid with her prize


New Appointment

Dr Mgangira holds a BSc degree in Civil Engineering, MSc in En­gineering and earned his Doctor­ate at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum in Germany in 1992, with a focus in Geotechnical Engineering.

Dr Mgangira’s career has mostly been with academic and re­search institutions. For more than 11 years he lectured at the University of Malawi. During this time he held the positions of HOD Civil Engineering, Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Vice Principal at the Polytechnic, a constituent college of the Univer­sity of Malawi.

In 1997 he took up a senior lec­turer position at the then PE Tecknikon in the Civil Engineer­ing department and later got pro­moted to Principal Lecturer.

Since 2005 he has been working for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He is currently a Principal researcher within the Pavement Design and Construction research group of the Built Environment Unit. His areas of interest are Transport Geotechnics with a focus on geo-material characterisation and En­gineering Education.

He has published over 25 re­search papers including journal articles. As adjunct Professor he will collaborate in the delivery of NMMU civil engineering academ­ic programmes and strengthen research activities within the De­partment

Students from School of ICT won three of the six categories at the annual prestigious South African leg of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup.


Microsoft’s annual Imagine Cup is an international competition where students develop software solutions and compete in various categories. Of the three main categories, NMMU won two. The winner of the Best World Citizen Solution was team Su­perstiens with their solution: eTute Mathematics Tutoring System, a tab­let based mathematical tutor system.


The winner of the Best Game Proj­ect was team Sumo Develop­ment with their game called: Pil­lar – Revenge of the Mad Scientist.


Of the three individual Microsoft App categories, Mr Linda Nyoka won the Best Windows Phone App category.

Either of the School of ICT teams will stand a chance to travel to the final in Russia if their online en­try is selected by the organisers.


Noteworthy is the fact that, except for 2011, students from the School of ICT have won the Games category every year since the inception of that category.


In general, the School of ICT is by far the most successful unit from all universities over the eleven years of Imagine Cup competitions. Well done School of


NMMU Racing has reached a key milestone in their “Green Technology” project by securing an entry into the prestigious 2013 “Formula Student Electric” competition.

The German Formula Student competition, held each year in the first week in August at the Hockenheim Formula One circuit, caters for both combustion and electric racing cars, and after the phenomenal success of their first car combustion car “DibaOne” in 2011, NMMU Racing has returned with an all-new Green Technology electric racing car, dubbed “DibaTwo GT”.

To successfully enter the competition, teams from around the world undergo a rigorous online registration process consisting of a quiz that challenges both the team’s technical knowledge, and understanding of competition rules. Over 100 teams competed for only 40 positions, and NMMU Racing made history once again, by being to first South African team to gain entry into this alternative-energy racing formula.

DibaTwo GT, is a giant leap forward from DibaOne, and includes brand new technologies such as 100KW, 450Nm Brushless-DC electric motor powered by Lithium Polymer batteries, targeting a 0-100Km/h acceleration of under 4.7seconds! Another new development is a unique aerodynamic package incorporating front and rear wings, and a Formula One style under-body diffuser to increase cornering down-force.

The highly-motivated NMMU Racing team, consisting of mechanical and electrical engineering students, along with business and marketing students, plans to begin testing of DibaTwo GT within the next two months

The Wind Energy Research Group (WERG), the Advanced Mechatronics Technology Centre (AMTC) and the Blended Learning Team have embarked on a pilot project to solve the increasing demand for student charging points for devices.

A stainless steel kiosk, housing 18 lockable cabinets, has been built and erected in the passageway in front of room E17, E-Block, Summerstrand North Campus. These lockers are being powered with solar and wind energy for charging and provide the students with an “Always Charged” connected campus experience allowing them access to a very convenient and accessible resource to charge their devices.

Charge your electronic device (laptop, cellphone, tablet), whilst you are in class, using power from the sun and wind. Remember to use your own padlock in order to secure your devices; lockers may only contain electronic devices with associated chargers; not to be utilized as storage space; no overnight storage and all lockers to be vacated by 17h00 with padlocks removed.

