Home Projects Public Events Staff Students Social Media

Research Staff


Prof. Fulufhelo James Nemavhola: Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment

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

Bio: Professor Fulufhelo Nemavhola is a Professor in Mechanical Engineering and rated scholar by the National Research Foundation. Before joining DUT, Prof Nemavhola was the Director of School of Engineering at the University of South Africa. Before being appointed as the Director of the school, Fulufhelo was the Head of Department in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Before being appointed as the HOD in the department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Prof Nemavhola worked as the Associate Chair of Department in the same department. In addition to being a registered professional engineer (PrEng) with the Engineering Council of South Africa, Prof Nemavhola is also a chartered engineer (CEng) registered with the Engineering Council of the United Kingdom (ECUK). Prof Nemavhola was selected as the member of South African Young Academy (SAYAS) in 2018. He graduated with Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering) and Master of Science (Mechanical Engineering) degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Prof Nemavhola’s interest in academic research then steered him to pursue a doctorate from the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery of the University of Cape Town. Currently, his research focus is in the areas of mechanobiology, soft tissue mechanics, computational biomechanics, and engineering education particularly e-learning. Prof Nemavhola began his career at Spoornet (now Transnet Freight Rail) where he was appointed as the Candidate Engineer. He held various positions, including those of senior engineer and design engineer in private and parastatal companies before joining the academia. Prof Nemavhola is involved extensively in research, having authored, co-authored, and presented not less than 60 papers in both national and international fora. Prof Nemavhola has his heart set on the development of rural villages using technology. As the career dictates, Prof Nemavhola is a founder and currently heading a research group in Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Africa. He is currently supervising and co-supervising not less than 18 postgraduates’ students who are all registered through the Unisa Biomedical Engineering Research Group (Unisa) and other universities. Prof Nemavhola has worked with number of research collaborators in various international countries. In his research career, Prof Nemavhola was able to attract multimillion research grants from both internally and externally. The Unisa Biomedical Engineering Group was current on the news for being the only Biomechanics Lab in Africa that is part of the global initiative for standardising the mechanical characterisation of soft tissues.

ORCID: 0000-0002-6250-5157

Prof. Monique Marks: Head of the Urban Futures Centre

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.

ORCID: 0000-0002-4926-6972

Dr. Kira Erwin: Senior Researcher

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.

ORCID: 0000-0003-1785-6457

Dr. Tamlynn Fleetwood: Researcher and MEL Specialist

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.

Research Associates (Current)


Houghton Dr. Jennifer Houghton: Research Associate

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.

ORCID: 0000-0002-8241-7082

Dr. Sogen Moodley: Research Associate

Email: 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 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.

ORCID: 0000-0002-9885-0040

Research Associates (Past)

Mr. Glen Robbins: Research Associate (Past)

Email: robbinsdgd@gmail.com

Bio: Glen Robbins was 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 collaborated 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.

ORCID: 0000-0002-0445-1752

Research Affiliates (Current)


Mr. Michael Wilson: Research Affiliate

Email: Michaelw@aadglobal.org

Bio: Michael serves as the South Africa country director of Advance Access & Delivery, a global health non-profit organization. Michael is one of the co-founders of the Bellhaven Harm Reduction Centre, South African’s first low-threshold harm reduction centre. Since 2018, Michael has served as an acting consultant to the United Nations Office of Special (UNOPS), supporting countries to strengthen national tuberculosis and HIV programs. Michael holds an appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behaviour at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and has over a decade of experience designing and running health programmes for people who use drugs and homeless individuals in the United States and South Africa.

Dr. Andrew Scheibe: Research Affiliate

Email: Andrew.scheibe@gmail.com

Bio: Dr Andrew Scheibe is a medical doctor by training, who works in harm reduction research, programmes and policy in South Africa and the region. His work focuses on the intersections between infectious diseases, determinants of health, drugs and rights. He works as a visiting professor at the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology.

ORCID: 0000-0002-3238-0699

Postdoctoral Fellows (Current)

Dr. heeten bhagat: Postdoctoral Fellow (One Ocean Hub)

Email: HeetenB@dut.ac.za

Bio: heeten bhagat was born in Zimbabwe. Presently, he oscillates between Harare, Cape Town and any place that involves long-distance travel. Most recently, his work has been in the emerging terrain of pracademics – essentially looking to nurture collaborations and design experiments between academia and real-life systems. He approaches this work as a conceptual methodologist – bringing pragmatic and provocative programming to support decolonial & diversity-expanding processes in overlooked and underserved environments. His experience across the learning spectrum (rural, community and informal spaces through to established cultural and academic institutions) recommends him into these spaces in formation, that are looking to engage dissonance as a way to activate pathways towards inspired productivities.

Dr. Tanya Dayaram: Postdoctoral Fellow (Warwick Zero-Waste)

Email: TanyaD@dut.ac.za

Bio:  Warwick Zero Waste project team member and community garden volunteer. Professional planner (Pr. Pln A/2270/2016).

ORCID: 0000-0003-1147-1935

Support Staff


Tharshnie Ms. Tharshnie Ramasami: Office Management and Administration

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.

Ms. Karen Ijumba: Media and Communications | Creative Research Methodologies Short Course Coordinator

Email: KarenI@dut.ac.za

Bio: Karen Ijumba is a physical and digital archivist, researcher, and academic research project manager. She holds an LLB and BA(Hons) in Heritage and Public Culture from the University of Cape Town (UCT), and an MA in Arts and Culture Management from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Her research interests range from the curated digitisation of unfigured multi-modal archives to the mapping of dynamic arts and cultural ecologies in South African and African cities. She currently offers Media and Communications support, as well as occasional event and project co-ordination support, to the Urban Futures Centre.

Mr. Simisa Klaas: DSI-HSRC Intern

Email: SimisaK@dut.ac.za

Bio: Simisa Klaas is a Department of Science and Innovation-Human Science Research Council (DSI-HSRC) intern, under the mentorship of Prof. Monique Marks. Simisa compeleted his undergraduate degree at the University of Western Cape, majoring in Sociology, History and Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Thereafter he undertook his postgraduate Honours in Population Studies. Simisa’s research interests are in the harm reduction approach, and safe spaces around Durban.