The Durban University of Technology (DUT) staff, students and entrepreneurs were honoured during the 2018 Annual Staff, Research and Innovation awards ceremony that was held at the Hilton Hotel recently.
The awards ceremony was attended by DUT administrative, academic staff, students as well as former and current students that have embarked on the journey of being entrepreneurs. This is an annual event that widely recognises exceptional work done by all stakeholders within the DUT community; who promote the principles of the DUT strategic plan, vision and mission as well as the ethos of student-centredness and engagement.
The guest speaker was Dr Molapo Qhobela, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation, a seasoned executive leader with extensive policy and administration experience who heads up the development of a number of policy and strategy documents, which have shaped the nature and operations of South African universities as well as the education system in general.
In his address Dr Qhobela congratulated the DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu and the DUT community for the NRF Excelleration Award, as well as Professor Faizal Bux, who was conferred the Champion for Research Capacity and Development award. Furthermore, he added that it was important to recognise excellence and build on it and challenge each other to strive even higher in the years to come. “It is a privilege and an honour to be invited to deliver a few remarks in the celebration of the exceptional work performed by the men and women of this University, who are the seekers of knowledge, pathfinders and the trailblazers on a journey to enlightenment, and who will be receiving the DUT 2018 Annual Research and Innovation awards through this ceremony. Excellence in Research and Enterprise Development is something that we must hold dear, for if we lose it, we will not be able to achieve our goal of establishing a vibrant, globally connected and contextually relevant research system,” said Dr Qhobela.
The 2018 awards ceremony consisted of the Chancellor’s Awards that were presented by the Chair of Council, Mr Wiseman Madinane and this category focused on student-centredness and engagement. The next category was the Council Awards which concentrated on a module or programme providing outstanding online and distance courses. The next category was the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards which focused on the Knowledge Project, Networking the University and Internationalising the University. After the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards, the Research Awards commenced and consisted of the 2018 National Research Foundation (NRF) Award, South African Women in Science Award, HSRC Medal for the Social Sciences and the Humanities, Vice-Chancellor’s Research Awards, Senior Researcher of the Year Award, Women Researcher of the Year Award, Innovator of the Year Award, Junior Researcher of the Year Award, Creative Outputs of the Year Award, Faculty Researcher of the Year Award, Top Published Master’s Student of the Year Award, Top Published Doctoral Student of the Year Award, Top University Journal Publisher for the Accredited Outputs, Top Journal Publishers for Accredited Outputs (PDFS, RAS and RFS), Top Journal Publishers for Accredited Outputs (RAS and RFS), Recognition of DUT Newly Rated and Re-Rated Researchers, Recognition of Supervisors, DUT Doctoral Mentoring Proposal Development Programme, Research Impact, Science Communication and Book Awards and Book Awards. A new category was introduced this year and that was the Entrepreneurs of the Year which consisted of Innovation of the Year 2018, Overall Achiever of the Year 2018 and Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2018.
The Categories and the winners
Chancellor’s awards: Student Centredness- The award was given to Blessing Nemadziva of the Writing Centre for his project: OnYoCampus Social Media Campaign. This category is awarded to an innovative project or initiative that has positively enhanced student living and/or learning experience-academically, socially and/or in the context of student welfare and well-being.
Engagement: The award was awarded to Dr Euvette Taylor of the Faculty of Health Sciences for his project: DUT Cato Ridge (KwaMkhizwana) Community Health Project. Professor Monique Marks of the Urban Futures Centre was another recipient of the award for her Durban Opioid Substitution Therapy Demonstration Project. This category awards outstanding partnerships with business, industry, NGO’s or government in the field of teaching, research or enterprise, with lasting impact for students, staff, and/or the society.
Council Awards: The award was given to Dr Anisa Vahed of the Dental Technology Department for her Internationalising the Dental Curriculum through COIL. This category is given to a module or programme providing an outstanding online or distance course, with high quality teaching, student experience and support.
Vice-Chancellor’s Awards: The Knowledge Project-This award was awarded to Dr Kira Erwin of the Urban Futures Centre for her project Migration and inclusion in Durban. This category is awarded to an initiative that contributes to the University’s ability to be relevant, responsive and resilient, and/or encourages debate.
Networking the University: This category is awarded to a project or initiative innovatively using technology with student experience and support at its very heart. A certificate was awarded to Dr Dudu Sokhela of the Nursing department for her Nutrition project. A certificate of commendation went to Simon Ndlovu of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching for his Technology and Learning project. The award was given to Dr Anisa Vahed of the Dental Technology Department for her Internationalising the Dental Curriculum through COIL.
Internationalising the University: The award was handed to Prof Megandhren Govender of the Department of Mathematics for the Modelling compact objects in general relatively project. This category is awarded to an outstanding internationalisation project, venture or collaboration that shows the University operating with global sensibility and ambition.
