Janet Sawari (Entrepreneur/Innovation Strategist/Researcher at TAIR Labs)

Janet Sawari

Entrepreneur/Innovation Strategist/Researcher at TAIR Labs

Janet will be presenting a Keynote address.


Janet is the CEO and founder of TAIR Labs ; an AI Research and Innovation Lab based in Cape town. She is a serial entrepreneur a recent Harambean for the 2023 class, she sits on the Women in ICT board, is an Inspiring 50 2022 honoree, and the AI contributor for The Yuan AI tech platform. Janet is the visionary behind an AI-assisted labelling, model training & collaborative tool that enables anyone to build an AI with no code. This is TAIR Labs latest product called X-VSN, pronounced 'X-Vision'. Her vision is to enable businesses across industries to succeed quickly and efficiently with the power of computer vision. Her venture plans to explore innovations for healthcare, security and disrupt the industrial sector. She advocates for STEM education access, pan-African innovation, and leveraging AI to develop a new wave of industrialization on the African Continent. Her ambitions for social impact and gender inclusivity and diversity for youth in tech are evident through her efforts to produce a technical documentary about AI in Africa. With an MBA in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship from Shanghai Jiaotong, a masters from the university of liverpool and a bachelors from Zhejiang university of science and technology Janets appetitive for driving innovation is unwaivering and her vision for the continent clear.

For more details on her organization please refer to these links:
Publication : www.theaireview.org
Technology : www.tairlabs.com

Ian Moll (Research Fellow at University of Witwatersrand)

Ian Moll

Research Fellow at University of Witwatersrand

Ian will be presenting a Keynote address titled: AI and the ‘4IR’ - Industrial revolution, technological revolution or revolutionary technologies?


Ian Moll is a research fellow at the Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He was retired from the Division of Educational and Engineering Information
Technology at the university at the end of 2021. His interests lie in theoretical psychology; knowledge, work and skill; the networked society; learning and pedagogy; and
educational technology. His PhD is in cognitive science from the University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. During his career, he has been an early childhood educationist, an adult literacy teacher, a trade unionist, a researcher at the South African Institute for Distance Education, visiting professor at the Universities of Makerere and Witwatersrand (where he was
a lead researcher in the Pan-African Agenda on the Pedagogic Integration), and a lecturer in educational theory and research, psychology of education and instructional design.

Edwin (Eddie) Andrews (Deputy Mayor at City of Cape Town)

Edwin (Eddie) Andrews

Deputy Mayor at City of Cape Town

Eddie will be presenting a keynote address.


Edwin Andrews, fondly known as Eddie was born and raised in Mitchell’s Plain. He has been married for 23 years and has three children. Eddie and his family enjoy spending time together at home, going to church and supporting each other at various activities. He holds a Bachelors of Administration (majoring in Politics) from the University of Western Cape. He is currently completing his Honours.

Eddie attended Steenberg High School and was involved in various sports. Toward the end of his high schooling, he found a love for rugby. His parents could not afford tertiary education at that time and he was forced to work however, he kept playing rugby. He excelled and further went onto play for Western Province and the Springboks.

Although, no longer a professional sports player he regularly challenges himself to compete in sporting activities for community causes. He completed the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in 2018 while collecting over 4000 packs of sanitary towels for various organizations. He has also taken on the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, raising funds toward food security and awareness about the Decision Affect Destinies (D.AD) Youth Mentorship Programme. He was also a regular at the Mitchell’s Plain Park Runs at Westridge Gardens.

Eddie has always been involved in community activities like establishing neighbourhood-watches and community outreach programs. He is passionate about community development and making sure opportunities and beneficiaries are linked. Eddie is well respected for his integrity and maturity to work with anyone regardless of their background.

Eddie’s love and commitment to community is what drove him into politics.

Eddie was elected into office as a Councilor in the City of Cape Town in 2011 and is still serving in this capacity. His first position as a Councilor was for Ward 78 and since the last local election in November 2021, he will now be serving the communities of Ward 73. He has already put together a plan for the next 5 years in office.

