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The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Faculty of Applied Sciences, Executive Dean Professor Suren Singh delivered an insightful welcome message and encouraging words to the Faculty of Applied Sciences graduates, who he had expressed have adapted to rigorous academic demands, embraced new ideas, and navigated the uncertainties of recent times to complete their graduation at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) 2024 Autumn Graduation ceremony. The prestigious event was held at the Olive Convention Centre, on Tuesday, 21 May 2024.

He further highlighted to the graduates to cultivate a mindset that is curious and resilient.

“Seek out diverse perspectives, and be willing to pivot when necessary. Remember, adaptability also means being proactive. Anticipate changes and prepare for them. Invest in continuous learning and self-improvement. Develop a broad skill set that allows you to move seamlessly between different roles and industries. In doing so, you will not only stay relevant but also thrive in any environment. So go out and unlock your excellence and catalyse the world,” he remarked.

The Faculty of Applied Sciences had completed its cycle of graduating students for five Diplomas; two National Diplomas; four Advanced Diplomas and three postgraduates, two Masters and three Doctorates with a total of  291.

In  total, there are 17 Cum Laude and Dean’s Merit graduates, and 30 Cum Laude graduates, seeing a total of 47 ENVISION2030 high flyers from the faculty.

Prof Singh said the Faculty of Applied Sciences offers a broad spectrum of programmes that contribute to the science and technology ethos of the nation. He indicated that the Faculty of Applied  Sciences has 10 departments offering 12 programmes.

“Over 3000 students with just over 800 first years, we have grown by almost 30% over the past 10 years. 62% of our Academic staff have,  with 22 Professors of whom 18 are NRF- rated, the best STEM power you can find at DUT, and a rich blend of research areas that are well-funded externally together with a large postgraduate cohort  of 82 Masters and 64 Doctorates and several international bilaterals that are well-funded,” he said.

He further mentioned that there is a BRICS green energy project in Biotechnology and Food Science.

“Our expertise and facilities are enhanced by collaborators from around the world who are eager to host our students in academic exchange programmes. This allows us to fulfil our promise of providing a distinctive education that produces creative and impactful graduates. I mention this to remind you as graduates that learning does not end here. We have the resources to support your continued academic journey, and we hope to see many of you return for higher degrees to help drive South Africa’s economy towards achieving the 14 Sustainable Development Goals,” he expressed.

The session saw the awarding of two Degrees of Doctor of Philosophy in Biotechnology.

The first recipient was Shisy Jose. The title of her thesis is on Cyanobacteria-microalgae consortia as bioinoculants for enhancing soil fertility and plant growthThe second recipient was Dr Karen Reddy. The title of her thesis is on the Efficacy and mechanisms of antiretroviral drugs removal by algae from wastewater treatment plants.

Dr Reddy said that it had been a long journey to get to the point of graduation and she was grateful to have reached this end point. “I am looking forward to the next academic chapter of my life,” said the jubilant researcher for the Institute for Water and Wastewater at DUT.

After the awarding of Diplomas, Degrees, Master’s and Doctorates, Prof Singh concluded the session with his closing remarks to the adaptive graduates.

“Your dedication and tireless efforts in the higher education sector during these challenging times are deeply appreciated. To all staff from supporting sectors across the university, your impact on the growth of the Faculty of Applied Sciences is deeply appreciated,” he said.

Pictured: Faculty of Applied Sciences, Executive Dean Professor Suren Singh with Dr Shisy Jose and Dr Karen Reddy.

Photography: Mnqobi Ngobese

Waheeda Peters

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