Renée Smit works as a senior Academic Development Lecturer (ADL) in the department of Electrical Engineering. ADLs work on the boundary between the disciplinary expertise and principled pedagogic practice, enabling academic staff to develop as reflective practitioners. Her work also involves support for curriculum development and various aspects of student development.
Reneé obtained her PhD in Engineering Education from the University of Cape Town. Her research interest is the field of higher education studies broadly, and in particular engineering professional education. Her work has two foci. She works at the intersection of professional education in engineering, the nature of engineering knowledge and the applied philosophy of engineering. The research has implications for educating engineers but also for collaborative work between practitioners in science and engineering. The other aspect of her research is closely aligned with her work as an ADL. It involves scholarly reflection on the student experience in engineering education and exploring alternatives to a deficit mind-set in relation to student diversity.
Anita Campbell has taught students of first-year mathematics at two South African universities for over two decades. She has academic qualifications in applied mathematics, physics and education from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg. Since 2011 she has been based in the Academic Support Programme for Engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Intrigue about why some engineering students fail to rebound after failing first-semester mathematics led her to investigate growth mindsets – the beliefs that intelligence can always be improved – in her PhD studies, under the supervision of Dr Tracy Craig, University of Twente, and Prof. Brandon Collier-Reed, UCT. Her PhD thesis shows that interventions to develop growth mindsets should focus on developing mindsets in learning environments and not just in individuals. Other research interests include educational technology to support active learning, and engineering students’ sense of belongingness. Anita is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association, the South African Society for Engineering Education, and the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa.
Brandon Collier-Reed is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. It was while pursuing a PhD in low-cost automation and robotics that his fascination with teaching his first-year class convinced him to switch directions completely and embark on a PhD that considered technological literacy. Acknowledging that students bring with them to the engineering classroom different understandings of the nature of technology as well as different levels of technological literacy, he turned his research focus to what was happening in the classroom and its influence on student engagement.
His current research is on understanding student engagement with a specific interest on how the use of ICTs in the classroom can impact engagement. His most recent work, understanding the use of a “backchannel” during lectures, has highlighted the levels of alienation experienced by many students in a classroom space. He has typically adopted and interpretivist approach to his research and is probably best known for the work he has undertaken using the approach known as phenomenography.
Brandon is the past President of the South African Society of Engineering Education, a Fellow of the South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering and is a registered Professional Mechanical Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa.
Andrew Deacon works as a Senior Learning Designer in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT). The work of CILT responds to teaching and learning challenges at UCT and the broader higher education environment through learner-centred pedagogic practices. The learning design work is on curriculum and course design projects across the university, with a focus on blended and online courses design. His work also involves support for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), large-scale assessment and learning analytics.
Andrew obtained his MSc in Computer Science. His research interest is in the field of higher education development broadly, and in particular learning design. His current research has included investigating various aspects of the UCT MOOCs project and how these interest with formal teaching at the university. This work has involved exploring alternatives for how courses can be designed to be more flexible and engaging within a changing university course landscape. He has also been involved in learning analytics for large-scale assessments to measure change and inform curriculum development.
Kalpana Ramesh Kanjee
Kalpana Ramesh Kanjee is a Lecturer at the University of Cape Town in the Academic Development Programme (ADP) in the Centre for Higher Education (CHED). She holds a BSc in electro-mechanical engineering and an MSc in engineering management. Over the past 17 years she has taught mathematics for engineers in the ADP unit, ASPECT. Her research interests lie in the broad areas of teaching and learning and student transition. Her PhD studies use grounded theory methodology in the extended programme space, with a focus on care and learning communities.
Bruce Kloot is a Senior Academic Development Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His undergraduate degree was obtained from the University of the Witwatersrand in Chemical Engineering while his Master’s was in the area of Energy Studies, focusing on issues of rural development and drawing on anthropology to understand a rural energy intervention. After spending some time in secondary education, working as a teacher to support educationally disadvantaged learners, he took up a position at UCT that has developed into his current role.
At about this time, Bruce embarked on his PhD in Engineering Education, being supervised by Prof Jenni Case (now at Virginia Tech, USA) and Delia Marshall (at the University of the Western Cape). His doctorate drew on the theoretical tools of the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu to provide a critical perspective on extended degree programmes in South African higher education. He graduated in 2011 and has since published a number of articles and book chapters in the fields of engineering education and higher education studies.
Bruce is on the Board of REEN (Research in Engineering Education Network) and is the Conference Chair for the upcoming Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES 2019) that is to be held in Cape Town.
