"We are proud and happy to have such a good turnout of alumni and their partners. I can assure you we are a strong, dynamic, active and growing faculty," said Prof Wikus van Niekerk (Dean: Engineering) to Maties engineers who attended a cocktail event held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the Cape Town Waterfront on 4 October 2018. "We have quite a lot of young teaching staff. During selection committees we are pleased to note the high calibre of the applicants for academic posts. We have great staff at the moment."
He added: "It is not the mountains and the wine, but the quality of the students that makes the task of our academic and administrative staff easier."
Prof Van Niekerk touched on the 4thindustrial revolution that revolves around data science, deep learning, etc. He mentioned that the reconstituted Advisory Board of the Faculty stressed at their first meeting in May this year that the Faculty must prepare the young generation to be able to work in a deluge of data. "The introduction of a BEng in Data Science is also in the pipeline," he announced.
He moved on to the major construction projects that have been the order of the day at the Faculty the past three years: "Another exciting investment in the next seven to eight years is that close on a billion Rand will be spent on revamping the Engineering building complex. The Department of Industrial Engineering recently moved into the old Information Technology building after a complete overhaul of the entire building. Next in line for refurbishment is the Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering building, with the buildings of Process (Chemical) Engineering, Civil Engineering and Electrical and Electronic Engineering waiting in the queue. A brand-new Pavement Engineering Laboratory will also be built soon. If you come and visit us in the next few years, you will see a big building site."
The Dean then made the audience aware of the Faculty of Engineering's 75th Anniversary in 2019. He invited them to participate in the celebrations and encouraged them to send in interesting anecdotes about their time spent at their alma mater.
About 150 people attended the function. Most of the alumni who attended were born between 1980 and 1995, with the majority of guests graduating in the last ten years.
Click HERE to see the photos of the event.
Photo: The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof Wikus van Niekerk, addressing Matie engineers and their partners.