New vice-chan­cel­lor for UJ

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA tankiso.makhetha@inl.co.za

THE Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg yes­ter­day named Pro­fes­sor Tshilidzi Mar­wala, pic­tured, as its sec­ond vice-chan­cel­lor and prin­ci­pal.

He is set to suc­ceed Pro­fes­sor Ihron Rens­burg, who has been at the helm of the in­sti­tu­tion since its es­tab­lish­ment in 2005.

Mar­wala’s ap­point­ment was made fol­low­ing a UJ coun­cil meet­ing on Thurs­day.

Pro­fes­sor Roy Mar­cus, UJ’s coun­cil chair­per­son, said the ap­point­ment of Mar­wala would fur­ther ad­vance the univer­sity goal to be­come Africa’s epi­cen­tre of crit­i­cal in­tel­lec­tual en­quiry.

Mar­wala is cur­rently the deputy vice-chan­cel­lor of re­search and in­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion, and will be­gin his ten­ure on Jan­uary 1.

“I am con­fi­dent that Pro­fes­sor Mar­wala will fur­ther ad­vance UJ’s vision of ex­cel­lence in teach­ing, re­search and in­no­va­tion‚ in­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion, pub­lic schol­ar­ship and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment,” Mar­cus said.

Mar­wala is a pro­fes­sional en­gi­neer; a fel­low of the World Academy of Sciences‚ the Academy of Sci­ence of South Africa‚ the African Academy of Sciences and the South African Academy of En­gi­neer­ing; a se­nior mem­ber of the In­sti­tute of Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tron­ics En­gi­neers; and a dis­tin­guished mem­ber of the As­so­ci­a­tion for Com­put­ing Ma­chin­ery.

“Pro­fes­sor Mar­wala’s ex­cel­lent aca­demic pedi­gree and ex­ten­sive in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ences will be vital to deep­en­ing and widening on our strate­gic goal of Pan African and global ex­cel­lence and stature‚” added Mar­cus.

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.

Mar­wala is also a mem­ber of the pro­gram­ming coun­cil of the Fac­ulty of Elec­tri­cal En­gi­neer­ing at the Sile­sian Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy in Poland.

Mar­cus added: “With Pro­fes­sor 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 sev­enth among 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.”

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