He has also served as the Sub-council 12 Chairperson from 2011-2016.

Calie Pistorius (Professor Extra-Ordinary at University of Stellenbosch)

Calie Pistorius

Professor Extra-Ordinary at University of Stellenbosch

Callie together with Taryn Bond-Barnard will be presenting a Workshop titled: Shaping the future: How to benefit from an engineering management career advantage


Calie Pistorius is an extraordinary professor of Engineering Management in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch. He is also the Director of DeltaHedron Ltd, a UK-based consultancy specialising in the management of innovation and technology intelligence to assess the strategic business impact, risks, opportunities and threats presented by the dynamics of technological change and emerging technologies.

He is a former Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where he was also the Director of the Institute for Technological Innovation and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and IT, a former Chairman of the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI), as well as a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull in the UK.

Summary of Workshop content:

This workshop addresses the question how a structured approach to gaining engineering management knowledge, skills and experience can enhance the career of the of the practicing engineer - be it early to mid-career or senior engineer – and her/his professional contribution. The aim is to facilitate a discussion around expectations, current realities and future prospects of a formal engineering management qualification can help to future-proof a career by opening career opportunities and mitigate career risks.

Topics to be discussed during the workshop:

• Characteristics of the typical engineering graduate, juxtaposed against the real-world “job of the engineer” (job-to-be-done) and the requirements of the future-focussed engineer
• Articulating the gap in terms of knowledge, skills and capabilities; as well as the future of the world of work and the disruptive impact of emerging technologies.
• Exploring how formal engineering management education can augment can enhance the practicing engineer’s value-add
• How can an engineering management qualification be fit-for purpose to future-proof an engineering career and empower the practicing engineer to take control of her/his career.

For the benefits of attending this Workshop, please see Taryn Bond-Barnard.

Taryn Bond-Barnard (Associate Professor at Engineering Management Program at Stellenbosch University)

Taryn Bond-Barnard

Associate Professor at Engineering Management Program at Stellenbosch University

Taryn together with Callie Pistorius will be presenting a Workshop titled: Shaping the future: How to benefit from an engineering management career advantage


Taryn Bond-Barnard is an Associate Professor in the Dept of IE at the University of Stellenbosch. She is a former senior lecturer at the Graduate School of Technology Management at the University of Pretoria and has extensive experience as operations and project manager in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. She holds a BEng (cum laude) degree in Industrial Engineering, MEng (cum laude) and PhD degrees in project management all from the University of Pretoria. She has received several awards, most notably the 2018 International Project Management Association (IPMA) Global Young Researcher Award, recognition as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans in 2019 and a departmental teaching award from the University of Pretoria. Taryn is a PRINCE2 practitioner, professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), a Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute and a long-standing member of the International Project Management Association (IPMA) Research Group.

Summary of Workshop content:

This workshop addresses the question how a structured approach to gaining engineering management knowledge, skills and experience can enhance the career of the of the practicing engineer - be it early to mid-career or senior engineer – and her/his professional contribution. The aim is to facilitate a discussion around expectations, current realities and future prospects of a formal engineering management qualification can help to future-proof a career by opening career opportunities and mitigate career risks.

Benefits of attending this Workshop:

The workshop will be conducted in an interactive discussion mode, where participants will learn from one another’s experience, views and preferences. It will commence with introductory comments to set the scene, including brief review of the nature of typical engineering undergraduate and postgraduate education and then moving on to the demands of the real-world job of the engineer (JoE). The focus will be on discussion future scenarios for the JoE, the related skills and knowledge requirements and how these can be met. Engineering students, graduates and engineering professionals will be given the opportunity to reflect on their career journey to date by sharing insights with the attendees in terms of how they bridge his/her formal training with his/her current and future world of work. The discussion will be informed by exploring global thrusts in engineering management. Participants will be encouraged to map foreseen future career goals, learning demands and paths of career growth with current and engineering management trends.

