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Welcome to AlumNews, a regular item in the TuksAlumni Newsletter in which you can read all about the latest achievements of fellow alumni as reflected in the media. You are welcome to submit contributions to Be sure to include your UP qualifications and the year in which you graduated. 


·          Yolandie Richards (BEng, 2002; BEng Hons, 2005; MEng,2008) is currently working for African Bank as a Six Sigma consultant (Black Belt). She previously spent three years in the aviation industry as project engineer and two-and-a-half years in the automotive industry.

·           Verna Vels (BA Drama, 1954) (Laureatus 2000) was recently honoured by kykNet for her lifelong contribution to wordcraft. She is, of course, the well-known creator of the Liewe Heksie series and, these days, a pensioner and supervisory director on the set of 7de Laan.

·           Harry Kalmer (BA Drama, 1979) is a playwright, copywriter and author of the stories of Vlieger.

·          Jan Mocke (BSc Eng,1983) has been appointed acting CEO of the Johannesburg Market. He is also the executive manager of Market of the Future and he worked at Sapekoe Tea Estates in Tzaneen for over 15 years, among others, as general manager.

·           Piet Viljoen (BCom(Hons) started the company RE.CM in 2003 with his peers Werner Stals and Theunis de Bruyn. The company won the 2011 Raging Bull award for best offshore global equity fund on a straight performance basis.

·           Antowan Nothling (BCom, 2000) is the owner of QUIKTEK Computing Solutions and a presenter on Jacaranda 94.2. He is also a voice-over artist.

·           Lebogang Nkoane (BSc(Hons) Computer Science,2003) runs his own company, 2LMN Research and Development. He does research and development in interactive media and finds ways to best use the web to achieve a company’s business objectives through interactive media.

·           Michael Mol (MBChB, 1995), previously a presenter of Top Billing on SABC3 and Expresso, is the presenter of the new SABC3 programme, Hello Doctor. As from April, he can be seen for an hour every Sunday afternoon, starting at 17:00, in this programme that aims to discuss and clarify medical myths. Medical experts and specialists will assist Michael in discussing medical conditions.

·           Henry Laas (BEng Mining,1983) is the newly appointed CEO of the construction and engineering group, Murray & Roberts. Mr Laas was chosen to succeed Brian Bruce in July 2011 after a global search for candidates and, in addition, he was appointed a director of Murray & Roberts.

·           Karen Brandt (BSc Agric, 1993; BSc Agric Hons, 1994; MSc Agric) has joined Novus International as technical sales and marketing specialist for South Africa. Novus is an international developer of animal health and nutrition programmes for the pork, poultry, beef, dairy, aquaculture and companion animal industries.


Alumnus receives international architectural award 

Ruann van der Westhuizen, an MArch(Prof) graduate of UP’s 2009 architecture studio, received a Hunter Douglas Award in June this year. These awards are presented to the world’s eight best graduates in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. 

The Archiprix Foundation, a network of young, prominent architects, organises this biannual event. For this year’s challenge, 1 400 universities worldwide were invited to submit their final-year projects. Van der Westhuizen’s project, which proposes a public bath house in Marabastad and investigates the ritual of cleansing in an urban environment, was also nominated as one of the participants’ favourites. 

Van der Westhuizen says graduates from the University of Pretoria’s Department of Architecture are ranked among the best in the world. He plans to further his studies in architecture, and has been invited to present guest lectures at the University during the second semester of this year.