Aspiring civil engineer named best female technologist in country 

by Mosima Rafapa

2 June 2023

The Institute of Professional Engineering Technologists (IPET) has honoured Mvulane Reed, a Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Civil Engineering graduate from the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) with the highest academically achieving engineering technology lady in South Africa for 2022 award. 

Mvulane Reed with the President of the Institute of Professional Engineering Technologists (IPET), Ron Berkers. 

IPET annually acknowledges graduates across all engineering disciplines at seven participating Universities of Technology in South Africa. 

Reed who is living up to TUT’s outstanding reputation of training the best civil engineers in the country, was up against 13 female graduates from other universities who received recognition. She emerged as the top achiever from the cohort of female graduates, with an 83,4% average. 

Reed is not only brilliant but also multitalented. When she could not find placement for Civil Engineering at the University of Johannesburg, she enrolled for a Bachelor of Technology in Engineering Metallurgy. Upon completion, she decided to follow her real passion and enrol for Civil Engineering.

“It only came down to following my passion and do what I initially wanted to. I firstly owe my success to my parents. It wasn’t an easy decision to go back to university to pursue a different career path, let alone with no funding at the time of registration. I was a missing middle student and didn’t qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme since I already had a previous degree. My parents supported me the best they could,” said Reed.

She admits that her accomplishments have opened doors to new opportunities.

“TUT has nominated me to enrol at the Université Gustave Eiffel (Paris) for the student exchange program for the academic year 2023/2024. Since I have previously been employed as a laboratory assistant and a facilitator and assessor, I hope to use these certificates to assist and encourage learners in Engineering Graphics and Design, especially female learners, to enrol for Engineering studies,” said Reed.

Although Civil Engineering is her first love, her other aspiration and passion is to take over the railway industry and make an impact in South Africa.

“While studying at TUT, I developed an interest in Transportation Engineering. My goal is to further my studies in Transportation Engineering, specialising in Railway Engineering, therefore I currently seek internship opportunities in this industry,” added Reed.

According to Johan de Koker, IPET Chief Executive Officer Johan de Koker, the organisation has been awarding the highest academically achieving engineering technology lady and male graduates since 2003 to promote gender equality among engineering technology graduates.

“The highest academically achieving lady and male graduate nominated by every university each receives a 60 mm medal and a certificate. The highest achieving graduates in South Africa, lady and gent, are awarded a 75 mm gold-plated medal and certificate. Ms Reed was the highest achieving female graduate of the 2022 cohort, with average of 83,4%,” said de Koker.

The IPET award is the highest honour that an engineering graduate from a University of Technology in South Africa can achieve. According to de Koker, the qualifications in line for these awards are the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) accredited qualifications leading to registration as Professional Engineering Technologist.

“Due to the restrictive Covid-19 situation, we fell a year behind. This year we recognised and awarded the 2021 and 2022 cohorts of graduates at the same ceremony. The highest achieving graduate (lady and gent) of the 2021 cohort was Ms Govender from DUT (Durban) with an average of 86%. The TUT lady awarded for 2021, also a Civil Engineering student, Lindi Erasmus, maintained an average of 77%,” concluded de Koker.

Mvulane Reed also received an Academic Excellence Award at a ceremony hosted by the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment. Pictured with Reed from the left, Executive Dean, Dr Grace Kanakana-Katumba, Department Section Head at Civil Engineering, Jones Moloisane and Assistant Dean for Teaching, Learning and Technology, Prof Caroline Khoathane.

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