SU Industrial Engineering students and alumni honoured with multiple awards

[Article by Nane Zietsman]

As we near the end of the academic year, our students and alumni of the Department of Industrial Engineering are reaping the rewards of their hard work and dedication. The Faculty would like to acknowledge and congratulate the following individuals on their recent achievements in Operations Research.

Aaron Shuttleworth, winner of the prestigious Gerhard Geldenhuys Medal for the best fourth-year project in the 2021 ORSSA National Student CompetitionHis project, for which he received 90% last year, sought to create a system that will aid the SPAR Western Cape Distribution Centre in the routing of their delivery vehicles. Shuttleworth currently works as a software engineer at Entelect. He is eager to expand his skillset and remains hopeful that Spar will contract Entelect to continue development on his project in the future.

Kit Searle, winner of the Theodor Stewart Medal for best master’s thesis in the 2021 ORSSA National Student Competition. In his research, Searle derives and analyses an abstract mathematical model involving a reaction-diffusion equation that describes the spatio-temporal evolution of a biological population residing in a protected habitat and subjected to density-dependent pro-rata harvesting on the boundary of the habitat. The model attempts to determine a maximally sustainable pro-rata harvest rate for the population. After submitting his thesis, it was upgraded to a doctoral study that he submitted in June this year. 

Andries Heyns, winner of the Tom Rozwadowski Medal for best written contribution to Operations Research made by a member of the ORSSA. Heyns, an alumnus of The Faculty, researches and works to develop a more automated approach towards the selection of early-warning wildfire detection towers with specialised cameras mounted on top, specifically in a context where the towers function together as a system. “The core algorithms and methodologies have been applied to address diverse problems, such as a rural roads development optimisation study to improve accessibility to essential services in a remote region of Nepal,” says Heyns. 

Marius van Coller, winner of the Best Paper Award at the 2021 IAMOT ConferenceColler’s winning paper stems from his master’s topic of developing an upskilling framework for African SME’s in the face of digital transformation and 4IR. The paper presents a comprehensive scoping review that assesses the current state of in-service training initiatives within the manufacturing industry. It summarises popular research themes and methodologies, and how interest in such initiatives has changed following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Faculty look forward to seeing what the future holds for these bright individuals. 

Photographs: (from left to right) Gerhard Geldenhuys Medal certificate awarded to Aaron Shuttleworth, Theodor Stewart Medal certificate awarded to Kit Searle, Tom Rozwadowski Medal certificate awarded to Andries Heyns and the IAMOT Best Paper Award certificate awarded to Marius van Coller.