The Durban University of Technology’s Research and Postgraduate Support Directorate recognised outstanding research students during the Annual Research and Innovation Awards held at the iconic Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre last week.
Giving the purpose of the night and welcoming guests, the Acting Director for Research and Postgraduate Support, Professor Carin Napier said the awards were expanded to 13 categories. The categories were aimed at recognising researchers who had attained remarkable achievements in various research projects they had carried out.
“All the finalists went through a round of a rigorous selection process based on a set of assessment and criteria,” said Prof Napier.
She added that irrespective of each individual researcher’s talent and interests they all had something in common and that was being positive role models and mentors to a young generation keen on pursuing research, saying this contributes greatly to the nurturing of post graduate research environment at DUT.
Some of the accolades which were up for grabs included Innovator of the Year, Woman Researcher of the Year, Research Group of the Year, Senior Researcher of the Year Award, Top Junior Reseacher of the Year Award, Top Published Masters Student of the Year Award, Top Doctoral Student of the Year Award, to name but a few.
In her opening address, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Professor Sibusiso Moyo thanked all the attendees reiterating that it was important to recognise excellence.
“Our research has grown over the years, and I know we just had chancellor’s awards which recognises engagement and student centeredness and also council awards which recognises building sustainable student communities of living and learning and building a learning organisation,” said Prof Moyo.
Delivering his key note address, Director – General at the National Department of Science and Technology Dr Phil Mjwara highlighted the role of universities of technology in the fourth industrial revolution, saying they were key role players in advancing the economy of the world.
“According to world economic forum, the fourth industrial revolution is underpinned by digitalisation and convergence of several digital technologies, often telling new ways of doing business,” said Dr Mjwara.
He said government was making funds available as an investment to support initiatives for the fourth industrial revolution.
Also in attendance were Faculty Deputy Deans and the DUT Chancellor Judge Vuka Tshabalala.
Pictured: Postgraduates students with their certificates during the Annual Research and Innovation Awards.