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SA NREN parallel event at CHPC National Conference 2018

The South African National Research Network (SANReN) hosted a parallel event at the CHPC National Conference 2018 on the 4th December 2018 at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town.



Session chair: Dr Renier van Heerden

  • NRENs: The Pathways to Global Knowledge and Collaboration, Mr Michael Foley (World Bank – retired)


SA NREN Session:

Session chair: Dr Renier van heerden

The following presentations were made:


Speaker Bio:

  Mr Michael Foley has been an enthusiastic explorer of how information and communications technologies can transform education’s effectiveness and accessibility. In 1997 he was invited to join the World Bank Institute in Washington DC to contribute to the design and implementation of what became known as the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN), becoming Lead Distance Learning Specialist in 2004. GDLN is a network of institutional partners in developing countries using blended learning techniques and communications technologies to share knowledge on development. The early years were based on satellite technology but as partner countries began to roll out their own fiber optic based National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), especially in South Asia and Latin America, GDLN partnerships were established with these networks. This led Michael to become a champion of NRENs within the operational side of the World Bank, raising awareness among senior management and staff about the transformational effect that NRENs could play in the integration into the global academic community of the higher education institutions in their client countries. His report on “The Role and Status of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in Africa” was commissioned by the Bank as a guide to its own staff and to national governments, institutions, and donors.

  Mr Sakhi Hadebe is an Engineer at the South African National Research Network (SANReN) Competency Area at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) since 1 January 2013. He holds a Bachelor and Honors degree in Computer Science, both obtained from the University of Zululand. He started his career as an educator, teaching Mathematics and Computer Applications Technology from 2004 to 2005. Thereafter he worked for FNB as a Call Centre Specialist till 2007. In 2008, he completed a one-year Infrastructure Management Services (IMS) training programme in India. While in India, he was also certified as a Microsoft Certified systems Engineer (MCSE 2003) and certified on ITIL v2. He thereafter worked for SAAB Grintek Technologies as a support engineer from 2009 to 2011.

  Prof. Suné von Solms is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She obtained a Ph.D in Computer Engineering. Suné is a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and a National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher. Her research interests include networks and communication, engineering education and the social and human aspects of engineering. She is actively involved in engineering and community engagement projects within rural communities. Suné is also involved in research relating to cybersecurity-related skills and competency development of engineers.

  Mr Francois Mouton is a senior information warfare researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research with expertise in the fields of social engineering, penetration testing and digital forensics. Francois graduated with an M.Sc. Computer Science, in the field of digital forensics, from the University of Pretoria in 2012. During his M.Sc. degree he also completed all the undergraduate BA Psychology modules due to his passion in the field of social engineering. He is currently pursuing his PhD Computer Science at the University of Pretoria, with a main focus on identifying and thwarting social engineering attacks. He has (co)authored several international publications, mainly on topics of digital forensics readiness and social engineering. His research has had a significant impact within the field of social engineering and he currently has an h-index and an i10-index of 9. His research in social engineering has allowed him to achieve a great understanding of the human psyche and has empowered him to perform at an international level in electronic sport. He was awarded with Protea Colours in 2016 when he was selected by Mind Sports South Africa to represent South Africa on the international stage in electronic sport. He also actively contributes back to the developing community of South Africa. He is actively involved with mentoring students at most of the South African universities and he is also continuously involved with hackathons hosted across the country. His current focus is on the development of a human psyche model that can be utilised by the general public to create both cyber security awareness and to allow them to protect themselves against cyber security threats.

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