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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

versión On-line ISSN 2224-7890
versión impresa ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.24 no.1 Pretoria ene. 2013

 

Obituary

 

 

Prof JP Botha (15 April 1928 - 27 March 2013)

S.A. Adendorff

Prof Johan Botha, who spent the greater part of his adult life as an academic in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Pretoria, recently passed away.

His undergraduate and postgraduate training consisted of a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering completed at Stellenbosch University, an MBA from the University of Pretoria and a DSc (MechEng) completed at Cambridge University. His greatest contributions in the Faculty of Engineering were the teaching of Thermodynamics and the establishment of Industrial Engineering in 1963 as a new independent engineering discipline to be taught at university level. Prof Botha was head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Pretoria from 1974 until his retirement in 1989.

An eclectic random assembly of phrases may serve to simultaneously define and celebrate his personality:

  • A particular interest in the studies of Sidi Carnot in the field of Thermodynamics.
  • An emphasis on correctness.
  • Strictness and fairness in educating students.
  • A penchant for agrarian matters.
  • Incredible manual creative dexterity.
  • An epicurean approach to life.
  • The inability to suffer fools gladly.
  • An interest in an extreme range of hobbies.
  • An overwhelming passion for the optimization of productivity of human endeavour.
  • A sophisticated sense of humour.

Students, academic peers and others who had the fortune to know him, passionately mourn his passing.

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