Dr Vathiswa-Papu Zamxaka, TUT’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement.
Dr Vathiswa-Papu Zamxaka, TUT’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement was delighted about the news. “The University welcomes TETA’s nod towards the Research Chair in Agile Transportation Industry. The grant will support research initiatives for the Research Chair in the Agile Transportation Industry, while it will also assist our students to further their studies and experience first-hand industry knowledge through this chair.”
“Strong partnerships and engagement with the major funders of research, are important strategic focuses for the University. The relationship we have formed with TETA, was initially cemented in 2021, when we launched the Gibela Research Chair in Manufacturing and Skills Development. The many strategic engagements that followed between my office and TETA led to several scholarships and the great news of the award of a research chair in Agile Transportation Industry, that we celebrate today. During the December 2021 holidays we worked extremely hard, putting together a substantial proposal. I must commend our Research Professors, Profs. Khumbulani Mpofu, Anish Kurien and Karim Djouani, who worked tirelessly under the leadership of the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Dr Grace Kanakana and assistant Dean for Research, Prof Josiah Munda. The chair will be led by Prof Kurien,” said Dr Papu-Zamxaka.
She added: “Building a more in-depth relationship with industry and funders has enabled us to learn more about their strategies and interests. Through engagements and interactions, we were able to gather snippets of information and develop a deeper understanding of their strategies, which enabled us to tailor our proposal to be even more relevant to their interests. This deeper understanding of their strategies truly took us to where we are now. We are really excited and proud of the relation we have with TETA."
Dr Grace Kanakana, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment.
Dr Kanakana shared the Faculty’s excitement about this funding opportunity. “We believe it will contribute immensely to capacity development of our staff and students. In addition, the funds will be used to develop an SLP program, which will benefit the transportation sector and communities around Gauteng, particularly skills development. This is a great example of a cross-discipline research project within the Faculty that aims to build capacity and contribute to industry, community, staff and students,” she said.
TETA is one of the 21 SETAs mandated to facilitate skills development and training in different South African economic sectors. TETA’s areas of operation cut across rail, aerospace, maritime, road freight, road passenger, taxi, freight handling, and forwarding and clearing subsectors. The authority is committed to ensuring that, through the implementation of the National Skills Development Plan (NSDP), a pool of highly skilled, competitive and competent individuals who can function effectively within the transport sector, is built.