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SAIMechE elects first Female President

Monday, 01 October 2018   (0 Comments)
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SAIMechE recently voted in their new National Council members for the 2018-2020 session at their AGM on 1 August 2018, electing Prof Debby Blaine as their new President. Debby is an Associate-Professor at Stellenbosch University, in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering. She has served on the Western Cape branch committee of SAIMechE since 2007. In 2011 she was elected as the first female Chair of the Western Cape SAIMechE committee, a position she held for the 2011-2013 period (during which she also became a first-time mom!). She was co-opted onto SAIMechE's Council in 2017 and assigned the Engineering Education portfolio.

She is also the current President of the South African Society for Engineering Education (SASEE). Debby is a Fellow of SAIMechE and is the first female President of SAIMechE's Council. She is passionate about creating a diverse, inclusive and engaging community for mechanical engineers in South Africa, and about drawing young engineers into this community. 


Debby is joined in the National Executive Committee by Vice-President Hangwani  Makwarela (CEO of Muteo Consulting in Polokwane). Mr Makwarela graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a masters’ degree in Business Administration from the University of Wales. After a career in steel-making, FMCG, power generation, aluminium smelting and at water boards, he founded Muteo Consulting in 2004.

He has also served the profession for many years as member of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) Professional Advisory Committee and a member and team leader of a number of ECSA accreditation visits to universities. Hangwani serves at the Department of Labour, as a Commissioner for the Government Certificate of Competency (GCC) examinations. He is a Fellow of the SAIMechE and has recently been nominated a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering. One of the key areas in which Hangwani has interest is the mentorship of young engineers, technologists and technicians, for contribution towards sustained social and economic development.

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