The Durban University of Technology recently conferred awards that honored the excellent work of its staff members who are engaging in exciting, visionary projects which relate to and underpin its Strategic Plan 2015-2019: Towards Relevance, Responsiveness and Resilience.
The awards were held at the DUT Hotel School, Ritson Campus, and coincided with the farewell dinner of Professor Ahmed Bawa, DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal. The evening event was attended by DUT staff and council members, management, current Chancellor of DUT, Judge Vuka Tshabalala as well as Ela Gandhi, former DUT Chancellor; to name but a few.
Len Rosenberg, Physical Planning Manager; Dr Ian Lazarus, Senior Lecturer, Physics; Gillian Cruickshank, Academic Development Officer; Derna Fynn and Dr Ramkishore Singh were this year’s awards recipients.
Rosenberg received the Chancellor’s Award in the Engagement category for the ROCS Project Initiatives, a heritage research project in collaboration with the South African History Online (SAHO). The ROCS Project Initiatives is a community research initiative which covers an area – referred to as the Currie’s Fountain Precinct – roughly 1,5 kilometres in diameter, bordered by the Greyville Racecourse to the north, Grey Street to the east, Berea Road to the south and Botanic Gardens Road to the west. This area is generally perceived as a place with no history or importance to the city of Durban, other than being the major intermodal transport and informal trade hub. Since the Project’s inception, the ROCS Project Initiatives has documented the sites of historical significance and a century old history of the Currie’s Fountain Precinct in two publications, now available in DUT, UKZN and municipal libraries and sold at bookstores.
Cruickshank and Fynn were both awarded with the Council Award in the Building Sustainable Student Communities of Living and Learning category for The Language Lab. The project provides students with a dedicated and relaxed space where they can improve their knowledge and usage of English, play chess to stimulate critical thinking; expand their English vocabulary and enhance their social skills through playing scrabble and have the opportunity to learn discussion skills in a supportive environment.
Dr Lazarus received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award in the Greening the University category for the Greenride Project which aims to contribute to public knowledge on climate change and alternative energy. The innovative project was initiated by the DUT’s Technology Transfer and Innovations Department and the Energy Technology Station (IEETR). This unique project aims to create awareness about the existence of alternative energy resources and available training programs at DUT as well as encourage research and innovative activities within the energy ambit.
Dr Singh and Dr Lazarus jointly received the Council Award in Building Research and Innovation for Development category for the Saphumula School Project which was born after Dr Lazarus was one of 25 candidates selected from various countries by SIDA to participate in the International Wind Power Training Programme to develop a “change project” for implementation in their respective countries. Inspired by this useful knowledge, an innovative “Design of a Wind and Photovoltaic Hybrid System for Electrifying a Rural School in the KwaZulu-Natal Region” was created and tested, the result being the electrification of a school in an off-grid rural community.
– Sinegugu Ndlovu
Pictured: The DUT excellence awards recipients.