Keynote 2

Engineering Excellence in a Changing World of Work

Professor Saurabh Sinha, FIEEE

University of Canterbury


 The Future of Work is upon us and has rapidly and profoundly influenced many professions and industries. Alongside this, we argue that it is essential for the landscape of post-school education and training (PSET) both in South Africa and globally to adapt to the changing nature of work, and ideally lead this change. Learning is presented as a nexus between teaching, research and innovation — as a service in the context of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), given the innovative technologies that are increasingly penetrating the mainstream. We discuss the transition toward an augmented approach, University 4.0, and the associated challenges, both technological and societal that accompanies the shift.



Saurabh Sinha obtained his B.Eng, M.Eng, and Ph.D. degrees in Electronic Engineering from the University of Pretoria (UP), South Africa (ZA). Prof Sinha is also a graduate of Wharton’s Advanced Management Program, University of Pennsylvania, USA (alum status). As an established researcher rated by the National Research Foundation, ZA, he has authored or co-authored over 140 publications in peer-reviewed journals, books and proceedings of international conferences. Prof Sinha served UP and the University of Johannesburg (UJ), ZA, for over 22 years – initially as an academic (at various tiers), and then as institute director, executive dean and deputy vice-chancellor. Prof Sinha moved to New Zealand in mid-2023, retaining visiting affiliations at both UJ (Business School and Engineering) and Princeton University (Engineering), USA. At the University of Canterbury, NZ, reporting directly to the vice-chancellor and principal, Prof Sinha leads the Faculty of Engineering as Executive Dean. Among his many achievements, Prof Sinha is a Fellow of the IEEE, recipient of a prestigious U.S. Fulbright grant, and has formerly served as IEEE Board of Director and Vice-President. He is registered as a Chartered Professional Engineer with Engineering New Zealand | Te Ao Rangahau.

Speaker’s Linkedin profile


[1] J. du Preez and S. Sinha, “A Paradigm Shift in Higher Education in the Context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” IEEE Potentials, Mar. 2021, Vol. 40, pp. 13-18.

[2] J.W. Lambrechts, S. Sinha and T. Marwala, “Decentralizing Emerging Markets to Prepare for Industry 4.0: Modernizing Policies and the Role of Higher Education“, in The Disruptive Fourth Industrial Revolution: Technology, Society and Beyond? Springer Nature, July 2020, pp. 111-153. ISBN: 978-3-030-48230-5.