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Research Staff


Prof. Bheki Twala Executive Dean Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment: Prof Bhekisipho Twala

Tel: 031 373-2762
Fax: 0373-2688
Email: prenitan@dut.ac.za

Bio: Dr Bhekisipho Twala is also a Professor in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), South Africa. Twala came to DUT after spending two years as the Director of the School of Engineering (University of South Africa). He also held several prestigious positions at the University of Johannesburg, including Director of the Institute for Intelligent Systems and Head of its Electrical and Electronic Engineering department. Twala was formerly a Principal Research Scientist at the Council for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) within the Modelling and Digital Science Unit. Besides, Twala did his post-doctoral research fellowship at Brunel University in the UK, mainly focussing on empirical software engineering research and further looking at data quality issues in software engineering

Head of the Urban Futures Centre: Prof Monique Marks

Tel: 031 373 2180
Email: moniquem@dut.ac.za

Bio: Prof Monique Marks currently heads up the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology (UFC@DUT). Initially trained as a social worker, she has a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Natal, and writes predominantly in the field of criminology. She has published widely in the areas of youth social movements, ethnographic research methods, police labour relations, police organizational change and security governance. She has published four books: Young Warriors: Youth Identity, Politics and Violence in South Africa; Transforming the Robocops: Changing Police in South Africa; and Police Occupational Culture: New Debates and Directions (edited with Anne-Marie Singh and Megan O’Neill) and Police Reform from the Bottom Up (edited with David Sklansky). She has also published over 45 peer reviewed articles and numerous reports. She sits on a number of journal editorial boards as well as the Board of Trustees of the Safer South Africa Foundation. She is a B-rated researcher, indicating that she has substantial international recognition. In her research work on security governance she has forged close relations with government, both local and national. Monique also runs a large community engagement project in Durban’s largest low income municipal housing estate, Kenneth Gardens.Publications

Senior Researcher: Dr Kira Erwin

Tel: 031 373 2017
Email: kirae@dut.ac.za

Bio: Kira Erwin completed her MPhil at Cambridge (UK) and her PHD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Kira’s training is in sociology and her focus areas include race, the intersections of social identities and urban ethnography. She is also interested in how ideas around participation shape academic and civic practices in South Africa, and elsewhere.Publications

Post-Doctoral Research Fellows


Houghton Dr Jennifer Houghton
Email: jenniferh1@dut.ac.za

Bio: Jennifer Houghton is a human geographer with research interests in economic development processes in South African cities; relationships between the state and the private sector in cities; and deepening our understanding of the implications of urban development interventions for the lived experiences of formal and informal communities. She completed her PhD in urban geography at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2010. Her PhD and post-doctoral research was focused on urban change in South African cities, with particular emphasis on the relationship between economic growth, post apartheid transformation and neoliberalism. More recently, Jennifer has been working on a collaborative ESRC/NRF funded research project with colleagues from the Universities of Sheffield and the Witwatersrand. This study focusses on lived experiences of infrastructure development within the peripheries of city-regions in South Africa and Ethiopia. She also holds a research fellowship at UKZN where her focus is supporting effective regional and local economic development practice within KwaZulu-Natal and more broadly. Jennifer has many years’ experience in linking research and training in order to support capacity building for development at local government level.

Dr Sogen MoodleyEmail: sogendrenm@dut.ac.za

Bio: Sogen Moodley, who holds a PhD in urban planning worked as a Senior Manager in the Office of the City Manager at the eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa. He is known internationally for his knowledge in in urban strategic planning and City-to-City (C2C) learning through his position as Technical Chair of the C2C Learning Forum of the international United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). He has published extensively on urban strategic planning with his seminal work Making City Strategy Come Alive launched at the Cities Alliance conference in 2004. He documented the eThekwini Municipality’s community-led long-term planning process which he championed, in his second book The Power of Imagination: Long Term Planning for City Sustainability.  He conceptualized and managed the Municipal Institute of Learning (www.mile.org.za)- a knowledge management initiative that promoted knowledge networks and supported local governments in the global South for nine years. He transitioned into the world of academia from September 2017, joining the Durban University of Technology (DUT) as a Research Associate at the Town & Regional Planning Department and post- doctoral fellow at the Urban Futures Centre. He is also an external examiner at Wits University and offers a private strategic planning and facilitation service.

Research Associates


Glen Robbins

Email: robbinsdgd@gmail.com

Bio: Glen Robbins is a DUT UFC Honorary Research Fellow and a Research Associate at PRISM at UCT.  His main research interests are those related to regional and urban economic development in South Africa.  In recent years he has been collaborating with colleagues at a number of universities on a project called Chance2Sustain exploring selected fast growing cities in India, Peru, Brazil and South Africa.  He has also worked extensively on issues related to employment and industrial development, including on a recent European Union funded project under the Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development (PSPPD) on manufacturing in eThekwini/Durban.

Project Coordinators


Dr Tamlynn Fleetwood

Email: TamlynnF@dut.ac.za

Bio: Tamlynn Fleetwood (PhD) is a research and evaluation specialist with extensive research, monitoring and evaluation, and project management experience. Tamlynn has post-graduate degrees in Environmental Management (BSoc Sci Hons), Human Geography (MSoc Sci) and Community Development (Post-Doc) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), as well as a Doctoral degree in Geography from Durham University (UK). Her research interests and work experience span a range of topics within the social sciences; namely, urban and environmental issues, education, social housing and informality.

Support Staff


Tharshnie Tharshnie Ramasami

Tel: 031 373 2100
Email: tharshnier@dut.ac.za

Bio: Tharshnie Ramasami completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree at University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her majors includes supply chain management and general management. She is a confident and well-organized administrative assistant, with extensive experience in supporting mid and senior-level managers by providing them with consistent clerical support. A highly approachable individual who has a pleasant attitude and a willingness to make a positive mark.