“I was so excited and grateful for the opportunity and experience to share something I had worked hard on for so long,” said an elated Nokwanda Dlamini, alumna at the Durban of University of Technology (DUT).
The former Bachelor of Engineering Technology –Industrial Engineering student had her paper co-authored with DUT’s Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Industrial Engineering, Dr Oludolapo Akanni Olanrewaju. Their paper titled: An investigation into Campus Safety and Security, was accepted for presentation and publication at the 11th Annual International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM) in Singapore. The online conference was organised by the IEOM Society International, recently.
The conference aims to provide a forum for academics, researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas and recent developments in the field of Industrial Engineering and Operations Management.
Speaking further on her paper, Dlamini said that the objectives of this investigation were to identify root causes of violent incidents on campus and develop a basic framework that institutions can use in order to develop a proactive campus security system.
“As noted in my findings, women are more likely to feel unsafe on campus than men. The general response to this is that women should never walk alone or that they should carry pepper spray. However, the onus should be on the institution and all its stakeholders to ensure safety for all students, especially women,” she said.
She relayed that one of the challenges identified from her research is the sharing of information or lack thereof.
“In order to have a proactive security system, information (from reliable sources) must be shared in real time between university management, security, staff as well as students,” she said.
Her advice to women researchers who want to continue researching safety at institutions is to look at the conceptual framework published in the paper. “From this framework they will be able to identify key areas that directly affect safety on campus,” she said.
Dlamini indicated that she also plans on focusing on research topics that allow her to delve deeper into the world of industrial engineering, specifically management information systems.
Speaking on his reaction when he had realised that the paper was accepted for presentation and publication at the conference, Dr Olanrewaju said he was not surprised.
“She has proved to be a potential scholar and this applies to all the third year Industrial Engineering students of the 2020 Academic year,” he said.
Explaining further why it was vital to embark on such research topics, Dr Olanrewaju said that he gave students the opportunity to choose a topic of their choice.
“All I did was to guide my students by scrutinising together through the double diamond method in identifying a topic worth researching. It is also important to note these are third year students, so coming up with such a brilliant topic is commendable of Dlamini.
Pictured: Nokwanda Dlamini