2018 National Research Foundation (NRF)Award
Professor Faizul Bux (Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology- IWWT) received the 2018 NRF award: Champion of Research Capacity Development and Transformation at South African Higher Education Institutions. He has also been recently admitted as a fellow to the International Water Association (IWA).
South African Women in Science Awards (SAWISA)
Professor Nokuthula Sibiya (Faculty of Health Sciences) was selected as a finalist in the South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA). The event was hosted by the Department of Science and Technology in August 2018, and saw several women from across the country gather to recognise female scientists who have made their mark in the industry. Professor Sibiya was recognised as a ‘distinguished woman in science’ after scooping the top award at the 2018 SA Women in Science Awards.
HSRC Medal for The Social Sciences and the Humanities
Professor Michael Chapman (Faculty of Arts and Design), a retired professor at DUT, was the recipient of the 2018 HSRC Medal for the Social Sciences and the Humanities. The medal was instituted three years ago by the Human Sciences Research Council as recognition of the life-time achievement in social science and humanities disciplines.
Vice-Chancellors Research Award
The award was bestowed upon Professor Faizal Bux (IWWT). The criteria for this award is the applicant must be considered a leader in his/her field, internationally and nationally, must have a sustained record of distinguished scholarship and work, has high impact and visibility of research in his/her field. This individual demonstrates outstanding capability and exceptional performance/achievements and provides significant value to the University and should have at least a C-NRF rating or equivalent recognition.
Senior Research of the Year Award
This award was also awarded to Professor Faizal Bux (IWWT) and the criteria for this award, the recipient must have at least four accredited publication units for the award.
Women Researcher of the year Award
This award was given to Professor Noluthando Matsiliza (Faculty of Management Sciences). The criteria for this award, the recipient must have three accredited publication units for the award year.
Innovator of the year Award
This award was awarded to Professor Eric Amonsou (Faculty of Applied Sciences), the criteria for this award is that the application must have any new technical product or process that was first available for purchase or licensing between 1 January and 31 December of the previous calendar year.
Junior Researcher of the Year Award
This award was presented to Dr Lawrence Madikizela (Faculty of Applied Sciences).
Creative Outputs of the Year Award
This award was given to Dr Marlene De Beer (Faculty of Arts and Design). The criteria for this award is that the researcher must be currently conducting research and/or engaged in creative productivity. Mr Nicolaas Human (Faculty of Arts& Design) was another recipient of this award after he and Dr De Beer had a tie.
Faculty Researcher of the Year Award
This award went to Professor Robert M Gengan (Faculty of Applied Sciences), Professor Innocent Davidson (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment) and Professor Nirmala Dorasamy (Faculty of Management Sciences). The recipient of this award must be an academic staff currently conducting research and/or creative productivity; must be at the DUT for a minimum of one academic year before applying and have a minimum of 1.5 accredited publication units for the award year.
Top Published Masters Student of the Year Award
The award went to Prathana Ramsunder (Faculty of Applied Sciences) and Mr Emmanuel Kweinor Tetteh (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment). The criteria for this award is that the applicant must be currently studying towards their Master’s, involved in research and/or creative work and published 0.5 accredited publication units.
Top Published Doctoral Student of the Year Award
This award was given to Dr Arul Murugesan (Faculty of Applied Sciences), Dr Kunle Oparinde (Faculty of Arts and Design), Mr Peter Cherop (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment), Dr Isaac Dennis Amoah (Faculty of Health Sciences) and Dr Shame Mugova (Faculty of Management Sciences). The criteria for this award is that the applicant must be a full time student who is currently studying towards their doctorate, should have registered for their programme at DUT for at least a year before the application, should be conducting research and/or creative productivity and should not be a staff member.
Top University Journal Publishers for Accredited Outputs
- Bux, F
- Brijlall, D
- Govender, I.G.
- Rathilal, S
- Dorasamy, N.
- Chili, N.S.
- Maharaj, A.
- Ijabadeniyi, O,A.
- Amonsou, E.O
- Matsiliza, N
Top Journal Publishers for Accredited Outputs (PDFS, RAS and RFS)
- Mugova, S.
- Murugesan, A.
- Guldhe, A.S.
- Gupta, S.
- Bhajanthri, N.K.
- Chokkareddy, R.
- Maistry, S.
- Krishnan, A.
- Tywabi, Z
- Arumugam, V.