Trevor Shihundla (Lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria)

Trevor Shihundla

Lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria

Trevor will be presenting a Workshop titled: Plan A Business Simulation Game


Trevor is currently employed at Tshwane University of Technology as a Lecturer and Project Manager. A well experienced Industrial Engineer with 8+- year history of Teaching, Research, Business Process Improvement and Operational research in Pharmaceutical, Automotive, Consulting, Rail and Academia. Successfully managed contractual vehicles on Endurance on VWSA project in the capacity of Operations Engineer. Currently managing a successful Business Simulation Game for the University of Technology. International project with engineers from three different countries: Single use Plastics Reclaim and Repurpose Container. Developed a framework for remote monitoring railcar (train) brakes using sensors. A registered assessor, facilitator and moderator for skills transfer under the SAQA unit standards ID#115753, 117871 AND 115759. Participation in research and innovation projects within a TUT focus area/niche area includes Incubation Project for the RMCERI Incubation Centre, merSETA Chair for Intelligent Manufacturing team member, Sponsorship Co-ordinator for the 30th CIRP design conference, Holistic and business game as scenario analysis for new venture creation and representing South Africa at The 7th young BRICS Forum under the category of Artificial Intellegence. Trevor earned a Masters degree in Industrial Engineering, where he was Gibela Research Chair Scholar and Bachelors in Industrial Engineering at the Tshwane University of Technology. Currently pursuing a PhD in Industrial Engineering.

Summary of Workshop:

This is a simulation game that gives a playful experience of the operating worlds of the future and therefore the opportunities and risks of conversion. The goal is to initiate a method of dialogue regarding our concepts of future work in addition to development of the game within the African context, as a result of the operating world is at the beginning of any elementary transformation. Together, we discuss topics like industry 4.0, Digitization, cyber-physical systems and production. In light of this circumstances, the players formulate fascinating futures, within the dynamic work processes, while not losing sight of the downsides of the transformations. Thus, potentialities for fulfilment are tested, relations mentioned and opportunities and risks known.

Benefits of attending this Workshop:

• Plan A possible to reflect and simulate diverse visions for the future of work for all of us
• The solutions are not fabricated but solid fundament for discussion
• The cooperation between inter-disciplines is improved within various departments
• Offers an overview of possible strategies of implementation within a department
• Using a neural network and software to calculate impact of implemented strategies on key performance indicators(KPI) and resources

Handré Dreyer (Solutions Specialist at 4Sight Asset Simulation)

Handré Dreyer

Solutions Specialist at 4Sight Asset Simulation

Handré will be presenting a workshop titled: The Simulation Game


Handré is a senior solutions manager with years of management and consulting experience in digital transformation, process simulation, digital twins, interoperability, and industrial engineering applications, in the healthcare, mining, manufacturing, logistics, telecommunications, information technology, and finance industries. Handré has been involved with and managed projects across the globe including Africa, South America, USA, Canada, Australia, Russia and India.

Summary of Workshop:

This workshop is not a traditional workshop but rather an interactive experience where Industrial Engineers will play a game using a simulation model that represents a basic system of an actual production operation. The intention is to have teams that combine their skills to optimise system operations and performance. The experience will show precisely how a simulation model is able to provide a confidence level for achieving the targets with the initial production plan and configuration. In addition, and more importantly, we will investigate the ability to optimise the system using the simulation model by altering any combination of set production and/or set service strategies.

Benefits of attending this Workshop:

The Simulation Game uses simulation and IE skills to evaluate the impact of variation on the operations of an existing system. It focuses on problem-solving, strategising, scenario-based experiments, process optimisation and leveraging inputs from a diverse team (teamwork)!In this workshop, we look to answer four questions with simulation: what are we trying to achieve, what do we need to achieve it, how much will it cost, and lastly, can we achieve it? Lastly, it will be FUN!

