Vol1 no2 2016
The Alumni newsletter of the
Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
Hey TUT Alumni,
Welcome to the second edition of "Our Beat". Our newsletter is designed to be your source for recent developments from the University with inspiring and feel-good stories emanating from its staff, students and alumni.
You will be glad to know that, the Alumni Relations Office, will welcome more than 8000 new members from all campuses who will graduate between April and early May 2016.
These students are graduating from a rich array of competitive programmes offered by our University, some of them found only at TUT.
We Iook forward to their contribution in many ways after they have graduated.
In this issue, read more about how a partnership between the City of Tshwane Municipality and the University aims to alleviate insufficient funding available for students to access and complete their studies.
We also caught up with a former Technikon Northern Transvaal graduate and Nigeria’s most beautiful girl.
We furthermore encourage you to send us your letters, whether it’s to your former lecturer or university’s management, we will gladly deliver it to its rightful recipient.
Your view matters
Congratulations to Norman Shingange, our previous competition winner, your prize is on its way!
All you have to do is answer the following question (don’t fret, you should get the answer somewhere in this edition): WHEN DID DR AGNIETA PRETORIUS JOIN TUT?
Please send your answer, name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org before or on 31 May 2016. Please mark the subject field: COMPETITION. The winner will be announced in the next edition. Only registered TUT alumni can enter. Good luck!
This publication may contain third party advertisements and links to third party sites. The Tshwane University of Technology does not make any representation as to the accuracy or suitability of any of the information contained in these advertisements or sites and does not accept any responsibility or liability for the conduct or content of those advertisements and sites and the offerings made by the third parties.
The Beat Goes On
for the future
The current economic climate unscrupulously ravages the futures of those who are in need, stripping them of opportunities to education. The City of Tshwane, in a concerted effort to actively combat this, pledged its support to students during a handover of cheques ceremony on 14 April 2016.
Six institutions of higher learning in the Tshwane Metropolitan area each received a cheque to the amount of R250 000 from Executive Mayor, Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
The function was attended by various heads of institutions, Student Representative Councils (SRC’s), media and other stakeholders.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Lourens van Staden, accepted the cheque of R250 000, which will be used to assist more needy students at the University to realise their dreams.
"TUT currently has 15 000 registered first-years, which is more than most other institutions in the country. It is important that these students benefit from strategic partnerships, such as the one between institutes of higher learning and the City of Tshwane. This donation unquestionably reaffirms the notion that it does take a village to raise a child," said Prof van Staden.
Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa said that it was important to acknowledge education and research as key areas in advancing the local economy and the Gross Domestic Product. Even more so because the City has the highest concentration of higher education and training institutions country-wide. "66% of people who live in this city are youth, and the best thing to give them is an education – that is an act of honouring the late Madiba," he concluded.
Other institutions that received donations were UNISA, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, University of Pretoria, Tshwane North College, and Tshwane South College.
City of Tshwane Executive Mayor, Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa and Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Lourens van Staden share a joke.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Lourens van Staden and Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning, Prof Stanley Mukhola, accept the donation from City of Tshwane Executive Mayor, Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
DR AGNIETA PRETORIUS
Faculty of Information and Communication Technology
Dr Agnieta Pretorius is a Senior Lecturer and Academic Manager in the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the eMalahleni Campus. She exudes confidence and allure that leaves one in awe.
She holds a Diploma in Programming, a BCom Degree and BSc (Hons) in Information Systems and a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership, all obtained at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her DTech degree, with the thesis titled “Model of a knowledge management support system for choosing intellectual capital assessment methods”, was obtained in 2008 at TUT.
Dr Pretorius’s career started as a Learner Official (programming) in 1989 at Barlow Rand Computer Services. She worked her way up to becoming an Analyst Programmer until 1995, when she joined Electronic Data Systems (EDS) as a Consultant.
In 1999, she left the industry and joined TUT as a Junior Lecturer and has never looked back. Dr Pretorius lectures the National Diploma and B Tech students and is currently supervising and co-supervising a number of Master’s students. She is an author and co-author of a variety of articles in international and locally accredited journals and conference proceedings. She regularly reviews articles for journals and conferences and recently participated in collaborative research projects with research partners from Germany and Sweden.
In addition to her accolades, Dr Pretorius is the current Chairperson of the Research Committee of the eMalahleni Campus, and of the Faculty of ICT’s Research Ethics Committee.
Her field of expertise and research specialisation is information systems with the focus on:
• Decision support systems
• Assessment of intellectual capital
• Knowledge and innovation management
• Standards in software development
DR JACO JORDAAN
Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment
With a personal motto that says “Don’t expect things from people if you have not done it yourself - lead from the front”, Dr Jaco Jordaan, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Electrical Engineering does just that.
Dr Jordaan is a knowledgeable scholar who believes that research is passion. He obtained his Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the Tshwane University of Technology in 2006. His two MSc degrees in Electronic Systems and Engineering Management were obtained concurrently in 2004, from the South-Westphalia University of Applied Sciences (Soest - Germany) and the University of Bolton (England), respectively. He also boasts of a Masters in Electrical engineering and a B.Eng Electrical/Electronic from North West University.
A seasoned engineer with a wealth of knowledge in electrical and electronics engineering, Dr Jordaan has successfully conceived and developed new innovative products for companies such as Electronic Products Design (EPD). He joined the TUT in 2004 as a part-time lecturer in Signal Processing and Electrical Engineering before he was appointed Post-Doctoral researcher and supervisor of BTech and Masters students.
With his diversity and flexibility, Dr Jordaan is an invaluable asset to his business associates as he directly contributes to the creation, implementation and promotion of world class products, services and technologies. Being a personable, resourceful, energetic and charismatic individual, his goal is always to perform beyond expectations making him a great resource to TUT.
Dr Jordaan’s field of expertise and research specialisation is in the Electronic Engineering field with focus on:
• Numerical methods and analysis
• Signal processing
What is Y Rating:
Young researcher (below 40 years of age), who have held the doctorate or equivalent qualification for less than five years at the time of applications, and who are recognised as having the potential to establish themselves as researchers within a five-year period after evaluation.
TUT's Rated Researchers
with David Tshiporo – GM of Southern Africa Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
WHAT DOES THE JOB ENTAIL?
My responsibilities include managing the Healthcare Diagnostics business in 23 English-speaking Southern and Eastern African countries (including 1 Portuguese-speaking country – Mozambique) and also Ghana and Nigeria.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB? – AND THE WORST?
Best - Customer Interaction, this is where I get to hear my clients’ pains and excitements or things that affect their businesses or lives. I believe that I’m a people’s person, I am mostly happy when I’m surrounded by people. I like being around people.
Worst – The worst part about my job is when it comes to the South African Rand value versus the foreign currencies, where, even though I conduct the business locally, I still need to report my performance in foreign currencies. When the rand is at its lowest, all my achievements become devalued.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU’VE EVER TAKEN?
Siemens always have these exciting products where we have to test the market and look at the right segmentation and at that time we had one product that we wanted to put to the market but there was one supplier who was monopolising the business – they were market leaders.
I had to take a risk of doing a deal not the orthodox way, meaning that the deal would suit the customer and with more risk left for us to manage. The risk was all about how we package the deal, and I remember, even my boss warning me saying that “if the deal is not beneficial to us you are out”.
Surprisingly, the risk changed my fortunes, because the deal structure suited the customer and lasted 8 years instead of the initial agreed 3 years.
WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY?
Lies and excuses make me angry. I always say, if you are not sure about something or if you think you will have short-falls, it’s better to tell me the truth or ask questions rather than coming to me with lies and excuses. Tell me the truth and I will deal with it, because in the business environment, incorrect information can cost a lot of money. I’m one person who cannot pretend, so if I am happy or angry people will know.
WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF YOUR DAYS AS A STUDENT?
My first ever radio stint, representing the faculty at a regional radio station, talking about medical technology, all thanks to being a top student in our class – it was an unanimous decision. I enjoyed that interview. I’m not sure if I was talking sense or not, but yeah, I did enjoy that one and the others that came after.
WHO WAS YOUR FAVOURITE LECTURER?
Mr Peterse, a Microbiology lecturer, laid-back and humorous, he could connect with the class, and he wasn’t too harsh or too soft. He was relevant for that era.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WORKING?
I’m the captain for our golf club, Kingpins Golf Social Club. It’s quite an ‘involved responsibility’. It consists of 15 members, and we play for charity and give back to the community – e.g. caddies and orphanages. I also enjoy extreme sports; I’ve participated in the highest bungee jumping in the world.
YOU ARE ALSO A DONOR REPRESENTATIVE ON THE TUT’S COUNCIL, PLEASE SHARE WITH US HOW YOU SEE YOUR ROLE ON COUNCIL.
The University has a lot of donors, I need to form a network amongst all the donors and also increase the network. My responsibility is to add more “quality donors” to the University.
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY IN LIFE?
Do the right thing every time, even if no one is watching.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR FELLOW ALUMNI?
Use your time wisely; give back, in whichever way, whether it’s to your school or your community, just give back.
AGE: 45 years old
PLACE OF BIRTH: Venda - Thohoyandou
QUALIFICATIONS: National Dip – Medical Technology (former TNT), International Marketing Management (Damelin) M.A. P (Wits Business School)
CURRENT POSITION: General Manager of Southern Africa Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
Alumnus honoured in London
What’s the secret ingredient to creating proudly South African students, who represent their country well in other parts of the world, the answer is simple – TUT.
Former TUT Vocal Arts graduate, Simon Shibambu, received this year's Rising Star of the Year Award at the prestigious event held on 20 April 2016 in London.
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Brand South Africa Business Awards are held to honour South Africans who have done the most to promote South Africa and South African business.
Born in Alexandra, Johannesburg, Simon holds a TUT National Diploma and B Tech Degree in Vocal Arts obtained in 2013.
