IE Department celebrates its new PhD graduates!

Posted on September 12, 2022

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is proud of its latest successful PhD graduates, Dr Oluyomi Ajayi and Dr Saija Bezuidenhout, who were awarded their doctoral degrees at the University of Pretoria’s Spring Graduation ceremony held on Wednesday, 7th of September 2022.

Dr Oluyomi Ajayi completed his PhD under the supervision of Prof Marné de Vries. The thesis titled A performance reporting tool for electricity service delivery for selected local South African municipalities investigates how years of unpredictable electricity supply have resulted in economic losses, weakened investors’ confidence and civil discontent in South Africa. In this thesis, the candidate designed and evaluated an instrument called the Electricity Service Delivery Performance Reporting Tool (ESD-PRT) to provide insight into poor electricity service delivery and guide its re-design in local South African municipalities. Using enterprise engineering principles and theories as a basis for its design, the tool allows for multi-stakeholder data input on the health of power system resources, organisational competencies of municipalities and citizens’ satisfaction with electricity service delivery. Classified within specified design domains, insights provided by the tool on areas of concern and performance have the potential to guide efforts required to address backlogs in electricity service delivery currently experienced across local municipalities in the country.

Dr Saija Bezuidenhout, a former Lecturer in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, completed her PhD under the supervision of Dr Wilna Bean. Dr Bezuidenhout relocated to Finland in 2021, and therefore received her PhD in absentia. In this thesis titled A case study on inter-organisational technology transfer in the defence industry, the candidate proposed changes to a typical industrial participation management policy regarding the local recipient selection, technology transfer management and control, and the management of the local supplier network as the main factors to enable a successful knowledge absorption and organisational learning ability. In the sequential mixed methods study, a conceptual, theoretical framework was constructed incorporating the key concepts regarding the factors enabling a successful technology transfer and their relations. A process level 2 SCOR model was then constructed where the pain points and critical success factors were identified by applying a novel integrated case study and Straussian grounded theory approach. Finally, a system dynamics model was constructed to test and compare the interaction of the factors and how they changed the behaviour of the technology transfer system.

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is extremely proud of its new PhD graduates, as well as the other undergraduate and postgraduate students who also obtained their degrees. These graduates managed to achieve this, despite various challenges and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We congratulate them and wish them all of the best with their future endeavours!

- Author Bonolo Mokoka

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