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​The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) has appointed Dr Oswald Franks as its new chief executive officer with effect from 1 October 2009.

Franks, a registered professional engineer, is currently Dean of the Engineering Faculty at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). He holds a PhD in Engineering Science, a first degree in Mechanical Engineering, an Honours degree in Business and Administration, and a Government Certificate of Competency (Mines and Works).

Prior to commencing his academic career of more than 25 years, he held positions in industry including a stint as a contracts engineer at Consani Engineering in Cape Town and as a project engineer at Rio Tinto Zinc’s Rossing Uranium Mine in Namibia. He also had a six month secondment to Eskom’s Koeberg Nuclear Power station.

Dr Franks, who spent two four-year terms as a council member for ECSA Council where he served as chairperson of its education committee, has presented his doctoral research in Quality Management at numerous national and international conferences and seminars.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead ECSA, along with the newly appointed Council, in fulfilling its legislative mandate and ensuring that ECSA contributes to the well being of both the South African public and the professions which it represents”, said Franks.

In respect of the opportunities and challenges facing ECSA Franks stated: “ECSA needs to strengthen and, where necessary, build its relationship with key stakeholders including all spheres of Government, organized business and industry, voluntary organizations, professionals, educational institutions, and the public”.

Dr Franks, a recipient of various research scholarships and grants from agencies like the British Council, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the New York based African American Institute (AAI), takes over from Professor Hu Hanrahan who has been acting CEO since January 2009.​