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News
Thursday, 16 September 2021

CPUT launches third satellite mission

CPUT will launch the first South African constellation of three satellites for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) this summer.

An article by two CPUT researchers has focused attention on the supportive role South Africa’s indigenous herbal tea, Rooibos, could play during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering Master’s student, Ridaa Manuel is excited after being selected as one of 12 finalists in the national finals of the 2021 Young Talent Challenge.

Chemical Engineering Master’s student, Ariel Ndala’s research work on Nitrogen doping has been accepted and is very close to publication online in one of the top electrochemistry journals, Electrochimica Acta.

Determination has led lecturer in Enology and Crop Protection, Anton Nel to obtain his PhD in Agriculture at Stellenbosch University recently.

On Thursday CPUT launched a project that seeks to tackle the country’s unemployment problem head on.

“The Next Big Thing” is a project initiated by Caring4Hope, a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO), to develop 2 000 South African young entrepreneurs a year for the next three years at a cost of R15 million per annum.

The Graduate Centre for Management’s Business Incubation and Innovation Centre (BIIC) was identified by Caring4Hope as one of the incubators to partner with it.

The BIIC as an academic incubator to actualise the vision of smartness conceived by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo, as a measure which sets CPUT apart from our counterparts, and tells the story of how the university is grappling with the phenomenal opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The scope of the three-year collaborative agreement between CPUT and the NPO is for the BIIC to provide theoretical training for entrepreneurial skills development in the form of online coaching and mentoring of selected youth across the country.

During the launch Dr Michael Twum-Darko, Head of BIIC and the Acting Head of the Graduate Centre for Management, said that in order to remain relevant and enable emerging thinkers to pursue surer pathways to success, the BIIC introduces a campus space where students can connect to fellow entrepreneurs and interested financiers.

Darko added that academic incubators are distinct academic ecosystems with inquisitive entrepreneurs and that postgraduate students seeking connections to the marketplace can use the BIIC to create enterprises or to become employable.

He cited several innovative projects under his supervision that are being undertaken by postgraduate students in the BIIC such as the Application of Machine Learning in managing diseases in pig farming and the Application of big data analytics to improve students’ performance, among others

The fully-fledged centre on the 4th Floor in the Engineering Building state of the art equipment to the value of R426 460.

Prof Judy Peter, Director: Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, said Universities of Technology have a responsibility to respond to the vocational demands of a market-driven economy and that they continue to add value to the notion of redress in “post-colonial and # fees must fall era”.

Peter added that The Next Best Thing project promises to ensure successful start-ups, products, and business opportunities that reflect the underlying principles of CPUT’s Vision 2030 to establish SMART universities.

Rodrigue Mounguengui, CEO and Founder of “The Next Big Thing” said that to deliver on the aspirations of the project Caring4Hope had teamed up with CPUT, Google and The Barleader TV.

“It’s not about the size of your pocket but the size of your mind,” added Mounguengui.

The CPUT alumnus said Google’s role of creating business profiles for the selected entrepreneurs for free was crucial and that the TV production company will produce reality shows about entrepreneurship to inspire communities.

Mounguengui, who completed a Masters in Business Administration degree at Stellenbosch University in 2020, said that the project will organise a Business Summit where industry captains from the public and private sectors as well as academic and commercial institutions will be invited to discuss why the billions of rand which were poured onto South Africa’s small businesses for decades have not yielded jobs.  

Prof Renitha Rampersad, Assistant Dean: Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, said the project augurs well with the Faculty’s research trajectory and congratulated Darko for his foresight.

Wednesday, 07 April 2021

CPUT academics pen HR textbook

Academics in the Department of Human Resources (HR) have put together the first book which encapsulates professional standards with contemporary theories. This is the only book endorsed by the national HR professional body.

Dr Liiza Gie, who heads the Department, is the book’s editor while her colleagues Frances de Klerk and Taryn Kroukamp contributed chapters. The three academics contributed five of the book’s 15 chapters.

Published by Juta, Human Resources Management in Southern Africa: Contemporary Theories and Professional Practice Standards is endorsed by the South African Board for People Practices, the professional body which sets HR standards.

The book is priced at R450 and orders can be placed using the following link:

https://juta.co.za/catalogue/human-resource-management-in-southern-africa_28331

The authors are academics from various higher education institutions and HR consultants based throughout South Africa who are leaders in their areas of specialisation. It is divided into five parts and, to promote active student learning, each chapter concludes with its review questions, additional readings as well as useful websites, over and above the separate online resources accessible via the Juta link.

Designed for both novice and experienced HR students and practitioners to promote good governance and ethical standards within HR departments across Southern Africa, this is the first book which encapsulates the HR standards with contemporary theories as the underpinning theoretical knowledge combined with practical applications for the 21st century world of work.

Gie said that as a CPUT alumna from National Diploma through to Doctorate levels, for her to put together an HR Management textbook for higher education students was “surreal and could only be completed by the grace of God Almighty”. “And as the Rector’s Medallist of 2002 I dedicated this book to my late mentor, Prof Marcus Balintulo,” she added.

She argued that the book is the scholars’ contribution to the HR body of knowledge, as they also conduct research to share with the fraternity. “In my HR professional career, it is important to give back to all HRM students, as they in turn, will pay it forward in the future,” added Gie.

“I am immensely proud of Dr Liiza Gie, Ms Frances de Klerk & Ms Taryn Kroukamp from the Faculty of Business & Management Sciences,” said the Faculty’s Dean, Prof Paul  Green.

Prof Mervyn King SC, former Advertising Standards Authority President, said the textbook is a concise but detailed collection of everything relevant to HR managers as the authors have been cognisant of the importance of human capital as a resource in the production of goods and rendering of services.

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