Technology Management lecturer says society needs to be more inclusive of youth

Posted on June 24, 2020

“Young people are capable of more than you think,” says senior lecturer Dr Taryn Bond-Barnard who is involved in an initiative in which students implement projects that address some of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in the community.

“Bloom where you are planted” is what Dr Taryn Bond-Barnard (35), senior lecturer in UP’s Graduate School of Technology Management in the Department of Engineering and Technology Management, has to say to youth.

“Young people can achieve a lot if they work together; no matter what your job or career is, it is important that you do it to the best of your ability,” says Dr Bond-Barnard. “I think if youth can focus on these two things, they can change the future of South Africa.”

A practising engineer with a master’s and PhD in engineering from UP, Dr Bond-Barnard teaches the IT & Services Project Management module on the graduate school’s Masters in Project Management Programme, as well as project management on the Honours in Engineering and Technology Management Programme. “I teach on and am responsible for three online and three contact project management short courses that I offer through Enterprises@UP. I also spend a considerable amount of time on my own research and supervising my 24 master’s and two PhD students,” she says.

Dr Bond-Barnard says she loves her job “as it gives me a lot of freedom to follow my interests and passions, and the university offers a collaborative and engaging work environment”. Since 2018, she and two colleagues have been working on an initiative with BCom students on the Mamelodi campus that involves the students planning and implementing a range of projects that address some of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in the community. Projects include creating storybooks and board games in African languages; making ragdolls and building blocks for early childhood development centres; setting up pop-up Street Stores ( for the homeless; and feeding the community by means of a vegetable garden, which is run by the students on the Mamelodi campus.

“I oversee the free project management training that the students receive, which is provided by the South African chapter of the Project Management Institute,” says Dr Bond-Barnard. “We assign project mentors, who are experienced project managers in industry, to every group to help them successfully execute their projects.”

To young people, Dr Bond-Barnard stresses: “You need to realise as early on as possible that you must take your education seriously – take responsibility for it and work hard.” Her own hard work has paid off: she was nominated for the Mail & Guardian’s 2019 list of 200 Young South Africans; received the International Project Management Association’s Global Young Researcher Award in 2018; and was selected for the Tuks Young Research Leader Programme in 2017.

She says youth are eager and willing to help make the future better for both young and old, and that society should allow them to help and be more inclusive of them. “They are capable of more than you think.”


- Author Primarashni Gower

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