Siddique Motala is a senior lecturer in Academic Development in the Department of Civil Engineering. He recently moved to UCT after lecturing in the Department of Civil Engineering & Surveying at CPUT for over a decade. He mainly taught geomatics students who were studying towards qualifications in surveying or Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He is a trained land surveyor and holds a PhD in Education. For his PhD, he researched the use of storytelling in engineering education, mediated by a critical posthumanist stance. His research is focused on posthumanism, the scholarship of teaching & learning, historical mapping and digital storytelling. He is especially interested in decolonisation and innovative pedagogies in engineering education.
He is recognised for his expertise on the mapping of the historic site of District Six, and works closely with the District Six Museum, filmmakers, historians and archaeologists. He is an Associate Editor of the journal CriSTaL (Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning). He was a recipient of the 2017 HELTASA/CHE National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award.
Tiyamike Ngonda is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at CPUT. He holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, a PgDip in Project Management and an MEng. He is registered with ECSA as a Professional Engineer. He has worked in industry as a Standards Officer, a Building Services Engineer and an Assistant General Manager: Production for an HVAC manufacturer. It was during this period in industry that he became interested in investigating factors that influence the under-preparedness of engineering students for early careers in industry. He explored this in his PhD in Engineering Education which he has recently completed with UCT. He has been with CPUT since 2013 where he has lectured courses in Thermodynamics, Dynamics and Mechanical Engineering Design. Tiyamike Ngonda’s research interests are learning for employability with an emphasis on work placement, simulated work placement and industry-led project-based learning.
Gabi Nudelman is a lecturer in the Professional Communication Studies Department, a skills development unit within the Engineering and Built Environment Faculty. With a general Humanities undergraduate degree and a Masters in Applied Theatre and Drama Studies, her interest in engineering education arose from her experience of teaching communication skills to engineering students.
While the notion of students being equipped with the "soft skills" needed to make them work-ready is ubiquitous nowadays, the complexities of the higher education landscape convinced Gabi that this was an area that deserved further probing. This motivation led her to undertake a PhD in Higher Education Studies from Rhodes University, which she completed in 2018. Using the theoretical tools of Critical Realism and Social Realism, her study analysed two final-year electrical engineering courses specifically focussed on employability development. The objective of the study was to generate understanding of the factors that constrained and enabled the students' transitions from student to professional.
Gabi is a passionate teacher and sees her research as a way to enrich her understanding of the teaching and learning processes undertaken by engineering students. Her research focusses on employability development, engineering identity and professional communications within engineering. Gabi is also an experienced writing centre consultant and academic coach who has supported many postgraduate students through their thesis journeys.
Krystle Ontong is a Senior Academic Development Lecturer in the department of Construction Economics and Management, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Cape Town. She obtained her PhD in 2013 in the field of Geography and Environmental Education at Stellenbosch University where she also taught in the Curriculum Studies Department. Her research is in human geography where she critically explores the conceptual and practical intersections between space, place, land and people and how their entangling produces spatial divisions, environmental problems and social ills. The latter she argues, could be addressed more efficiently through the avenue of place-and-land-conscious education which is underpinned by both western and indigenous epistemologies. In the teaching and learning domain, her research involves productive pedagogies and cybergogies, curriculum inquiry, student engagement and e-learning. She has published in several peer-reviewed journals both locally and internationally and is a member of various education and geography associations. To date, she has presented at more than fourteen conferences locally and internationally and reviewed a number of articles and theses. She also received an NRF rating in 2020.
Corrinne engages with the messy, concrete, practical world of practice (whether it be fieldwork in the classroom or workplace) using appropriate theoretical lenses to understand (and possibly intervene in) the learning transitions of students and practitioners. Her primary research activities encompass two areas related to transitions, firstly, the transition between professional practice and academic practice; and the transition from university to professional practice. These areas of research are concerned with transformative learning. Becoming a management practitioner through formal academic study or becoming an engineer through the translation of academic engineering knowledge to professional knowledge requires transformations that involves identity shifts. This research contributes to understanding of how these transformations are effected and consequently informs recommendations for learning design and success in academic and professional practice.
Nicky Wolmarans is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town in the Department of Civil Engineering. She holds a BSc and MSc in mechanical engineering and a PhD in engineering education. After a short time in industry she took up a lecturing post in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Over the past 17 years she has taught across the civil and mechanical engineering programmes, in design and engineering science courses. She also contributes to a postgraduate course in knowledge and curriculum in a Higher Education Studies programme and will be convening a new PhD programme specialising in engineering education commencing in 2019. Her current position is that of ‘Academic Development Lecturer’ in the Department of Civil Engineering, a somewhat contested position introduced in 2008 in an effort to improve the educational experience of students with the hope that it would improve success rates. With a PhD in engineering education, Dr Wolmarans’ research interests lie in understanding impediments to student progression that disciplinary knowledge introduces and in so doing, broadening access to knowledge that makes a difference.