University of Pretoria receives a sponsorship for students and a donation of educational equipment from Control Techniques

Posted on May 21, 2021

Tshepo Freddy Masike and Thembelihle Mnguni, two students in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) at the University of Pretoria (UP), recently received a full annual engineering tuition bursary from Control Techniques. “We are excited to partner with the Faculty and the University to serve the interests of these young students and make a contribution to broad-based black economic empowerment,” commented Bruce Grobler, the Vice-President: Middle East and Africa of Control Techniques.

Mnguni is extremely thankful for the bursary and added that “being an engineering student, I have first-hand experience that education is vital in bridging the gap between success and community. This bursary not only allows me to fulfil my dreams of becoming a female engineer, it also allows me to gain experience that I will use to give back to my community.”

Masike added that he is “extremely grateful and relieved to be one of the chosen students to receive this bursary. This means a lot to me and will assist me to complete my studies as an engineer in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering.”


From left: UP student Tshepo Freddy Masike; Bruce Grobler, Vice-President at Africa of Control Techniques; EBIT Dean Professor Sunil Maharaj; and student Thembelihle Mnguni.

Control Techniques is known as a global drives specialist with a long entrepreneurial history. More recently, it gained the support of a large international parent company, Nidec, and its other brands. “We are a challenger with a big name in the variable speed drives industry. We hope to offer vacation work to its [the Faculty’s] fee grant students, as well as any other students who express an interest in the industry and in this company,” commented Jacqui Gradwell, the Marketing Manager at Control Techniques.

According to Sovash Hefele, the Human Resources Manager at Control Techniques, “it is critical for a multinational company such as Nidec, which has a business in South Africa, to show commitment to growing talent for future generations of engineers; especially professionally qualified engineers who have had the right education through a reputable university and engineering faculty. We are excited to partner with the University and the Faculty to serve the interests of these young students, and to contribute towards broad-based black economic empowerment,” she concludes.

The challenges faced by companies and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic are felt particularly harshly by South Africa’s pipeline of young black students. The economic hardships these students face may even put their hopes of obtaining a degree and following the career of their dreams in jeopardy. Faculty Dean Professor Sunil Maharaj commented that: “The Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria is particularly grateful to companies in the private sector who realise that an investment in the country’s youth is an investment in the country’s future”. 

Control Techniques is not only offering sponsorships to the two students, it has further strengthened the partnership through donating demo equipment to support the education curriculum of the Faculty’s Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering. In this way, it is supporting the future of the South African engineering industry. 

Control Techniques already has an established relationship with the Faculty, and aims to continue its collaboration with the University. According to Grobler, Vice-President at Control Techniques, UP has a great reputation, not only as a university of choice for aspiring students, but also for the support it provides its current students. “The University of Pretoria’s track record speaks for itself,” he  says.

- Author Estie Powell

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