Dr Sandile Mbatha
Senior Manager for Research and Policy Advocacy Department in eThekwini Municipality
He is a former Director and founder of Ulwazi NS Research Consulting, an organisation focused on human-centric solutions to human settlements; informal land markets; urban planning; local economic development; water; food and energy issues in urban and peri-urban contexts. He holds a PhD in Architecture and Town Planning from the University of Stuttgart, with a focus on informal transactions in low income housing in South Africa. He has more than a decade of working with public and non-governmental sector through developing and implementing programmes for low income urban and peri-urban communities. He has also participated in various urban development programmes aimed at fostering development partnerships between the municipality and communities, particularly conducting research on urban renewal and driving stakeholder coordination and engagement. He also has vast experience as consultant across various sectors locally and internationally. He has held numerous fellowships which include the 2017/18 Academy for African Urban Diversity cohort, 2019 International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP); MGG Digital Academy Fellow 2021. He has also worked at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as a lecturer and has also served as an external examiner for postgraduate projects within the Built Environment and Development space.
Nobubele Angel Shozi
Senior Software Developer and Researcher (DIRISA)
Dr Anwar Vahed
Director of the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA)
implementation of policies for research data management. DIRISA, together with the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and the South African Research Network (SANReN), comprises the
technology component of the National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System of South Africa.
Anwar’s professional career spans leadership, managerial and capacity development roles in diverse academic, research and production ICT environments. He is a computer scientist with more than 20 years’ experience in academia, and in research and development in the fields of data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, artificial neural networks and research data management. He was Principal Researcher and the Research Group Leader of the ICT for Earth Observation Research Group at the CSIR and prior to joining the CSIR, he managed the data and information delivery systems of Statistics SA, and chaired the Department of Computer Science at the University of the Western Cape.
He has developed the national strategy for research Big Data, is editor of data science journals and serves on several local and international committees in the data sciences, including the Research Data Alliance (RDA), US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and CODATA.
Dr Happy Sithole
Centre Manager: National Integrated Cyber-Infrastructure System (NICIS), South Africa
Prior to becoming the CI centre manager, Sithole spent 12 years as the director of the Centre for High Performance Computing. He completed his PhD in materials science, focusing on electronic and atomistic simulation of iron sulphides, at the University of Limpopo, where he also lectured for nine years. He has applied high-performance computing to solve problems in mining industries and nuclear power plant designs, such as at his time at the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor. Sithole also sits on the steering committees of high-performance computing meetings in Germany, Russia and Singapore. He was the Chairperson of the ICT Committee of the National Library Board and is currently a board member at the Centre of Excellence for Nuclear Safety and Security (CNSS) in South Africa.
Dr Jan van Niekerk
Executive: Data and Analytics (Mac Consulting)
Jan is an entrepreneur at heart. He has been involved in a number of very successful startups where he has lead technical and data-driven teams to build disruptive technologies and solutions across the globe.
He is a passionate Data Scientist that loves turning complex data problems into insightful and robust solutions which empower organisations to make (better) informed data driven decisions. Jan’s cross domain expertise in data analysis, software development and entrepreneurship enables him to think out of the box, challenging the status quo to develop the organisation of tomorrow, today.
Lameck Mbangula Amugongo
Lecturer: Faculty of Computing and Informatics (Namibia University of Science and Technology)
He holds a B.IT: Software Engineering, BSc (Hon) Computer Science ‘Cum Laude’ and MSc in Computer Science. In 2015, Lameck was selected as one of 100 Brightest Young Minds by Brightest Young Minds (BYM) and was also awarded the youth innovator award by National Commission on Research, Science & Technology (NCRST) for his research project “Open Data Portal for Namibia”.
He is currently completing a PhD in Cancer Sciences at the University of Manchester, applying big data techniques to analyse medical images to personalise treatment for lung cancer patients.
Vice President of Data Science at the ABSA Group’s Internal Audit.
Nontembeko Dudeni-Tlhone is a Statistician within a Data Science Research Group of the CSIR. She has over 15 years of experience in data analysis and statistical modelling work that seeks to enable decision making across various domains such as spatial planning, transport, health, natural environment and energy. Her research interests involve modelling and analysis of high-dimensional sensor data collected over time.