KZN’S TOP MATRICULANT IN 2007 GRADUATES SUMMA CUM LAUDE

KZN’S TOP MATRICULANT IN 2007 GRADUATES <em>SUMMA CUM LAUDE</em>

Mr Wayne Frederick, KwaZulu-Natal’s top achiever in the 2007 matric exams, continues to excel receiving his Electronic Engineering degree summa cum laude at the School of Engineering’s 2012 Graduation ceremony.

Frederick is currently studying for an MSc degree and is working under Dr Leigh Jarvis at UKZN’s Material Sciences laboratory with his work focus on the research, design and implementation of superconducting converters.

A product of Southlands Secondary School in Bayview, Chatsworth, he said his undergraduate experience at UKZN’s School of Engineering had been a positive one. While he found the academic component challenging, he felt he had matured immensely over the course of his studies, saying dedication, commitment and hard work were required to be a successful engineering student.

Frederick, who will start work at Altech as an electronic engineer after completing his Masters degree, was thankful for the support he received during his academic career. He made special mention of his parents, extended family and his girlfriend for the motivation and backing which helped him achieve his goals.


author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

UNIVERSITY FELLOWSHIPS FOR LEADING ACADEMICS

UNIVERSITY FELLOWSHIPS FOR LEADING ACADEMICS

Two UKZN Professors were made Fellows of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) at the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Sciences’ M Stream Graduation ceremony held at the Westville campus.

The distinguished recipients were Professor Sreekantha B Jonnalagadda (Chemistry), and Professor Peter A Dankelmann (Mathematics).  The Fellowship awards were conferred by UKZN’s Dean of Research, Professor Nelson Ijumba.

Born and educated in Germany where he attained his PhD, Professor Dankelmann joined the former University of Natal (UN) in 1993 as a post-doctoral researcher.

In 2007 Dankelmann was elected as a member of the prestigious Academy of Science of South Africa.  The academy advises the South African Government, and membership is by election only.

He has a B2 rating from the National Research Foundation, having being rated by the organisation since 1996.

In 2005 UKZN nominated Dankelmann for the national NSTF Science and Technology Award in Category B, which is for the Best Contribution of an Individual over Five Years.

Since 1996 Dankelmann has been a member of the editorial board of the international ISI-rated journal: Utilitas Mathematica, and has accepted an invitation to be a member of the editorial board of another international journal: Electronic Journal of Graph Theory and its Applications, to be launched shortly.

Professor Bice Martincigh, an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry and Physics on UKZN’s Westville campus, received a Distinguished Teacher’s Award at the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science’s graduation ceremony.

 

Martincigh was recognised for her exceptional ability to tailor and differentiate her teaching to meet the different levels of study of her undergraduate and postgraduate students, in what is, moreover, regarded as a ‘difficult’ subject – chemistry!

 

Martincigh’s reviewers commended her teaching methods which they said took into account the module content and level, the needs of students, the class size, and the availability of resources. They commented that by pragmatically taking what worked, Martincigh drew on her experiences of a variety of approaches and methodologies to achieve an interactive pedagogy.  This included collaborative inter-group peer work, co-operative learning, quizzes, problem solving and providing online feedback to students.

Martincigh managed large classes through extensive support, whilst maintaining quality amongst the many tutors she supervised.

Martincigh’s review committee said she was deeply analytical in her teaching and demonstrated empathy with students and their varied learning abilities in ways that built their confidence. Furthermore, they were impressed by both her arguments for and the varied and comprehensive range of methods of assessments she employed. 

One innovation introduced by Martincigh was to revise the process of conducting practical work to encourage independent learning. She designed a rubric for assessing first year practicals to ensure consistency, using a range of assessments guided by different cognitive demands and providing excellent feedback on assessments.

Martincigh also received positive independent student evaluations and integrated feedback into curriculum development.


author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

POSTHUMOUS DOCTORATE FOR LAWRENCE ANTHONY

POSTHUMOUS DOCTORATE FOR LAWRENCE ANTHONY

The posthumous award of an honorary Doctor of Science degree to Lawrence Anthony at UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science graduation ceremony was a bitter-sweet occasion for his family.