The FamHealth-NMMU Youth Leadership Academy’s mission is to educate the youth, strengthen the family and rebuild the community by aiding and supporting the educational, spiritual, moral and social development of at-risk-youth. The launch of the Academy took place on the 25th of August 2012.

Participants will be limited to Grade 11 and 12 learners from the Northern areas and more specifically the Gelvandale area. Activities will take place at the FamHealth MediPark Centre where former Herald Citizen of the Year finalist, Dr Jeff Govender, of FamHealth and Prof Van Greunen will be jointly responsible for the programme. They will be assisted by members of the NMMU community.

The initiative will focus on a number of challenges facing youth in the Gelvandale area and aims to provide solutions by equipping those at risk with the tools they need to overcome their circumstances successfully. Gelvandale will also benefit since the initiative will be developing leaders; raising a new pool of adult volunteers and a general positive ripple effect amidst the youth in the community.

Prof van Greunen says that she is excited about the programme and is looking forward to assisting young people gain better appreciation for adults and of highlighting the multiple roles they can play.

The primary aim of the research is to determine and develop best practices and strategies for overcoming challenges and creating successful leadership experience for youth from the Gelvandale area. A secondary objective of the research is to determine how Information Communication Technology (ICT) can be used to achieve the primary aim without excluding human participation.

40 programmers, 48 hours to create an app for Windows Phone 7 and some amazing prizes. This was the driving force behind the Nokia Lumia Hackathon that took place in Port Elizabeth from the 16th – 18th of March at St Georges. Starting at 5pm on Friday evening, the programmers had 48 hours to create an app to be submitted on Sunday afternoon. With areas designated for developers, a chill out zone stocked with snacks and drinks, and a snooze zone kitted out with blankets and mattresses, the Hackathon began.

Working in teams of 1 or 2, a total of 24 apps were submitted on the Sunday afternoon. With First, second and third place being awarded to our very own students from the School of ICT.

First place was awarded to Stiaan Jacobs for his app “Particle Art”, which is an interactive way to create images on a Windows phone. He received a Nokia Lumia as well as an Xbox with Kinect.

Second place was awarded to Craig Marais for “Blockzor”, and arcade style game app. He received a Nokia Lumia and an Incredible Connection voucher

Third place was awarded to Reece Keates for “Sangoma”, an African take on a magic 8 ball app. He received a Nokia Lumia.

A Nokia Lumia was also awarded to Reece Keates and Jacques Fouche for helping

Employees at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) recently participated in the highly informative and practical Service and Maintenance 1 course at the Siemens Training Centre which is situated within the Advanced Mechatronics Technology Centre (AMTC) at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).

This training equipped these individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge required to efficiently apply systems and optimise product usage, resulting in shorter start-up times, reduced downtimes and faster trouble shooting.

“I would highly recommend this course to other FMCSA employees as well as any other individual involved in the servicing and maintenance side,” said Mr Theo Lungisa Ben, FMCSA employee. “It was very informative and I learnt about a number of new procedures,” he continued.

The AMTC Siemens Training Centre has played a major role in uplifting and developing individuals in the Eastern Cape automotive sector. All training provided is accredited by Siemens, with a number of the courses also registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). Training courses range from “Introduction to PLC” to “Programming”, “WinCC” and “WinCC Flex”

For more information on any of these courses please visit the website at

NMMU Racing competed in the Renault Simola Hillclimb Race in Knysna over the weekend, and managed to pull-off a third place in Class C4, for open-wheeled, naturally aspirated race cars!

Shortly after DibaOne had been built, NMMU Racing entered the 2010 Knysna Hillclimb, but decided to return to the event to fully test the capabilities of the vehicle at this year’s Speed Festival.Surrounded by Mclarens, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis, DibaOne ran solidly through practice and qualifying events on the Saturday, to end up in the top-three shoot-out for its class on the Sunday. During the event, Vishek Mohanlal and Richard Chambers managed to improve their times by more than five seconds, finishing the 1.9km hill at an average speed of 106km/h.

Gugu Zulu also took time to wish the team well, and posed for a photograph. The team appreciates the support and positive role model he has provided over the past year.