Simon has since been living in London, where he is studying towards his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at the Royal College of Music.
He is in the Young Singers Project for the Salzburg Festival 2016 in Austria and will be featured in the two Opera productions of Manon Lescaut by Giacomo Puccini and Thaïs by Jules Massenet and he will also be involved in the concerts and master classes.
Jill Ritchie, a member of TUT Council who was present at the event in London says she is very proud of Simon’s great accomplishments.
“He is an immensely talented bass baritone, dedicated and very hard working. He exemplifies someone who has appreciated the opportunities that TUT’s highly regarded Arts Faculty offers.
“Having an office in London, I spend quite a bit of time here and I have heard many people here speak highly of this outstanding, talented and ethical young Global South African. He will go far and make us all more proud. The first thing that he said to me after the announcement of his award was, “My mom will be so happy.” What a special young man”, Jill added.
“An alumnus receiving any recognition, but particularly in the competitive global arena, serves to remind us that, although TUT, like other universities, has its challenges, our dedicated teaching staff are doing some great things, often in difficult circumstances and not always with optimal equipment and facilities, she concluded.
Simon Shibambu with Council Member Jill Ritchie, after receiving his award.
COULD YOU PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am 23 years old and I graduated with a BTech in Business Information Systems at TUT. I am currently Miss Universe Nigeria, an ambassador of Nigeria to the world, and I co-own Tree Africa with Cephas Collins, which is a non-profit organization that offers a platform to young people. It creates a thriving room for growth; we motivate, inspire and mentor young people to achieve their very best.
BEFORE THE MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT, WHAT WERE YOU BUSY WITH?
I was working at an NGO for children suffering from cancer, as well as a part-time model.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT FROM THE COMPETITION?
I learned that inner beauty trumps all, there will always be a more beautiful woman in the room, but the one thing that should stand out about you is your aura and the positive energy you radiate to those around you.
WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES BEING ON SUCH A PRESTIGIOUS PAGEANT?
It was such an interesting and challenging journey, because there were so many different countries involved. It was a world-class stage and I was away from home, but I pulled through, the best way I knew how.
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY IN LIFE?
I believe that in whatever you do, put your best in, because what differentiates you from the rest is your attention to detail and the finesse with which you carry out your plans.
WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF YOUR DAYS AS A STUDENT AT TUT?
I remember working as a Student Assistant at Building 31, Operations Management Department, it was such an interesting time for me, gaining work experience and earning a salary at the same time.
WHICH OF THE SKILLS YOU LEARNT AT TUT ARE YOU CURRENTLY USING IN YOUR JOB?
I think more than anything, I’ve learned how to effectively communicate, and communication is such a huge part of our day to day lives. I'm glad it was something I took interest in.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
I see myself as a well-established entrepreneur, as well as a humanitarian because I believe so much in humanity.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO ASPIRE TO BE MISS UNIVERSE?
Go for it. Equip yourself mentally, try not to be the clichéd beauty queen, read, and educate yourself about your environment and the world at large. Take care of your looks and just let that inner beauty shine.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WORKING?
I read, exercise and write poetry.
WHERE TO FROM HERE? WHERE IS DEBBIE HEADED TO?
Back to America for a short visit, that country definitely left its mark.
Meet TUT's beauty with brains
Interview with Debbie Collins, Miss Universe Nigeria.
When 27 year-old Clement Pilusa, entered the South African Breweries (SAB) Kick-start Youth Entrepreneurship Programme a year ago, he didn’t think that he would walk away with the first place grant fund of R500 000, that has helped sustain his farming business.
Pilusa, who graduated with a National Diploma in Agricultural Science in 2014, has successfully placed six TUT interns and one UNISA intern in his farm. The Limpopo born farmer said he first established his farming and fresh produce business in 2012, beginning with vegetables and later expanding into broiler chicken production (chickens bred and raised specifically for meat production) and layers (for the purpose of commercial egg production).
He said, he has a good relationship with TUT’s Department of Crop Science and Animal Production who would normally bring in students for 12 months experiential training. “I spend a year with these students teaching them basic broiler management i.e. what the broiler needs on a daily basis to survive and expose them to expenditure management to see if the sector is profitable or not,” he added.
According to Pilusa his passion for farming/agriculture started a long time ago in high school when we had to choose the stream he wanted to follow i.e. either Commercial Science or Agricultural Science and he opted for the latter.
“Having been awarded top performer in high school, my teachers encouraged me to follow this career path as they could see potential in me,” Pilusa said.
Meanwhile, Lebogang Mere, final-year student in Animal Production, said she has learnt how to take care of the chickens from a day-old until slaughter, giving them medication and feeding them.
“My manager, Clement, is a very inspiring person, he started his farm on his own, and he has shown us that with dedication anything is possible,” added Lebogang
Clement Pilusa with some of the TUT interns that are currently receiving work experience at the farm.
Clement Pilusa, farm owner.
Farmer ploughs back to his University