In his address, Prof Lourens van Staden, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of TUT, acknowledged supervisors and study leaders of the recipients of doctoral degrees this year for their support, guidance, leadership and hard work.
In honour of their achievement, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Lourens van Staden hosted a Doctoral lunch yesterday, 31 October, to appreciate and congratulate them on their success.
Prof Van Staden described the day as being a celebration of the “love of wisdom” which is what the term PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) means in Greek. He said holding a doctoral degree is an enormous academic milestone.
“It certainly has elite value, but more importantly, it signifies that you have attained the greatest level of competence in your field of study,” he added.
The graduations produced many interesting doctorate candidates. Prof Van Staden made special mention of a number of highlights. “The recent Spring Graduations saw TUT’s first four PhDs together with 26 D Tech degrees, conferred on successful candidates. The Faculty of Science awarded three Doctor of Philosophy in Science and the Faculty of Engineering and The Built Environment awarded its first Doctor of Engineering in Metallurgical Engineering. FEBE also conferred a dual doctorate under the F’SATI programme,” he said.
“TUT is extremely proud of the latest addition to its list of honorary doctorates. We welcome Tlou Cholo, labour activist and struggle stalwart, whom we recognised for a lifetime dedicated to the fight for justice and social accountability, by awarding the highest academic accolade, an honorary doctorate (Doctor Technologiae Honoris Causa), to him,” Prof Van Staden continued.
He also congratulated Dr Elie Amani, who enrolled for the dual Doctor’s programme in Electrical Engineering with the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI), received a DTech from TUT, and a DSC from the Université Paris-Est Créteil in France. “Over the years of his studies, he was a consistent Cum Laude student as well,” Prof Van Staden added.
He also mentioned the 29-year old Dr Marcia Lebambo, who is one of the youngest female students to obtain a Doctor Technologiae in Public Management and Dr Jan van der Merwe from the Faculty of the Arts, who used his own life and work as the basis for his dissertation about Visual Language.
Mothomogolo Maake, a D Tech Business Information graduate said the learning path has not been easy but worth travelling. “A doctoral degree does not just fall into one’s lap but the degree can indicate to employers that you have the necessary analytical skills to carry out rigorous research tasks.”
The celebration created an opportunity for the new doctors to form social networks and celebrate friendship as well as prominent moments, while being honoured for their hard work and dedication.