Monday, 14 January 2019

Taking research forward

RARING TO GO: CPUT's researchers make use of laboratories and libraries across various campuses. RARING TO GO: CPUT's researchers make use of laboratories and libraries across various campuses.

As we welcome new and returning students to CPUT we also celebrate our 2018 research highlights and look forward to making 2019 a year of discovery and innovation. 

The most recent Summer Graduation saw 104 masters and 13 doctorate degrees conferred, underscoring the institution’s ongoing emphasis on research and postgraduate studies. Reflecting on 2018 Prof Marshall Sheldon, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, pointed out CPUT can be proud of many research highlights, including but not limited to:

  • the launch of the first VC prestigious award for deserving postgraduate students;
  • first Deputy Vice-Chancellor Innovation Award; visits from ministers and government officials to a variety of events; the successful hosting of several conferences on local campuses and the participation at numerous high level national and international prestigious conferences with a number of staff and student awards;
  • successful participation in national and international student competitions;
  • the continuation and start of a range of partnership initiatives;
  • new NRF SARChI chair approvals and appointments plus retained and new NRF ratings; the establishment of new research entities; funding from a range of external stakeholders for various purposes including postgraduate and postdoctoral fellow bursaries,
  • improvement of our resources and facilities, and training and development of staff and students; new postgraduate qualifications approved and implemented in line with the new HEQSF; improved research output and a higher number of postgraduate graduations;
  • more CPUT research grants were awarded; and clean audits.

“During 2018 Senate also approved the categorisation of researchers, which will allow us as an institution to have a more targeted approach along with a range of new support programmes. CPUT also successfully registered a spinout company, Amaya Space, the first African space company for Africa by Africans,” said Sheldon.

One of the biggest highlight for 2018 was the successful launch of Zacube-2 on 27 December 2018 and the official name for CPUT’s second nanosatellite in space will be announced by the Minister of Science and Technology later this year.

CPUT also bid farewell to researchers who either retired, resigned or, sadly, passed on. “While we were sad to part ways with individuals who retired and resigned we appreciate all their contributions and wish them well with the next phase in their careers and lives. One of them was a stalwart of CPUT, Prof Anthony Staak, our DVC: Teaching and Learning who retired in December 2018.”

Prof-SheldonLooking forward Sheldon mentioned the finalisation of the Vision 2030 and building #OneSmartCPUT as a project to look forward to, as well as:

  • finalising the DHET Framework on Internationalisation;
  • implementing the 2019 postgraduate bursaries;
  • approving and implementing additional postgraduate qualifications;
  • applications and approvals of more external research funding to assist us with achieving our vision, mission and Research, Technology and Innovation strategy;
  • new successful NRF rating applications;
  • more postdoctoral fellow appointments;
  • higher postgraduate bursary awards;
  • improved service delivery from all the research support units to all stakeholders;
  • the implementation of a new and improved Research Management system;
  • the piloting of a new contracts flow management system;
  • a focus on research integrity and highlighting research ethics;
  • a review of all our research entities;
  • expanding our strategic partnerships and networks across the globe;
  • and the continuation of a number of successful prestigious projects.

“2018 and the highlights achieved would not have been possible without the hard work, dedication and commitment of all our staff and students and I thank all of you who contributed to these successes. May 2019 be an even greater and more successful year for all,” said Sheldon.

Written by CPUT News