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It was a surreal moment for the ecstatic, new Doctoral graduates who graduated at the esteemed Durban University of Technology (DUT) 2023 Spring graduation which was held at the Olive Convention Centre, on Monday, 18 September 2023.

Hassan Owaes Magray, Pheneas Bhekinkosi Madonsela were the proud graduates who had received their degree of Doctor of Engineering which falls under the Faculty of the Engineering and the Built Environment.

Magray expressed that it has been a long journey to him achieving his PhD. “It started in 2019 and then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, so with determination and belief in myself the day has finally come. I am truly happy,” he beamed.

His dissertation delved into sulphur-driven anammox systems as a potential solution for nitrogen removal from wastewater, with a focus on utilizing sulphur compounds as electron donors to drive the anammox process and reduce energy costs.

“The research contributes to improved strategies for nitrogen removal using the SPDA process, enhancing wastewater treatment system design and operation for better performance and cost-effectiveness in nitrogen-rich wastewater treatment,” he said.

Madonsela, who is from Jozini expressed how proud he is of himself to have obtained his PhD at the age of 33 years. The title of his dissertation is Evaluating the model multi-Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) constellation to mitigate signals.

His thesis focused on mitigating the GNSS multipath signal by investigating the concept of Combined Signal Detection (CSD). The purposes, he said, are to reduce the impact of signal degradation and further enable the GNSS receivers to withstand the signal degradation urban areas.

Gathoni Nancy Kiliswa and Tafadzwa Ndadziyira both received their degrees of Doctor of Philosophy in Management Sciences, specializing in marketing.

Dr Kiliswa was over the moon, saying it was such a great achievement for her. The dynamic academic came all the way from Australia to her graduation, saying it was well worth the travel.

“I’m grateful to DUT, it’s been a long journey but finally it is done. Dr Kiliswa hopes to inspire her children, she is a second doctorate in the family, with her husband also recently obtaining his PhD. She is currently working in Australia and plans to move into consultancy soon.

For Dr Ndadziyira, he focused his intriguing on the influence of digital versus traditional advertising media on consumer behaviour in the Durban Metropolitan area. “The findings of this study are relevant to marketers when making decisions on the advertising media to use, based on consumer perceptions thereof,” he stressed.

Executive Dean: Faculty of Management Sciences, Professor Fulufhelo Netswera said today is indeed a joyous occasion for all the graduates. “We congratulate you on these achievements and we want to congratulate your families and friends for the support that they have extended to you over the years. This achievement equally presents an opportunity for you in the world of work and in society, and indeed this country, “ he said.

DUT Chancellor, Ms Nonkululeko Nyembezi gave her congratulatory message to the graduates which are a highlight in her calendar. “I urge those who have earned their undergraduate qualifications to please return for further studies. We need more master’s and doctorate degrees in South Africa. So, explore your opportunities for postgraduate studies at DUT,” she said.

Pictured: Dr Pheneas Bhekinkosi Madonsela, Gathoni Nancy Kiliswa and Dr Hassan Owaes Magray, are proud PHD graduates at the graduation ceremony.

Waheeda Peters

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