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UJ’s Prof Bheki Twala, big data decision specialist, wins NSTF research award

​On Thursday 30 June, Prof Bheki Twala from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) received the prestigious annual TW Kambule-NSTF Award for his work building on diverse expertise in making decisions given incomplete information, and utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques for predicting and for the classification of tasks in several fields such as banking and finance, insurance, biomedical, robotics, psychology, software engineering and most recently in electrical and electronic engineering science.

Prof Twala is Director: Institute for Intelligent Systems, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Statistical Sciences at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE), UJ.

More about the institute here.

He served as primary inventor for the development of effective techniques in decision support systems given poor data quality. He has also shown how AI and grey relational systems could be used to predict road traffic accidents (RTA) in South Africa given that the RTA data are of poor quality.

Prof Twala was one of nine finalists for the TW Kambule-NSTF Awards, which recognise research and research outputs for an outstanding contribution to Science, Engineering, Technology (SET) and innovation by an individual over a period of up to 15 years after award of a PhD or equivalent, predominantly in South Africa.

Prof Twala is rated as an Established Researcher by the National Research Foundation (NRF) in the subject areas of Artificial intelligence, Applied Artificial Intelligence, Classification, Sensory analysis, Signal processing, Image processing, Machine learning and Intelligent systems.

The Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor presented the national 2015/2016 NSTF-South32 awards at the ceremony held in Gauteng, celebrating contributions to excellence in science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation.

Mrs Pandor has previously stated that South Africa’s science mission is to create wealth, thereby creating jobs and eradicating poverty. Its success depends on our ability as a nation to develop new products, technologies and services.

The national NSTF-South32 Awards are the largest SET and innovation awards in South Africa and were also the first science and technology awards in the country.

Former TW Kambule NRF-NSTF award recipients include: Proff Saurabh Sinha and Tshilidzi Marwala.

Prof Bheki Twala
From left to right: Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor;
Prof Bheki Twala, Director: Institute for Intelligent Systems, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Statistical Sciences at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE), University of Johannesburg; and Ms Adriana Botha from the Mail and Guardian Newspaper.
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