UJ announces new VC

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The Council of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Tshilidzi Marwala as the University’s second Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Prof Marwala’s appointment follows a rigorous and extensive selection process, as required by the University statute and the University’s rules for the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor.

Prof Marwala, who is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Internationalisation at UJ, succeeds Professor Ihron Rensburg on 1 January 2018.

Announcing the decision following the University’s Council meeting on Thursday, 22 June 2017, the Chairperson of the University’s Council, Professor Roy Marcus, said the appointment of Prof Marwala will further advance the strategic goal of the University to become Africa’s epicentre of critical intellectual enquiry.

“Since its establishment in 2005, and under the bold and visionary leadership of Prof Ihron Rensburg, the University has had a remarkable journey that has seen it become the national standard bearer for transformation, equity, access, and Pan African and global excellence. As a result, the University has become a leading African university with global stature that is now ranked 7th amongst Africa’s universities, and ranked within the top 2.3% of universities in the world as published in the QS World University Rankings for 2017/2018. This is an exceptional accomplishment, reaffirming the notable headway that UJ has made in attaining Pan African and global academic excellence and world-class status. I am confident that Prof Marwala will further advance UJ’s vision of excellence in teaching, research and innovation, internationalisation, public scholarship and community engagement. Prof Marwala’s excellent academic pedigree and extensive national and international experiences will be vital to deepening and widening on our strategic goal of Pan African and global excellence and stature,” said Prof Marcus.

Prof Marwala has a distinguished tenure at UJ as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Internationalisation since 2013, and was previously UJ’s Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment. Prof Marwala has received in excess of 45 honours and awards, including the Order of Mapungubwe and was the first African engineer to be awarded the National Research Foundation’s President’s award. Notable other honours and awards include being the Carl and Emily Fuchs Chair of Systems and Control Engineering as well as the SARChI Chair of Systems Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. Prof Marwala academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (magna cum laude) from Case Western Reserve University (USA), a Master of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering from Cambridge University. He completed a post-doctoral research associateship at the Imperial College (London) and a programme for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School. Prof Marwala is a registered professional engineer, a fellow of TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), the Academy of Science of South Africa, the African Academy of Sciences, the South African Academy of Engineering, a senior member of the IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and a distinguished member of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery).

Prof Marwala’s research interests are multi-disciplinary and include the theory and application of computational intelligence to engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine. As a B-rated researcher, he has published nine books, over 300 papers in journals, proceedings, book chapters and magazines and holds three international patents. He is an associate editor of the International Journal of Systems Science (Taylor and Francis Publishers) and has been a reviewer for more than 40 ISI journals. His global network is wide and includes being a visiting scholar at Harvard University, at the University of California at Berkeley, at the Wolfson College of University of Cambridge and at Nanjing Tech University. Prof Marwala is also a member of the programming council of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Silesian University of Technology (Poland).

As UJ continues to reimagine the future, the University welcomes the Vice-Chancellor Designate who will take office on 1 January 2018. The University acknowledges the outstanding legacy and contributions of Prof Rensburg as the outgoing Vice-Chancellor.