Anthony had been thrilled when he learned UKZN would honour him at the 2012 Graduation ceremonies for a lifetime of conservation work. With his death at the age of 61 on 2 March this year it was left to his son Dylan to accept the award on his behalf. Twelve of Anthony’s closest family and friends attended the Graduation ceremony to honour his memory and celebrate his remarkable achievements.

The contributions of Anthony to conservation and the environment have been recognised at the highest levels globally. While much of his adult life has been dedicated to finding effective environmental solutions for the benefit of all life forms, he was probably best known for his bold conservation initiatives which include the rescue of animals from the Baghdad Zoo in Iraq at the height of the United States invasion in 2003 and expeditions into the jungle in Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in an attempt to save the Northern White Rhino from extinction.

A best-selling Author and Explorer, Anthony owned and lived on the Thula Thula Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, having grown up in the African bush in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and finally Empangeni in Zululand.

Anthony’s initiatives in Baghdad where he eventually re-opened the zoo with the help of international aid and formed the first SPCA in Iraq were recognised by both the United States and Iraqi governments and he received the US 3rd Infantry Division Regimental Medal for bravery in his work. His book on the events titled Babylon’s Ark won critical acclaim from the American Library Association, and the film rights have been acquired by a major Hollywood production company.

His second book, The Elephant Whisperer, is a non-fictional account of his relationship with wild elephants and the unique techniques he evolved to stabilise traumatised individuals and herds. The book is a best seller in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Anthony founded the Earth Organisation, an independent international conservation and environmental organisation which aims to protect the environment and enhance the survival potential of all life forms and in 2007 he submitted the Wildlife in Warzones draft
author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

KENYAN WOMAN PUTS IN HARD YARDS MANY MILES FROM HOME

KENYAN WOMAN PUTS IN HARD YARDS MANY MILES FROM HOME

Three years ago, Ms Joyce Jepkorir Kiplimo left her home in Kenya to begin her doctoral studies at UKZN. Kiplimo had been accepted to undertake her PhD studies in Natural Products Chemistry. After a tearful goodbye to her husband and three children - then aged 2, 8 and 9 - Kiplimo boarded a flight bound for South Africa.

In addition to dealing with the pressures of a doctoral degree, Kiplimo had to find ways of coping with the physical distance between herself and her family. She also had to acclimatise to her new surroundings in a foreign country with what she thought would be very little support.

While she attributed some of her initial trepidation and anxiety to her upbringing in a conservative community, Kiplimo said she found her transition to be significantly easier than she expected. From the outset, the support she received from the UKZN community was warm and welcoming.

The International Office provided her with the support she needed as a foreign student, taking care of accommodation and administrative issues, and even making sure she was received and welcomed at the Durban International Airport on her arrival.

Kiplimo said while the first few weeks were the most difficult, they were made easier by her fellow students and Supervisor, Dr Neil Koorbanally, who she cited as an immensely positive influence.

Kiplimo’s research focused on Phytochemistry and biological activities of the Kenyan Vernonia and Vepris species.

Three years of hard work culminated in Kiplimo being awarded her Doctorate at a UKZN Graduation ceremony which represented not only a milestone in her academic career, but also her ability to succeed in spite of the challenges she faced.

Her children and husband are extremely proud of her and look forward to her arrival back home.


author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

A LADY – AND AN ENGINEER - WHO DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT GIVING UP

A LADY – AND AN ENGINEER - WHO DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT GIVING UP

Masters in Engineering graduate Ms Samantha Moodley is a testament to UKZN’s new tagline: Inspiring Greatness.

Moodley managed to complete her MSc, publish two international journal papers based on her research and produce a video, all in record time. She accomplished this is in spite of having to face many personal hurdles.

Moodley is accustomed to meeting all the challenges life has thrown at her. While still a Grade 9 learner at Raisethorpe Secondary in Pietermaritzburg, her father died and within months of the tragedy – and while studying for her matric exams - her mother received an employment offer in Pretoria which she couldn’t refuse.

Moodley was left on her own and despite having to run a household and handle all the pressure of the exams, she performed commendably in her matric, gaining a place on the engineering programme.

