Duncan Fraser

Obituary for Emeritus Professor Duncan Fraser

22 Jul 2014 - 09:45

Duncan Fraser graduated with a first-class honours degree in Chemical Engineering at UCT in 1968. After completing his PhD and working for three years at the Caltex refinery in Milnerton, he returned to lecture in the Chemical Engineering Department at UCT in 1979. He quickly became engaged in the challenges of teaching an increasingly diverse student body.

Duncan played a significant role in curriculum development and in establishing two Academic Development Lecturer posts in the Chemical Engineering department. He was also a founder member of the Centre for Research in Engineering Education (CREE) and actively involved in the broader development of UCT’s undergraduate education.

Duncan’s research on teaching and learning in engineering education was internationally recognised and he was regarded as a leader in the field. Most recently, he was recognised in his appointment as President-Elect to the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES). 

Professor Duncan Fraser retired from the UCT Chemical Engineering Department at the end of 2011 as an Emeritus Professor, after 32 years on the academic staff.

His passing at the age of 67 has been a shock to a wide community of academics and students with whom he was still very actively engaged.  His legacy is not only the field of Engineering Education at UCT, which he pioneered, but also the influence that he had on the many students, staff and colleagues who were mentored, encouraged and inspired by him.