The Cisco Academy Conference was held at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology from 3-4 July 2012 this year. It was followed by post-conference training that concluded on 13 July 2012. Approximately 80 delegates, mostly from the SADC region, attended the conference as it was aimed at empowering and informing instructors.

This conference was particularly important as the global programme had just completed the migration of all academies to a new business architecture that is meant to heighten operational effectiveness and give rise to better student outcomes. The conference largely dwelt on the process and technological implications of the new structure.

The CATC (now called the Academy Support Centre for SADC) and the School of ICT were well represented as Gratitude Kudyachete presented on IPv6 ; Kerry- Lynn Thomson and Shaun Vincent had a captivating presentation on “How to get the Best out of the teaching tool”, Kerry-Lynn conducted CCNA Retooling; Gratitude Kudyachete conducted CCNA Security instructor training jointly with cput and Packet Tracer and Calvain Nangue were in attendance. Our NMMU local academy won three awards: CCNA Security Curriculum Excellence; CCNP Curriculum Excellence and Academy Growth Award.

This was an award haul not matched by any of the other academies. Congratulations to the whole team in our local academy for exuding such excellence. Keep up the good work.


Prof Darelle van Greunen (School of ICT) and Prof Mike Lee (Centre for High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy) were invited to join a Department of Science and Technology (DST) mission to Europe during the 3rd week of January 2012. The purpose of the mission was to have expert researchers, programme owners and other stakeholders from South Africa (SA), visiting four European countries with the aim to offer information about cooperation opportunities and to strengthen SA research collaboration with EU counterparts in specific thematic fields. The mission was targeted towards offering information about existing South African research and innovation opportunities for collaboration with European stakeholders. The countries identified were Germany, the UK, France and the Netherlands.

The SA delegation included researchers and programme owners from the key research areas as identified by DST, namely Energy, Climate Change, Nanotechnology and ICT for Sustainability, Health and Environment. Meetings in Europe included representatives from International Research Institutes, Universities, Government Representative of the European countries and industry representatives.

Prof van Greunen says the meetings were beneficial and have created new opportunities for both national and international collaboration for the School of ICT, not only in ICT but across disciplines. The meetings also served to strengthen existing relations for the Centre for High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy, according to Prof Lee.

Each year the Faculty Staff Awards take place to honour all staff for excellent service towards the Faculty. Congratulations to the following recipients:

School Winners Faculty Teacher of the Year:

School of Engineering: Mr Clive Hands

School of the Built Environment: Mr Wayne Draai

School of ICT: Ms Annelize du Preez

Overall Winner: Ms Annelize du Preez

School Winners Faculty Researcher of the Year:

School of Engineering: Prof K Abou-El-Hossein

School of the Built Environment: Prof John Smallwood

School of ICT: Prof RA Botha

Overall Winner: Prof John Smallwood


Congratulations Prof Rossouw von Solms and Prof Danie Hattingh, who has been awarded recognition as distinguished professors.

This is a "new" policy (approved in 2010) which has taken a while to come to fruition. The interviews took place three weeks ago.

The status of Distinguished Professor is conferred for a period of five years where after it can be renewed after re-evaluation.

We are particularly proud to have two Distinguished Professors in our Faculty. Well done!

Gold Medal Award

Congratulations to Prof Danie Hattingh of eNtsa who will receive the Gold Medal Award from the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) next month, recognising his exceptional achievement across a broad spectrum of his field.

The Institute’s highest honour will be awarded to Prof Hattingh in recognition of his vision and leadership in developing a friction stir welding technology at NMMU that is at the very forefront of this technology and applying the process commercially in industry to solve complex problems.

Introduced in 1966, this award recognises a company or an individual who has significantly contributed to welding technology or to the Institute.  


It was confirmed by Head of DAAD Sub Sahara Africa, Mr Cay Etzold, that Professor Udo Becker will be commencing his duties as new Chair of the VWSA-DAAD International Chair in Automotive Engineering at NMMU from the 1st of July 2012.

Prof Becker holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and earned his Doctorate from the UAS Rostock in 1998. Professor Becker has in the past been involved with several NMMU / Ostfalia student projects and has also presented a number of accredited short courses for the VWSA-DAAD Chair.

