Introducing the latest academic staff members of the Faculty of Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering is excited to welcome a host of new staff members. Their experience and expert knowledge make their employment 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 new faculty members joined the CivilElectrical and ElectronicIndustrial and Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering Departments.

Mr Thandu Nguza (Junior Lecturer: Department of Civil Engineering) aspires to be a positive influencer in the lives of staff and students while adding new knowledge and expertise to the Faculty. “I aim to take students through a journey where they grow in confidence and lead problem-solving.”

Dr Leanne Johnson (Junior Lecturer: Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering) says conducting research is critical to being an academic. “I will strive to engage in research that contributes to my field, enhances my teaching, and build strong national and international relationships.” Her inspiration is Prof Petrie Meyer, who has always motivated her to do her best and grab every opportunity she can find.

Prof Taryn Bond-Barnard (Professor: Department of Industrial Engineering) says her inspiration comes from seeing her students succeed and positively impact the world. She plans to build strong relationships with faculty members and other stakeholders in the structured Masters in Engineering Management (MEM) programme. “My goal for the MEM programme is to continue producing sought-after engineering leaders that flourish in the new world of work and significantly contribute to solving societal challenges,” says Prof Bond-Barnard.

Through research, teaching, and community engagement, Mr Clint Steed (Junior Lecturer: Department of Industrial Engineering) wants to promote the values of excellence, innovation, and social responsibility in the field of industrial engineering, both locally and globally. “As an undergraduate student, I had a strong interest in my studies but little ambition for the future, but through the systematic guidance and caring mentorship provided by SU, I was able to develop the necessary skills and support I needed to pursue a career that has improved my quality of life,” he says.

Dr Boitumelo Ramatsetse (Lecturer: Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering) looks forward to exploring cutting-edge pedagogical strategies and integrating the latest technologies in the various engineering modules to produce all-rounded engineering graduates equipped with critical thinking abilities. “I want to contribute towards enhancing research outputs in the Department and be at the forefront of deploying the next generation of manufacturing systems and related maintenance solutions that will ensure effective and efficient manufacturing operations across various industries,” he says.

Dr Ramatsetse has a profound curiosity to solve industrial and societal problems. “Being an academic at SU will allow me to continue motivating and empowering young, ambitious researchers to succeed in various engineering fields. As a result, I intend to establish an interdisciplinary research group that will focus on producing cutting-edge research that will address societal problems through innovations in advanced manufacturing and mechanical engineering design.”

Dr Gerhard Durandt (Junior Lecturer (part-time): Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering) wants to learn the necessary skills to be an effective lecturer within higher education and inspire students to follow their dreams. He says his fellow colleagues’ work ethic and passion for their classrooms and research fields inspires him to grow and walk the extra mile. He is currently busy with his PhD in vibration-stress measurement and analysis.

Mr Preyin Govender (Junior Lecturer: Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering) wants to share his educational philosophy with students to help them reach their full potential. He says: “I hope to be a valued member of staff that can bring about transformation and change within the department to improve the academic experience for incoming and existing students.”

With more than five years of teaching experience in engineering, Mr Wayne Swart (Lecturer: Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering) has a great passion for “guiding our future engineers to success”. He also wants to obtain his PhD in the Biomedical field during his new position. “My passion for biomedical engineering stems from a deep desire to help people through improving quality of life by utilising engineering tools,” he says.

As a new lecturer, Mr Adam Venter (Junior Lecturer (part-time): Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering) hopes to contribute to the Department’s academic and research mission while supporting the success and growth of students. He says: “I am inspired by the potential for impact, the possibility of discovery, and the opportunity to inspire and empower our students.” Venter says his mentors from the Department have inspired him to follow in similar footsteps. “They have shown me that there is great value in a teaching career, and I feel privileged to now play a similar role in other students’ academic and personal development.”

Passionate about teaching, Mr Brian Moloi (Junior Lecturer: Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering) will bring industrial examples to inspire and ensure students understand the theory and its application for students’ success. Inspired by biological snakes, he will be pursuing a PhD in the field of robotics to develop a robot that can manoeuvre autonomously in a cluttered environment.

The Faculty feels honoured to have these brilliant academics join in our efforts to remain 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:

Civil Engineering
Prof Riaan Combrinck: Associate Professor to Professor

Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Dr Johan van der Merwe: Lecturer to Senior Lecturer

📸 – The head and shoulder photographs of the new staff members are arranged in the same order as they appear in the article.