College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

CAES Newsletter

Volume 1 | Issue 1

A quarterly overview of activities, events, achievements and news from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.


Professor Albert Modi
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of College

The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science started the year on a good note. Many projects related to research, teaching and learning were successfully managed to reach expected success.

These projects are the result of efficient management within all five of our Schools, Research Centres, Programmes and the College Office. Cooperation within the College, with UKZN colleagues as well as partners in communities, industry, government and international organisations has become our culture. This plays a significant role in our success.

Individual commitment to our collective effort is the major reason for success. For this, we thank our team leaders in operational and support divisions (managers), academic leaders and all our staff.

The hard work they displayed in spite of the challenges we experienced this term, many of which were emotionally depressing, was exemplary.

On behalf of the College leadership, I offer commitment to display headship and act for the wellness of staff and students in order to achieve greater success of our College going forward. This requires that we continue to work together as a team.  Henry Ford said:  ‘Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.’

Congratulations and thank you to all our staff, students and associates for their tremendous inputs and excellent results in just three months.




At the April graduation ceremonies AES conferred 1665 degrees and diplomas, 999 (60%) of which were undergraduate and 666 (40%) postgraduate.  The College awarded 589 three year degrees (35%), 410 four year degrees (25%), 40 postgraduate diplomas (2%), 325 honours degrees (20%), 200 masters degrees (12%) and 101 PhDs (6%).  Ninety students graduated cum laude (29% of the University total) and 25 summa cum laude (21% of the University total of 117). One hundred and twelve graduates were international students (31% of the University total). Sixty-two percent of all UKZN graduates were female and 38% male.  Seventy-four percent were Black, 2% Coloured, 21% Indian and 3% White.

Professor Delia North, Dean and Head of the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (SMSCS), is driving the establishment of a Statistical Analysis System (SAS) Industry Unit at the School in an effort to further enhance the industry relevance of degrees within the SMSCS by delivering industry-infused Data Analytics training fit for the 4th Industrial Revolution. The first cohort of Statistics Honours students graduated with both their BScHons degrees in Statistics as well as receiving internationally accredited certificates recognising their proficiency in the use of the Statistical Analysis System (SAS).

Two Pollution Research Group (PRG) postgraduate students were part of teams that were placed first and second at a University Challenge contest during the fifth Faecal Sludge Management (FSM5) conference in Cape Town. Master’s student, Mr Martin Mawejje, and PhD candidate, Ms Danica Naidoo, competed in the teams of three with colleagues from other countries.

An eight-day international training course on the application of satellite remote sensing and earth observation to support water resources management was hosted in Pietermaritzburg by UKZN’s Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR), the Institute of Natural Resources (INR) and the University of West England (UWE).


The School of Chemistry and Physics held a Women in Chemistry Breakfast at Westville campus in celebration of 100 years of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), as well as 150 years of the Periodic Table. Over 120 guests from various industries, academia and technical staff, as well as postgraduate students attended, creating a platform for collaboration and networking. Some 200 similar global breakfast events were held on the same day (12 February) around the world and attendees were able to see the global chemical hand wave indicating that breakfasts were commencing as the time zones changed across the globe.
UKZN’s Science and Technology Education Centre (STEC@UKZN) teamed up with the educational NGO, Protec, to offer an enriching Easter holiday programme. Grade 10 pupils enjoyed a fun practical on graphs and a magic science show by ‘Dr T’, aka Science Centre Coordinator Dr Tanja Reinhardt, whilst Grade 11 and 12 pupils focused on their studies, attending enrichment classes in maths, physical science and the life sciences.
The UKZN chapter of the Siyanqoba Maths Training Programme for mathematically gifted high school pupils – the brainchild of Emeritus Professor Poobhalan Pillay – got off to a great start with 81 learners from 17 schools. The pupils receive training and extension work to prepare them for the annual South African Mathematics Olympiad.
The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science sponsored trophies for academically outstanding learners in maths and science from top feeder schools, which were presented during their junior prize-giving ceremonies.
The School of Engineering hosted two well-attended Engineering Career Days aimed at top achieving grade 12 maths and science pupils. Drawn from UKZN’s main feeder schools, the learners were exposed to the full gambit of engineering disciplines on offer at UKZN. Those who are serious about studying engineering as a career will return for the week-long Engineering Winter School in the July holidays.


The refurbishment of Civil Engineering’s Centenary Building at Howard College is almost complete, as is that of the Oliver Tambo building on the Westville campus.

Centenary Building on Howard College
Westville College Office at Oliver Tambo

 The renovations and improvements have given these strategic buildings within the College a fresh new face.

The School office for Chemistry and Physics on Pietermaritzburg campus has also moved into their brand new School of Chemistry and Physics Administrative Complex next to the Chemistry building.

School of Chemistry & Physics administrative complex.


In the first quarter of 2019 (January-March) the College made 18 new appointments.  We welcome Dr Blessing Nkazimulo Mkhwanazi (Lecturer), Miss Kamendrie Balakisten (Assistant Admin Officer) and Mrs Megan Maistry (Senior Admin Assistant) to the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences;  Dr Matshawandile Tukulula (Senior Lecturer) to the School of Chemistry and Physics;  Mr Nivaar Brijmohan (Lecturer),  Mr Jonathan William Parker (Lecturer) , Mr Matthew Daniel Brown (Lecturer) and Professor Mohamed Mostafa (Professor) to the School of Engineering;  Ms Nomalanga Petronella Gasa (Technical Assistant), Dr Pamela Phumelele Gumbi (Lecturer), Mr Khulekani Sedwell Khanyile (Senior Technician), Mrs Xolisile Shandu (PA to the DHOS), Mrs Sibongile Khuzwayo (Admin Officer) and Ms Selaelo Ivy Tshilwane (Lecturer) to the School of Life Sciences;  Mr Murendeni Maurel Nemukula (Lecturer) and Mr Kubendran Pillay (Lecturer) to the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science; and Miss Boniwe Constance Nkosi (Academic Admin Officer), Miss Yeki Molly Gasela (Academic Admin Officer) and Mr Nduduzo Mnyandu (HR Graduate) to the College Office. 

Blessing Mkhwanazi

Lecturer, SAEES

Jonathan Parker

Lecturer, SENG

Khulekani Khanyile

Senior Technician, SLS

Yeki Gasela

Academic Admin Officer, College

Kamendrie Balakisten

Assistant Admin Officer, SAEES

Matthew Brown

Lecturer, SENG

Xolisile Shandu

PA to the DHOS, SLS

Nduduzo Mnyandu

HR Graduate, College

Megan Maistry

Senior Admin Assistant, SAEES

Mohamed Mostafa

Professor, SENG

Sibongile Khuzwayo

Admin Officer, SLS

Matshawandile Tukulala

Senior Lecturer, SCP

Nomalanga Gasa

Technical Assistant, SLS

Selaelo Ivy Tshilwane

Lecturer, SLS

Nivaar Brijmohan

Lecturer, SENG

Pamela Gumbi

Lecturer, SLS

Boniwe Nkosi

Academic Admin Officer, College



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