NMMU will soon launch a new cost-saving bicycle and scooter pilot project. This project will see an initial ten staff members use solar battery-powered bicycles and scooters to get around North and South campuses, while their vehicles remain under a new covered parking facility hosting solar panel.

The solar energy from these panels will be fed directly into the university’s electricity grid in yet another move to expand the use of renewable energy at the university.

The Department of Quantity Surveying is proud of Janita Petzer who received the prestigious 2011 ASAQS Gold Medal Award in June, at the ICEC International Conference, held in Durban. Janita obtained her BSc Construction Economics degree (cum laude) in 2010 and her BSc Honours (Quantity Surveying) degree (cum laude) in 2011.

She is the fourth student to receive this award since the establishment of the department in 1970. The award is made available by The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors on an annual basis. The focus criteria for the award are based on overall academic performance, leadership skills and community involvement.

Well done to Zynn Webster and Sivulyile Ntdinde from our School of ICT who recently represented South Africa in the EMEA section of the international CISCO CCNA Netriders competition after being placed 1st and 3rd respectively in the national leg of the competition.

They then went on to compete against the winners from the other competing countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  The top five students in the international competition won a study trip prize to Cisco headquarters in the US. Although they were not amongst the top five, they represented the School of ICT extremely well and we congratulate them on their achievements.

Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders competitions utilise Cisco's Web 2.0 technologies to create an interactive networking skills contest that enhances classroom learning, unites students from across the world, and promotes further technology education and training.


3rd year Mechatronics students Micheal Louwrens and Bernard Gerber won 1st prize at the South African WorldSkills competition in the category mobile robotics.

They will represent South Africa at the International WorldSkills competition, which will take place in Germany in July 2013. The students have been supported by GMSA of Mechatronics.

Professor Rossouw von Solms and Dr Lynn Futcher attended the 27th Annual IFIP TC11 International Information Security and Privacy Conference (SEC 2012) in Crete, Greece, from 3 to 6 June 2012. The annual SEC conferences attract international researchers and practitioners from academia, industry, and government institutions to discuss the various IT security and privacy challenges that prevail today and that are predicted for the future.

This was followed by the Human Aspects of Information Security and Assurance Symposium (HAISA 2012), held from 6 to 8 June 2012, which drew many contributions from South African researchers, including three from the School of ICT. This symposium specifically addresses information security issues relating to people. While Dr Lynn Futcher presented her paper titled “SecSDM: A Usable Tool to Support IT Undergraduate Students in Secure Software Development”, one of our recent PhD graduates, Dr Alexandros Yeratziotis, presented his paper titled “A Framework for Evaluating Usable Security: The Case of Online Health Social Networks”. In addition, a current Master’s student, Ms Noluxolo Kortjan, presented her paper titled “Ethical Guidelines for Cyber-related Services Aimed at the Younger Generations”.

All these papers were well received and prompted many interesting discussions. The stunning island of Crete proved to be the perfect location to network and interact with renowned security researchers and practitioners from across the globe!

The South African National Research Network (SANReN), a part of the CSIR, recently signed a MoU with the Institute for ICTA Advancement (IICTA) in the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology.

The main objective of this MoU is to conduct research and develop high level manpower in the fields of communication networks and IT governance. A number of postgraduate scholarships form part of this agreement and the first postgraduate research students will enroll next year. Also forming part of this agreement is the opportunity for students who studied in the field of Communication Network to work at SANReN and gain valuable practical experience in the process.

The students will stay at the premises of the CSIR for the three weeks and work on the national communications network that links almost all universities.

The School of ICT hosted a two-day workshop on Computer Malware and Ethical hacking in March. This workshop introduced attendees to the different types of malicious software from a theoretical and practical implementation perspective.

Mr Manuel Corregedor, facilitator from the Academy of Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Johannesburg addressed many topics such as Introduction to malware, introduction to the concept of ethical hacking, identification of vulnerabilities in systems and networks, exploiting identified vulnerabilities to hack the systems and networks and methods to secure the systems and networks against hacking.