Moodley has made significant achievements academically and professionally, while being a pillar of strength for her mother and younger sister. She has completed her MSc and published two international journals based on her postgraduate research.

The study she conducted involved the observation of operations in sugar mill yards with the aim being to make recommendations on guidelines on how to properly load a sugarcane truck. In her study she evaluated consignment characteristics and investigated current loading operations in an attempt to generate best management guidelines.

The study was directed towards the handling of whole-stick loose sugarcane which is loaded with grab-loaders. The data collected comprised photographs of sugarcane consignments which were examined to identify the factors that need to be considered during the loading operation by making use of innovative techniques.

Two trans-loading sites were selected and video clips of loading operations were captured to assess typical loading practices. Factors such as the manner in which the sugarcane is presented as well as the techniqu
author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

LAGERWELLS DO SUPERBLY WELL ONCE AGAIN

LAGERWELLS DO SUPERBLY WELL ONCE AGAIN

Ross and Brett Lagerwell have added yet another accolade to their prestigious academic records. The twin brothers, who last year received their Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science summa cum laude, have now attained their honours degrees… also summa cum laude!

Between them, they have received 57 Certificates of Merit during their academic careers.  Both have received Dean’s Commendations for every semester of study.

Ross received the Zac Yacoob Scholarship last year for the best Honours-level student at UKZN.

The Lagerwells have both held a keen interest in computer science from a young age and plan on pressing on with their studies with their eyes focused on Masters degrees.

In addition to excellent academic achievements, the brothers are competitive tennis players and are regular fixtures in the UKZN team.

The brothers acknowledged their parents for their constant encouragement and support.


author email : nathoos@ukzn.ac.za

SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES IN THE SCHOOL OF LIFE SCIENCES!

SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES IN THE SCHOOL OF LIFE SCIENCES!

Five degrees were awarded summa cum laude in UKZN’s School of Life Sciences – and all the recipients were women!

They are Ms Kelly Weston-Ford (Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences), Ms Samantha Anderson and Ms Tamara Stelma (Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences), and Ms Lilli Holst and Ms Sylvana Reddy (Bachelor of Science Honours, Biological Sciences).

The “brainy beauties” received their degrees at a Graduation ceremony at the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science on the Westville campus.

During the course of their studies, the five notched up an impressive 73 Certificates of Merit, which are awarded to the top three students in a specific module; and 25 Dean’s Commendations, awarded to students who receive over 75 percent for every module in a semester.

Fortunately for UKZN, the hard working women have not yet tired of their studies.  Of the five, four are registered this year for a further degree.

Anderson and Stelma are both registered for Medical Science Honours in Medical Biochemistry.    ‘With my first degree under my belt I see this as the key to my future as education is essential to the success of our country,’ said Stelma.

Stelma, who hails from Hillcrest, said she thoroughly enjoyed her undergraduate biomedical studies because the course integrated science and biology with the medical field. ‘I enjoyed it as it introduced us to a variety of disciplines such as physiology, biology, microbiology and biochemistry,’ she said.  ‘I believe it gave me a good foundation for further studies involving research and application in the medical science field.’

author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

ENGINEERING STUDENT OFF TO OXFORD

ENGINEERING STUDENT OFF TO OXFORD

The School of Engineering will see one of its graduates leaving South Africa to undertake a PhD at the University of Oxford in the UK. Ms Ingrid Salisbury, who received her BSC Engineering degree at this year’s graduation, will begin her studies at the prestigious institution in September.

Salisbury, who graduated as the top Engineering student last year, will be conducting research in the area of Control Engineering. She will be working under Professor Limebeer at Oxford, and described this as an incredible honour. Limebeer is an alumnus of the former University of Natal, and is currently working on the design of an all-electric road going motorcycle which aims to reduce CO2 emissions of vehicular traffic. He has invited Salisbury to join his research team when she begins her studies abroad.

Reflecting back on her time at UKZN, Salisbury was positive and upbeat. She felt that the knowledge and problem-solving skills that she gained during her studies at UKZN would serve her well in her latest endeavour. A tactic that she regularly employed in the course of her studies was to break larger problems down into smaller, more manageable ones. In offering advice to fellow students, she felt that this method would allow students to keep focused and not become overwhelmed.

