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Majozi to lead the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment

- Wits University

Esteemed process engineer to steer the Faculty as Wits embarks on its strategic journey to 2033.

The Council of the University of the Witwatersrand today approved the appointment of Professor Thokozani Majozi as the new Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment for a period of five years (renewable). He replaces Professor Ian Jandrell, who was recently appointed as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Systems and Operations at Wits.

“On behalf of the Wits community, I would like to congratulate Professor Majozi on his appointment to this important role. Professor Majozi, an NRF B1-rated scientist, brings with him the requisite academic profile, industry experience, and agility to charter a new course for the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, particularly as Wits embarks on its strategic journey to 2033. His knowledge and expertise traverses multiple disciplines, and coupled with his leadership experience, places him in good stead to take the Faculty to new heights,” says Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Zeblon Vilakazi. “I must add that we were fortunate to have many excellent candidates apply for this position, and I would sincerely like to thank all those who put their names forward.”

Majozi has spent 17 years in academia, of which seven have been at Wits. He is a full professor in the Wits School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering and also serves as the National Research Foundation/Department of Science and Innovation Chair in Sustainable Process Engineering. His main research interest is in batch chemical process integration, where he has made significant scientific contributions that have earned him international recognition. Some of these contributions have been adopted by industry.

Professor Thokozani Majozi

“It gives me great pleasure to accept the position of Dean of this prestigious Faculty. I look forward to working with the many talented academics, researchers, students and staff, to take this Faculty to new heights,” says Majozi. “I have outlined my vision in my statement of intent, which includes developing high-caliber, accredited graduates who will be able to make a contribution to society, increasing the number of postgraduate students, driving an innovative research agenda, optimising ICT and other systems, enhancing the student experience, ensuring our financial sustainability, and creating a distinguished and caring faculty for all. I look forward to working with you all to achieve these goals.”

Education and Experience

Prior to joining Wits, Majozi spent almost ten years at the University of Pretoria, initially as an associate professor and later as a full professor of chemical engineering. He also served as an associate professor in computer science at the University of Pannonia in Hungary from 2005 to 2009. He completed his PhD in Process Integration at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in the United Kingdom.

Majozi started his professional career as a junior process engineer at Unilever in 1994. In 1996 he was appointed as a senior process engineer: competency improvement specialist at Dow AgroSciences and in 2002 he joined Sasol Technology as a technology leader for optimisation and integration.

He was the Vice-President of the Engineering Council of South Africa between 2009 and 2012, where he also chaired the Strategic and Education Committees, and is currently the Chairperson of the Board of the CSIR. He was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Advisory Board for ASSAf Council, and is a member of the Academic Advisory Board for Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies.

Honours, Books and Awards

A prolific researcher, Majozi is the author or co-author of over 200 scientific publications including four books in Process Integration, published by Springer and CRC Press. Three of these were published after joining Wits in October 2013. He is also a member of various editorial boards, including the Journal of Cleaner Production and the Process Safety and Environmental Protection Journal, which are both published by Elsevier.

His contribution to science has been recognised through several scientific awards, including the Bill Neal-May Gold Medal from the South African Institution of Chemical Engineers, the British Association Medal, National Science and Technology Forum awards (three times), National Research Foundation (NRF) President’s Awards (two times). Recently, he was awarded the National Order of Mapungubwe by the President of South Africa, specifically for his contribution to industrial wastewater minimisation. He has also delivered several keynote addresses at international conferences.