Nalini Sooknanan Pillay (Corporate Specialist- System Dynamics at Eskom SOC)

Nalini Sooknanan Pillay

Corporate Specialist- System Dynamics at Eskom SOC

Nalini together with Rudolph Oosthuizen will be presenting a Workshop titled: Applied System Dynamics Methodology


Nalini Sooknanan Pillay graduated with an engineering degree at the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa) in 1994. She then worked as a production engineer in the steelmaking industry, where she dealt with line expansion and optimisation projects. In 1997, she joined Eskom’s Research business unit where she was involved in generation plant related research, as well as the development of knowledge-management diagnostic programs. At the end of 2011, she set up the Eskom System Dynamics Centre, while completing her Masters in Sustainable Energy Engineering at UCT, and thereafter her PhD in Industrial Engineering with contributions to the field of systems engineering, at Stellenbosch University. She currently holds the executive role of Eskom Corporate Specialist in System Dynamics. She is a founding member of the South African System Dynamics Chapter and held the post of President for several years. Nalini lectures ad-hoc in Applied System Dynamics at various universities and has authored and co-authored several internationally recognised papers using a system dynamics modelling approach.

Summary of Workshop:

Step by step process in using a system dynamics methodology in developing a simulation.

Benefits of attending this Workshop:

Will ensure a structured approach to developing a robust and rigorous simulation model to enhance understanding of the system problem and boundary conditions.

Suja Joseph-Malherbe (Senior Systems Engineer | Director of Letter27)

Suja Joseph-Malherbe

Senior Systems Engineer | Director of Letter27

Suja together with Rudolph Oosthuizen will be presenting a Workshop titled: Unleashing the power of systemic thinking in problem framing.


Suja has a passion for leadership and systems engineering, and as such, she is quite active in INCOSE in various roles. She served as the President of INCOSE South Africa from January 2017 to December 2018. She is a member of the inaugural cohort of the INCOSE Technical Leadership Institute and joined the Institute as a coach in 2020. She is an INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) and a Solution-focused Brief Coach (ICF-ACSTHs training). She provides training and consulting services in systems engineering and leadership development to individuals and organisations through Letter27. She is also a sessional lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of the Witwatersrand delivering post-graduate courses on systems engineering.

Summary of Workshop:

In the engineering context, a question we need to often ask is, “Are we solving the right problem?”. We need to know this as the definition of the problem is the focal point of all our problem-solving efforts. In other words, the quality of the solutions (fit for purpose) we come up with is directly linked to the description of the problem. One need to be aware of cognitive biases that lead to jumping to solutions before the underlying problem is discovered. Also framing a problem instead of attempting to define it in a complex context may be a more resilient approach. This workshop will explore how problem framing has an influence on how we approach solving the problem through hands-on activities and facilitated small group and plenary activities.

Benefits of attending the Workshop:

- New perspective on approaching problems (engineering and wicked and messy problems)
- Getting out of your comfort zone (beyond the engineering zone)
- Creating awareness
- Opportunity to suspend judgement
- Complements your current knowledge
- Take-aways
- Think differently of their system and systems around them
- When solving problem – identifying the problem
- What is the real problem?
- Uncovering the “real” problem vs the “perceived” or “reported” problem
- Thinking is difficult and so we judge (with our own mental model and biases)

Rudolph Oosthuizen (Associate Professor at GSTM at University of Pretoria)

Rudolph Oosthuizen

Associate Professor at GSTM at University of Pretoria

Rudolph together with Nalini Sooknanan Pillay will be presenting a Workshop titled: Applied System Dynamics Methodology

Rudolph will also together with Suja Joseph-Malherbe present a Workshop titled: Unleashing the power of systemic thinking in problem framing


Rudolph Oosthuizen joined SA Air Force in 1990 to obtain a B.Eng (Elec 1994), B.Eng (Hons) (Indus 1998) and MEM (2002) from UP. In the SA Air Force performed systems engineering roles in Electronic Warfare and Command and Control. In 2008 he joined Defence Peace Safety and Security (DPSS) at the CSIR. Rudolph is currently a Senior System Engineer supporting various Command and Control related projects with more than 15 years’ experience in conceptual system modelling.

