Postgraduate Research &
Innovation Symposium (PRIS)

PRIS Presentation Focuses on Sustainable Regenerative Communities

The Use of Sustainability Within Innovation and Technology in the Improvement of Sustainable Communities is the title of a presentation to be given by Ms Naomi Kingu at the 2021 Postgraduate Research and Innovation Symposium (PRIS) being hosted on line on December 9 and 10 by UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.

Kingu of the School of Engineering has been a Golden Key honour award holder since 2014 and was the winner of an Erasmus Plus Scholarship in 2017/2018.  In 2019/2020 she assisted in lecturing Construction Economics in second year and third year classes in the Construction Engineering Department at UKZN.

Other achievements include graduating with a cum laude MSc degree, receiving a Delegate Certificate of Attendance to the International Cost Engineering Congress (ICEC) (2012), and a Habitat for Humanity International Certificate for Crew Leadership (2007).

Kingu was an Assistant Quality Control Manager from 2014 to 2016 in the construction of the Mount Edgecombe Interchange outside Durban.

She decided to participate in PRIS 2021 because of the innovation aspects of the symposium.  ‘This is an exciting opportunity to create ideas through research and industry involvement to provide global solutions.’

The focus of her PhD thesis which she will present at the symposium is on sustainable regenerative communities. ‘Socio-economic aspects such as health and wellbeing, education and unemployment are among challenges faced by our world,’ said Kingu. ‘These challenges are magnified by rapid urban shifts and unplanned settlements.’

She says her research provides sustainable solutions towards resolving challenges faced by sub-Saharan countries and whether they could be used globally.

‘Inspiration for the research came from the idea of nature and mankind co-coexisting,’ said Kingu, who watched construction and civil engineering documentaries and Discovery TV channels as a youngster which she believes steered her interest towards mega construction projects.

Her favourite quote is by the CEO of Harley-Davidson Jochen Zeitz: ‘Sustainability is no longer about doing less harm, it’s about doing more good.’

Kingu’s research has been been published in conference proceedings and she  has participated in several conferences including  the DATA + AI Summit Europe  in 2020 and several annual international conferences of the Association of Schools of Construction of Southern Africa (ASOCSA).

She has also presented her research in Italy and South Africa during lectures and at meetings with ‘Green Building Councils’, municipalities, professionals and academics.

Words: Samantha Ngcongo