Professor Roger Peplow of the School of Engineering was proud of Salisbury and her achievements. In wishing her well for the future, he noted that her acceptance at Oxford was an indication of the high quality and internationally sound reputation that has become associated with the Electronic Engineering programme at UKZN.


author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

GEOGRAPHY BIAS PAYS DIVIDENDS FOR GLENWOOD HIGH SCHOOL OLD BOY

GEOGRAPHY BIAS PAYS DIVIDENDS FOR GLENWOOD HIGH SCHOOL OLD BOY

Glenwood High School old boy Mr Keval Singh has received his Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Sciences, graduating top of his class!

Singh, whose degree had a strong focus on environmental and engineering geology, said his decision to study geology was very carefully considered as his passion and interest in geography led him to research career opportunities associated with mining, engineering and geology.

UKZN was a ‘natural choice’ for further study given the distinguished nature of the Geology Department.

Singh said he had thoroughly enjoyed his undergraduate experience at UKZN and had been impressed by the facilities available. The approachable and nurturing attitude of so many people in the Geology Department was one of the main reasons for his pleasant experience.

Singh mentioned that Mrs Kumesh Naidoo and Professor Steve McCourt in particular had gone the extra mile in developing him as a geologist. Singh’s academic and leadership potential has been recognised with the International Scholar Laureate Programme nominating him to attend a prestigious convention of engineering students later this year.

While Singh may have topped his class, he firmly believes in balance and is an avid sportsman and athlete. Apart from playing social sport, he has completed five Midmar Miles and six Two Oceans half-marathons.

He acknowledged his parents as well as his late grandmother for their support and guidance. Singh is currently completing an honours degree in Geology.


author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

HARD EARNED MSC DEGREES FOR TWO ETHIOPIANS AND A UGANDAN

HARD EARNED MSC DEGREES FOR TWO ETHIOPIANS AND A UGANDAN

Three students - two from Ethiopia and the other from Uganda - who began their Higher Education in South Africa at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Muizenberg in the Western Cape, have received their MSc degrees from UKZN.

Mr Yusuf Nyoni is from Kampala in Uganda, while Mr Yibeltal Bayleyegn and Mr Gezahegn Abebe are both Ethiopians.

Nyoni’s early life was a struggle as his parents died while he was still very young and he was brought up by his grandmother and aunt.

Life improved significantly when he won a bursary to study for an undergraduate degree which he completed in 2009.  He then took the big decision to move to South Africa to study at AIMS.

AIMS, a very successful centre of educational and mathematical research established in 2003 as a partnership project between six universities, seeks out top African students. Its goals are to promote mathematics and science on the continent; to recruit and train talented students and teachers, and to build capacity for African initiatives in education, research, and technology.

Through AIMS, Nyoni studied for a postgraduate Diploma in Mathematical Sciences. ‘AIMS exposes one to so many ideas in mathematics and how you can use mathematics in life,’ said Nyoni.

He arrived at UKZN in 2010 to undertake an MSc in Applied Mathematics and under the supervision of Professor Kesh Govinder and Professor Sunil Maharaj, graduated cum laude from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.  The title of his thesis was: “Exact Solutions for Spherical Relativistic Models”.

Durban’s Pauck family had a double reason to celebrate at this year’s UKZN Graduation ceremony – father and son, Jimmy and Richard both earned degrees from the School of Engineering.

Jimmy, who is overseas, received his PhD in absentia while Richard was awarded a BSc in Mechanical Engineering.

Jimmy, an academic and trainer, teaches a specialised postgraduate course in pulp and paper technology at several locations in South Africa and neighbouring countries.

Reflecting on his time as a student at UKZN, Richard said he enjoyed being part of the Mechanical Engineering class. Spending four years with the same group had forged strong relationships and he felt he had become close to several of his classmates.

In addition to the challenging and stimulating academic syllabus, Richard was heavily involved in the Campus Crusade for Christ, an organisation run by students, to proclaim the gospel on campus.

Richard is currently studying for his Master’s degree at UCT. His older brother, also a UKZN graduate, will complete his PhD at Stellenbosch this year.


author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za