CUT appoints new Dean for the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology

Professor Herman Vermaak, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at CUT

Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) have appointed Professor Herman Vermaak as the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology.

This appointment was needed because Professor Alfred Ngowi, who previously held the position, was appointed in the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement.

Prof. Vermaak is a distinguished Engineer, and a specialist in Automation, Robotics and Renewable Energy. He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Twente in the Netherlands and is a registered Professional Engineer and Technologist, as well as a qualified artisan.

Prof. Vermaak is not new to academia and leadership in the higher education sector. He has been working in the higher education sector for more than 23 years, as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer,

Associate Professor and Professor at CUT. He was Head of Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at CUT for 11 years, and has been the Assistant Dean for Research, Innovation and Engagement in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology since January 2017.

In addition, Prof. Vermaak was the first holder of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA) Chair for Engineering Development at CUT. Furthermore, he received a number of awards, including the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award in the category Established Researcher, which he received twice, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award in the category Advanced Teaching Career. Prior to joining the academe, Prof. Vermaak worked in the industry for ten years, at the Goodyear Tyre Company and the General Motor Corporation, respectively.

Prof. Vermaak has been involved with the Accreditation Committee of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) for more than ten years. He served as team leader for several accreditation visits at engineering faculties within South Africa, as well as Chairperson and member of seven international review panels who conducted institutional and programme reviews. Three of these panels acted on behalf of the International Engineering Alliance (IEA), which governs the International Engineering Accords. He is also a programme evaluator and assessor for the Council on Higher Education (CHE), and a representative of ECSA with CHE.

He has published and co-published more than 30 articles in journals and conference proceedings; presented and co-presented more than 40 papers at international and national conferences; and successfully supervised more than 30 master’s and doctoral degree students. Prof. Vermaak was awarded a DAAD Visiting Professor sponsorship in 2018. Finally, he is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE); a senior member of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE); and an established researcher, with a C-rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF).

“I wish the new Dean all the best as he takes up a critical responsibility for CUT. His record speaks for itself, but let me just add that he is the calibre of person many aspires to become” said Prof. Ngowi.