Message from the Dean

28 Jun 2017 - 10:45

We are now into the second week of exams, as evidenced by EBE students arriving with layers of blankets and jackets, in preparation for spending a few hours in the Sports Centre Halls. This is partly because the exams are almost a month later than usual due to the late start of our academic year.

I am aware that many alumni are very concerned about the situation on campus. One of the cornerstones of UCT’s approach has been to be pro-active in addressing the various issues that have been raised. We are moving ahead with a number of different initiatives, and there have been a number of interesting engagements and discussions on free fee education, decolonise curriculum and the culture on campus.

 The Faculty is in the process of developing a new faculty strategic plan for 2017 to 2020. We have agreed that the core of our strategy is to forge a new and inclusive EBE, one in which students and staff feel that they have ownership and to which they belong. We will continue to have a zero-tolerance approach to any form of unfair discrimination and harassment. Staff and students in each department have developed a plan for the year which will ensure that we remain proactive in our engagements.

Many of you may remember the Glass House on the third level of Menzies Building. (This was where the infamous EBE student council “smokers” used to be held). This area, together with the foyer area and the balcony above, are all being renovated. We are developing a more modern Student Hub which will create an improved environment and much-needed learning spaces for students.

In April, I met up with some alumni in New York, and I was delighted to get support for our Growing the Future Generation of Academics campaign.  In August, I will be in Canada where I will be a key note speaker at the Conference of Metallurgists in Vancouver.  I look forward to meeting with alumni during my visit.

There are some exciting new CPD courses happening in the second half of the year. I encourage you to have a look at the website.  The Faculty has partnered with GetSmarter and is offering an online course on Property Development and Investment, which has been extremely successful so far. We expected 30 registrations and ended up with 120. We will be developing other online courses, so watch this space.

Our alumni officer, Mandisa Ralane’s, five-year contract has come to an end and she will be leaving us at the end of June. We are very thankful for the role she has played in connecting us with our alumni and wish her all the best for the future. Should you wish to get in touch with the Faculty – please contact Mary Hilton.

Kind regards

Professor Alison Lewis
Dean: Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment