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SAAE Academy Lecture: "Decolonising Engineering"
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SAAE: Invitation to Academy Lecture on "Decolonising Engineering". This lecture is open to the public, and will be followed by light refreshments.

When: 14 March 2018
17h30 for 18h00
Where: Donald Gordon Auditorium
School of Governance, Wits Parktown Management Campus, 2 St David's Place
South Africa
Contact: Ms Heleen Duffey

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Over the next decade, Gauteng could experience a water crisis far worse than that currently afflicting Cape Town. Nelson Mandela Bay is already in the grip of supply restrictions and Ethekwini is also at risk. In all cases, there are ways to avoid allowing risks to turn into crises. But, too often, sound technical advice is ignored.  Why is that? We need to ask: What does society want from engineers and the engineering and related technical professions? Do we want skilled professionals who will give sound advice and ensure effective delivery of excellent projects? Leaders who will transform their organisations and society? Can we have the whole package? Or do we first need to decolonise the professions and what would that mean? This lecture will provide some perspectives, through the lens of water, on the challenges that engineers and all technical professions face in a 21st century non-racist, non-sexist, democratic South Africa.

This lecture is open to the public, and will be followed by light refreshments (courtesy of the South African Academy of Engineering - SAAE).

Please RSVP for catering purposes to Ms Heleen Duffey by 11 March

Professor Mike Muller
Mike Muller is a professional civil engineer, registered in South Africa and Europe. He was Director-General of SA’s Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (1997-2005) and a Commissioner in South Africa’s first National Planning Commission (2010-2015). Previously, he managed policy and infrastructure at the DBSA (1988-1994) and water programmes for the Mozambique Government (1979-1988). Between 1990 and 1994, he worked with teams preparing for the democratic transition, drafting the RDP and designing the Public Works Programme.


Mike has written and campaigned successfully on water, health and development issues. He has actively promoted a ‘Southern’ perspective in international engagement as chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water Security (2012-14); and as a member of the Global Water Partnership’s Technical Advisory Committee (2005 – 2011) and the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation (2003-2005), amongst many others.


Currently a Visiting Adjunct Professor at the Witwatersrand University School of Governance, his research addresses the achievement of water security in a broad development context. A current focus is on Southern African integration and development and ensuring that approaches reflect African rather than European priorities for achieving regional food and water security in the face of climate challenges.

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