He obtained a PhD in Engineering Management at UP in 2015. Rudolph has initially the focussed was on modelling of Command and Control systems for requirements capturing as well as concept development. Of special interest was modelling of the human element in the sociotechnical system, focussing on cognitive and human factors using Model Based Systems Engineering practices and processes. Currently, Rudolph focuses on implementing Data Science and Artificial Intelligence for decision support and situation awareness.

Since May 2020 he has been appointed as a senior lecturer at the GSTM for the Systems Engineering and Systems Thinking course modules. Rudolph is registered as a Professional Engineer with ECSA and is also a Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) with INCOSE.

When not working, researching or researching Rudolph spends his time on reading, photography and birdwatching.

For the summary and benefits of attending this Workshop, please see the profile of Nalini Sooknanan Pillay.

James Bekker (Associate Professor at Department of Industrial Engineering, Stellenbosch University)

James Bekker

Associate Professor at Department of Industrial Engineering, Stellenbosch University

James will be presenting a Workshop titled: Introduction to multi-objective , stochastic simulation-optimisation


James Bekker is interested in computer simulation of discrete-event, stochastic systems. His research focuses on the theory and practice of improving systems using the integration of metaheuristics and simulation-optimisation with two or more objectives.

Summary of the Workshop:

We learn the principles of 1) metaheuristics, 2) multi-objective optimisation, and 3) simulation-optimisation. The three puzzle pieces will be fitted together as one, and the application of the theory will be demonstrated using discrete-event, stochastic simulation models. Metaheuristics will be used to find reasonable solutions to a complex, practical model with many possible solutions. The simulation models serve as an evaluator of two or more conflicting objective functions. There will be a strong focus on the theory of doing sufficient simulation replications to provide confidence in the stochastic output and, eventually, the selected best solution to a problem.

Benefits of attending this Workshop:

Multi-objective, stochastic simulation-optimisation is one of the most powerful tools the industrial engineer can possess. This tutorial will enhance the capability of the attendee to improve real, complex systems.

Hugo Pienaar (Business Process Engineer/Data Scientist at Praelexis)

Hugo Pienaar

Business Process Engineer/Data Scientist at Praelexis

Hugo Pienaar will be presenting a Workshop titled: Workflow Mapping Ecosystems


Hugo is an Industrial/Electrical Engineer with extensive experience in Machine Learning, Business Intelligence, SDLC and control systems.

Summary of Workshop:

Multiple people mapping a business and the effect there off. The pros and the cons.

Benefits of attending the Workshop:

Understand the power of having a business mapped on paper and how to leverage this as a business.

Jacomine Grobler (Associate Professor at Department of Industrial Engineering, Stellenbosch University)

Jacomine Grobler

Associate Professor at Department of Industrial Engineering, Stellenbosch University

Prof Jacomine Grobler is an Associate professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at Stellenbosch University. Her main fields of expertise are supply chain optimization, optimization algorithm development, and data science. She was the recipient of the 2015 JD Roberts Emerging Researcher and the 2017 SAIIE Most Outstanding Young IE Researcher awards. She also spent a number of years in industry in various positions, which included business analyst, programme manager and research group leader.

Ajit Gopalakrishnan (Head of Odin Education Division at Jendamark)

Ajit Gopalakrishnan

Head of Odin Education Division at Jendamark

Ajit Gopalakrishnan is the head of Odin Education, a division of Jendamark Automation. His work experience spans several industries and functions, such as education, engineering, marketing, factory and project management. Ajit holds a degree in engineering from UCT and a master’s degree from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

He is passionate about providing access to education technology to under-privileged children in South Africa. Furthermore, he has a keen interest in ensuring positive use of technology for all.

One of his favourite quotes is one by Sir Ken Robinson: "There is nothing social about social-media". He is driven by the goal to "Make a difference, or die trying" in society.