Top Journal Publishers For Accredited Outputs (RAS and RFS)
- Lekhanya, L.M. (RA) Faculty of Management Sciences
- Paliathanasis, R.A. (RA) Institute for System Science
- Venegopala, (RA) Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology
- Ngcamu, B.S. (RA) Faculty of Management Sciences
- Mason, R.B. (RA) Faculty of Management Sciences
- Zloschastiev, K. Institute for System Science
- Giampiccoli, A. (RA) Faculty of Management Sciences
- Fomunyam, K.G. (RA) Faculty of Management Sciences
- Hove, M. (RA) Faculty of Management Sciences
- Krishna, S.B.N (RA) Faculty of Health Sciences
Recognition of DUT Newly Rated and Re-Rated Researchers
The NRF rating system is a key driver in the NRF’s aim to build a globally competitive science system in South Africa. DUT believes that rated researchers will impart cutting-edge skills to the next generation of researchers and contribute to mentoring others. They are:
- Professor Carin Naiper (Food and Nutrition Consumer Science) Facutly of Applied Sciences, C2 (new).
- Dr Lawrence Madikizela (Chemistry) Faculty of Applied Sciences, Y2.
- Professor Tukayi Kudanga (Biotechnology and Food Technology) Faculty of Applied Sciences, C2 (re-rated).
Recognition of Supervisors
In this category supervisors who have successfully supervised the most students in the last graduation are:
- Prof O Olugbara (Faculty of Accounting and Informatics), Information Technology
- Prof S Singh (Faculty of Applied Sciences) Biotechnology and Food Technology
- Prof C Napier (Faculty of Applied Sciences) Food and Nutrition Consumer Sciences
- Prof K Bisetty (Faculty of Applied Sciences) Chemistry
- Prof DD Pratt (Faculty of Arts&Design) Media, Language and Communication
- Dr J Roome (Faculty of Arts& Design) Fine Art and Jewelery Design
- Prof B Nleya (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment) Electronic Engineering.
- Prof T Andrew (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment) Engineering and the Built Environment
- Prof K Kanny (Facutly of Engineering and the Built Environment) Mechanical Engineering
- Prof N Sibiya (Faculty of Health Sciences) Nursing
- Prof R Bhagwan (Faculty of Health Sciences) Child, Youth and Community Health Studies
- Prof JK Adams (Faculty of Health Sciences) Health Sciences
- Prof P Msweli (Faculty of Management Sciences) Management Sciences
- Prof GT Harris (Faculty of Management Sciences) Peace Studies
DUT Doctoral Mentoring Proposal Development
This programme facilitated research proposal knowledge at a Doctoral level. Leading research methodologists led modules designed to complement the discipline-specific preparation for thesis undertakings by candidates. Each of the research modules was developed in consultations with respective subject experts and then revised to meet the DUT doctoral studies requirements. They are:
- Thandeka Bhengu (Nursing Department)
- Melanie Cloete (Management Accounting Department)
- Docrat Aadil (Chiropractic department)
- Nkululeko Gam (CQPA)
- Mduduzi Memela (Biomedical and Clinical Technology Department)
- Sphelele Ngubane (Media, Language and Communication Department)
- Desiree Varatharajullu (Chiropractic Department)
Research Impact, Science Communication and Book Awards: Research Impact is the effect research has beyond academia. Research impact can be measured in a number of ways, these include citation impact, social and economic impact. In this category the candidate was selected for most cited work which included a team of researchers both national, regional and international levels. This award was given to Professor Julian David Pillay.
Book Awards: This award is for recognition for books published at the DUT. Professor D IICev of the Space Science Centre was given the award and Prof S Bauk of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment.
Entrepreneurs of the Year Awards
This is the first competition of its kind to be held at DUT. The selection criteria include identifying an entrepreneur who have managed to penetrate the market in his/her sector, who has a niche and exploiting it to his/her business advantage, whose business has a huge success and job creation potential.
Innovation of the Year 2018-The winners of this award were Level-Innovators. Level has developed an innovational product that will help eliminate two problems that is the Level Ring. The Level Ring will not only function as an access card at access points but will also serve as a business card for lecturers with private businesses, DUT Management and SMMEs in general.
Overall Achiever of the Year 2018– the award was given to KwaZulu-Natal Beverage. The DUT Master’s student and the co-director of KwaZulu Beverages (Pty) Ltd Sibongile Mdlaka and her business partner Wandile Thusi have benefited on the DUT’s Seed Fund Programme which funded their energy drink business known as “Vibra” this year 2018. This project is one of DUT’s success stories in connection with the conversion and commercialisation of research outputs. Their business has made DUT proud by winning the first prize at the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) in Egypt this year.
Emerging Entrepreneur of the year 2018– The award went to Get2Natural founded by Nosihle Dlamini and Phumelele Khumalo. They formulate, manufacture and distribute natural products for skin, hair and nail, enabling women and men, through quality natural products, to improve the appearance of their hair, skin and nails, where they no longer need fake cover-ups.
Pictured: DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu hands over a token of appreciation to the awards ceremony guest speaker, Dr Molapo Qhobela, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation.