Professor Fidelis Emuze is among the best and brightest scientists in South Africa for his outstanding contribution to research work in lean construction. He participated at the annual National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Awards held in Johannesburg on 29 June 2017 for the TW Kambule-NSTF Emerging Researcher Award.
The NSTF is the most representative and long-standing non-profit body of science, engineering and technology (SET) in the sector, making CUT academics rank amongst the best institutions at the awards with only 14 of the country’s 26 Universities being represented.
Prof. Emuze is the Head of the Built Environment department, as well as the Unit for Lean Construction at the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) and has made inroads into the research conducted on the standpoint of construction management. “My work has been addressing poor cost, environment (inclusive of sustainability), health and safety, productivity, quality, and time project performance.
“These problems are renowned in the industry, but in developed countries, a new production philosophy called ‘Lean Construction’ (LC) is used to avoid these construction problems.” said Prof. Emuze. “In other countries they are delivering construction projects on time, and at a cost saving of up to 25%”, he continued.
His focus is on how to adopt those models and contextualise the results for the South African construction industry. Prof Emuze contends that his achievement was not an individual one, but that he stands on the shoulders of giants – that he is a product of his community. He has not only proven himself a leader within the research field in South Africa, but has been contacted by a prominent German motoring company, who invited him into a large scale project as an expert in lean construction with the aim of applying his research in practice.
The keynote address was delivered by the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor at the Gala Dinner for the 19th year of the awards. “I consider the NSTF Awards the premier awards for science, engineering and technology research in the country”, said the Minister. She said that South Africa has repeatedly proven that some of the best scientists are conducting their research within our country’s borders.
“Prof. Emuze is putting CUT on the map with his research, we are very proud of him”, said Prof. David Ngidi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning who attended the awards. He said that he was impressed by the calibre of finalists in the running, and participation of CUT at these awards. “It shows that CUT is a place of scholarship and belongs to the upper reaches of the research and intellectual community, he concluded.