Future Engineers


On the 2nd of July 2012, 30 excited grade 12 learners arrived with great expectations at the onset of the Automotive Experiential Career Development Programme (AECDP) Engineering Winter School. These potential engineers were selected from 16 schools within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

The programme has now been running for seven years, receiving national recognition and endorsement from several bodies, including the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

One of the objectives of the Winter School is to expose these learners to various engineering disciplines with a specific focus on the Automotive Industry. This is achieved through a programme which includes skills in basic End-users; mechanical design; manufacturing processing; networking and programming as well as STEM Physical Science Theory and practical sessions. Workshops in Diversity, HIV/AIDS and life skills; Learning styles, Study skills and Time Management form part of this holistic programme. A Learning Potential Computerised Adaptive Test (LPCAT) together with exposure to Career Mentor, an interactive computer-based interest profiling, allow learners to realise their potential in engineering. 

This year, with the financial support of the automotive sector through Transvelop, the programme included a Factory Tour and visit to the Autopavilion at Volkswagen SA in Uitenhage.

Learners are awarded participatory certificates at a prize-giving and the top academic achiever and the learner that displays leadership qualities are

recognised by the AIDC Eastern Cape with awards. 


Prof Van Wyk was invited by the World Bank Institute (WBI) to do a presentation at the Networking Event on Online Education in Urban Management and related topics. 

The Networking Event was one of a series of networking events that were held at the 6th Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF), which was held in Naples, Italy from 1-7 September 2012. The World Bank and UN-Habitat were the main organizers of the Session, which was attended by 10 000 delegates from countries all over the world. It included networking events, dialogues, ministerial meetings, training sessions and a host of other activities and displays.

 Prof Van Wyk reports: “Attending the 6th Session of the WUF was a most valuable experience that will enhance our education and research efforts in human settlement development and management”.

ISACA Meeting

The Eastern Cape regional branch of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) held its quarterly meeting at the Conference Centre of the NMMU on Thursday 22 March 2012.

The two speakers during the event was; firstly, Prof Basie von Solms from the University of Johannesburg. His talk was titled: “Cyber Security and Critical Information Protection: The Role of Parliamentary Oversight” and addressed the important role that government should play in the protection of cyberspace to ensure that governmental, enterprise and personal information is properly protected. The second speaker was Mr Gary Hardy who spoke about CobiT 5. CobiT 5 will be launched during April this year and will provide a new and alternative ways to effectively govern IT within a modern enterprise. Mr Hardy was one of the architects of CobiT over many years.



Quantity Surveying alumnus Khwezi Kondil recently represented South Africa at two youth leadership summits, the Y20 in Mexico and the G8-G20 in Washington. A Business Analyst at the Accenture Group in Johannesburg, Khwezi was part of NMMU’s Beyond the Classroom leadership development programme, preparing him for these summits facilitated locally by the SA Youth for International Diplomacy.


Congratulations to Professor Danie Hattingh and the eNtsa team that won the 2012 Eskom Chairman’s award for Innovation with their research partners from ESKOM.

The engineering team received this award in recognition of their efforts and work done on the Hendrina Turbine project, implementing the NMMU developed WeldCore® technology. This resulted in R1billion rand saving for ESKOM.

The Cyber Security Research Group at the NMMU hosted a Cyber Security Talk on Tuesday 13 November at the University. Talks on important topics like; ‘how you protect yourself in cyberspace’ and ‘cyber-bullying’ were given by Dr Johan van Niekerk and Prof Frans Marx respectively.

After these talk, the winners of the Cyber Security Poster Competition received certificates and prizes. Here is Kayla Bosch, from Brylin Primary School, receiving a certificate and a tablet computer as winner of the primary school section from Prof Rossouw von Solms. Kayla’s poster depicted a clear message that one should never trust a stranger in cyberspace. Brylin Primary School also won a data projector for their school because of Kayla’s winning poster.

According to Dr Johan van Niekerk, organizer of the Poster Competition, more than 200 hundred posters were received, mostly from primary schools. The main cyber security messages expounded through these posters were: 1) do not trust strangers in cyberspace, 2) do not reveal private information onto cyberspace and 3) cyber-bullying is very bad and dangerous.

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