Faculty of Engineering welcomes new Staff Members

The Faculty of Engineering is excited to welcome a host of new staff members. With their experience and expert knowledge, their employment is a terrific asset for our institution. Our Faculty has been a favoured choice for academics as we are committed to cultivating a stimulating and dynamic environment with substantial support for research projects.

The five new faculty members joined the Civil, Mechanical and Mechatronic and Process Engineering Departments.

Ms Courtney Devine (Junior Lecturer: Department of Civil Engineering) wishes to inspire students and cultivate critical thinkers and competent scholars, equipped with the tools necessary to grapple with unfamiliar problems and the skills to teach themselves. Her approach to teaching stems from her undergraduate years, where she learned to prioritise understanding over memorisation. “This has been my motto throughout my career. I always urge my students to put in the effort to understand rather than memorise because once you understand a concept, you do not need to remember much,” explains Ms Devine.

Dr Andrew Gill (Senior Lecturer: Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering) has a professional background in computational mechanics research and application. He shares that his engineering field inspires him because it is interesting and valuable to society. “I am also greatly enthused by the people who work in the field. This includes the lecturers, study leaders and mentors who took the time to teach me and, in turn, I now have the opportunity and responsibility to do the same for my students,” concludes Dr Gill.

Dr Nur Mohamed Dhansay (Lecturer: Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering) has had a prominent post-graduate career within Material Engineering. He completed his PhD at Stellenbosch University in Mechanical Engineering and conducted research at KU Leuven, in Belgium. “The two people, from an academic perspective, with whom I’ve worked closely and who inspired me greatly, are Prof Thorsten Becker and Prof Debby Blaine. I plan to implement what I have learned from them but, more importantly, to continue to learn from them and my new family in M&M,” shares Dr Dhansay.

During his PhD, Dr Brendon Nickerson (Lecturer: Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering) worked part-time as one of the Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering Department’s Laboratory Engineers where he assisted students with their research projects. Concerning his work as Laboratory Engineer, Dr Nickerson particularly enjoyed seeing students developing their projects and engaging with the field. He believes that the chance to put students’ earned knowledge into practice is always an opportunity for growth. “I look forward to continuing guiding students and focusing on developing them into excellent engineers with a passion for what they do,” says Dr Nickerson.

Prof Siew L Tai (Associate Professor: Department of Process Engineering) views his appointment at Stellenbosch University as a complete circle since starting his journey in South Africa in 2006. “In my journey, I ventured into the industry and eventually back into academia at the University of Cape Town. But the Mothership has called me home, and I am excited to bring my learnings, experience, and aspirations to the department,” declares Prof Tai. He aims to bring pharmaceutical engineering to the forefront and enrich his students’ lives through his knowledge and mentorship. “Seeing students walk up the podium to receive their degree always reminds me why I love my work. Engaging with brilliant minds and pushing the boundaries of knowledge humbles me. It is truly a privilege and an honour to work as an academic, and one needs to remember that.”

The Faculty feels honoured to have these brilliant academics join in our efforts of remaining one of South Africa’s foremost producers of top-quality engineers.

Promoted Staff Members

The Faculty would also like to congratulate the following staff members on their recent promotions:

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Dr H Kamper: Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor

Dr FM Mwaniki: Lecturer to Senior Lecturer

Dr Mr JC Schoeman: Junior Lecturer to Lecturer

Dr C Fisher: Lecturer to Senior Lecturer

Industrial Engineering

Dr WG Bam: Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor

Dr IH de Kock: Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor

Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering

Dr MP Venter: Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor

Process Engineering

Prof E van Rensburg: Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor