SAIEE Annual Award winners announced
March 14, 2023  

Supplied by Minx Avrabos from SAIEE

2022 SAIEE Annual Awards


13 March 2023 – JOHANNESBURG: The South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) hosted their 2022 Annual Awards recently at an auspicious event at the Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre in Johannesburg.


This event was well-attended with decision makers, movers and shakers in the engineering fraternity, with entertainment by Russel Fox – magician insane.


The Master of Ceremonies, Maanda Ramutumbu, introduced the SAIEE President, Mr Prince Moyo to welcome all our guests. “It is my honour and privilege to welcome all of you here tonight, and I hope you are as excited as me to see who our winners are,” he said.


The winners of the 2022 SAIEE Annual Awards are:



Prof Kumar Venayagamoorthy

This prestigious award, sponsored by Revive Electrical Transformers, recognises significant contributions in any sector of electrical, electronic, telecommunications and computer engineering in South Africa. Prof Kumar Venayagamoorthy is an Honorary Professor of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa, since 2014 and the Duke Energy Distinguished Professor of Power Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University since January 2012.


Over the last 25 years, his contributions have primarily emphasised the development and implementation of advanced computational methods and artificial intelligence-based algorithms for smart grid applications (e.g. nonlinear modelling and control of power systems, power system optimisation, predictions and forecasting of wind and solar energies, energy management systems, wide area monitoring and control systems, dynamic optimal power flow, electric vehicles, micro-grid systems, demand-response management). He works on developing synchrophasor applications and situational awareness and intelligence systems for electric power control centre operations and management.


Prof Venayagamoorthy has received several awards for faculty, research and teaching excellence from universities, professional societies, and organisations, including the 2005 South African Institute of Electrical Engineers Young Achiever’s Award presented by ABB PowerTech Transformers. He is a Fellow of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE), IEEE, IET (UK), and Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association (AAIA), and a Senior Member of the INNS.

Caption: Prof Kumar Venayagamoorthy – SAIEE President’s Award winner



Prof Fulufhelo Nelwamondo


This award, sponsored by ACTOM (Pty) Ltd, recognises an SAIEE member who has energetically and voluntarily worked towards promoting electrical science and its applications for the benefit of its members and the Southern African community.


Prof Nelwamondo is an electrical engineer by training and holds a Bachelor of Science and a PhD in Electrical Engineering in Computational Intelligence, both from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He is a registered Professional Engineer, a Member of the SAIEE and a Council member. He is a senior member of the IEEE. He served as Executive Director for the CSIR Modelling and Digital Science Unit and a visiting professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Johannesburg. He previously was a post-doctoral fellow at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University.


Prof Nelwamondo has research and practical experience in software engineering, computational intelligence and optimisation in various applications. He is the youngest South African to receive the Harvard-South Africa fellowship. He has been awarded many national and international research accolades, the latest being Order of Mapungubwe in Silver, which he received in 2017. He received other accolades from organisations such as the IEEE, SAIEE, National Science and Technology Forum, and Springer, among others.


Caption: From left: Lee Mbenge (ACTOM), Prof Fulufhelo Nelwamondo (Award winner) and Prince Moyo (SAIEE President).




Bongumsa Mendu


This award is dedicated to the most outstanding young achiever of the year in Electrical/electronic engineering. What counts in this person’s favour is their spirit of achievement, creativity and leadership in the workplace. Innovative, entrepreneurial actions and infectious enthusiasm for success are the qualities exhibited by young achievers.


Bongumsa Mendu started practising as an electrical technician in 2013 at Eskom Holdings SoC Limited. Since 2016, he has been the chairperson of power system technical investigations of Northern Cape Eskom. Currently, he is a Power System Plant Data Analyst and Special Investigator and acting as a line Manager for Plant Sector Engineering & Specialized Investigations in Plant Management, Maintenance and Operations in Northern Cape Eskom.


In collaboration with the University of South Africa, under the department of Electrical and Mining Engineering, he has successfully supervised ten students for Design Project III and Industrial Project (EIP3701) during the 2022 academic year. In addition, he is currently a judge for Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in the Northern Cape.


Caption: Bongumsa Mendu, SAIEE Young Achiever Award winner.




Zwelandile Mbebe


The SAIEE Engineering Excellence Award is awarded to a person who has excelled in Electrical Engineering and their personal capacity that supports and mentors those with whom they interact in the workplace.


Zwelandile Mbebe has been a superb performer in each role he has played at the office and within the workgroups at fraternal organisations (e.g., SAIEE, UTC, Cigre, SABS) and has far exceeded any expectations for efficiency and productivity. The nominee stands out as one of the very, very best. 


He is loyal and flies the Eskom flag very high despite the current challenges facing Eskom. His unique talent and skillset in utility telecoms make him a sought-after human asset that also plays an ambassadorial role in promoting Eskom within our fraternity and pays credence to Eskom’s engineering prowess. He has served on the SAIEE Council for a few years.


Caption: From left: Leanetse Matutoane (SAIEE CEO) and Zwelandile Mbebe (SAIEE Engineering Excellence Award winner).



Sy Gourrah


The SAIEE Women in Engineering Award, sponsored by Schneider Electric recognises a female SAIEE Member, Senior Member, Fellow or Council Member who has excelled in Electrical Engineering. She demonstrates above-average involvement in supporting the SAIEE with her aims and objectives and her capacity to support and mentor colleagues. Her peers and competitive counterparts have high regard for her integrity in all her engineering business dealings. This woman is a role model of the highest calibre.


Ms Gourrah has been part of the energy industry in South Africa for over 25 years. She holds several qualifications, including a Bachelor’s in Engineering (Electrical & Electronics), a Master’s in Business Administration and a Government Certificate of Competency.

She served as the President of the Association of Municipal Utilities (AMEU) and has been on the AMEU executive council. She was the first female President of the AMEU. She was instrumental in changing the AMEU constitution to include more women on the executive, thus paving the way for the next female President.

She has served as the SAIEE President and chaired and participated in various Committees. She recently launched the SAIEE Women in Engineering Chapter, which will strive to promote women's interests and champion empowerment programs within the SAIEE and the broader electrical engineering fraternity.

She is registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) as a professional engineer. She was also part of the advisory team to the Deputy President on the Eskom turnaround strategy.


Caption: From left: Leanetse Matutoane (SAIEE CEO), Sy Gourrah (SAIEE Women in Engineering Award winner) and Vladimir Milovanovic (Schneider Electric).



Central Gauteng Centre



SAIEE Centres are evaluated against a set of agreed KPIs, including events organised, membership increase, centre membership activity as gauged by the attendance of events organised, monthly reporting to head office, and corporate social investment initiatives. This centre submitted reports to head office on time for 7 out of 12 months, had several CSI initiatives, amongst which are Career Day, Spelling Bee and collection of 2nd hand clothing for donation to schools. It scored a total of 22 points on the KPI’s, with the nearest Center coming at 17. It is one of the most vibrant Centres of the SAIEE with a clear agenda to make things happen.


Caption: SAIEE Central Gauteng Centre – winner of the 2022 SAIEE Centre of the Year Award.


Our sponsors:

The SAIEE Annual Awards would not have been possible, without the outstanding support from our sponsors.

They are:

·       Revive Electric Transformers

·       Actom

·       Schneider Electric

·       Proconics

·       LEDVANCE.