Hu Hanrahan, Professor Emeritus in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand has been reappointed as Chairperson of the Washington Accord for the term June 2013 to June 2015. He has served as Chairperson since 2011.

The Washington Accord, signed in 1989, is an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programs. It is one of six international agreements under the International Engineering Alliance that governs mutual recognition of engineering qualifications and professional competence. It recognizes the substantial equivalency of programs accredited by those bodies and recommends that graduates of programs accredited by any of the signatory bodies be recognized by the other bodies as having met the academic requirements for entry to the practice of engineering.

The Washington Accord is an agreement between fifteen engineering accrediting agencies with a total of over 6 000 programmes that provide the educational foundation for professional engineers. Signatory countries to this accord include the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, Russia, Singapore and South Africa.

Hanrahan has served as Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Wits. From 1997 to 2005 he led the Centre for Telecommunications Access and Services (CeTAS) research unit at the University. He serves on the Higher Education Quality Committee of the Council on Higher Education and its accreditation committee.

Another accolade for the Wits Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment comes in the form of Dick Stacey, Professor Emeritus in the School of Mining Engineering who has been awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM).

An ISRM Fellowship is a lifetime position and South Africa is the only country to have two recipients of this award that recognizes international leaders in rock engineering – a very small and exclusive group of individuals. The other recipient is Professor Nielen van der Merwe, also from the Wits School of Mining Engineering.

Stacey has been honoured in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in the field of rock engineering research and his contributions to the professional community through the ISRM. The ISRM Fellowship is the highest and most senior grade of membership of the ISRM. Stacey has also been a recipient of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s most prestigious award – the Brigadier Stokes Medal for achievement.

E. van Wyk Multimedia Communications Officer University of the Witwatersrand