10 December 2018 | Story Leonie Bolleurs
Quantity Surveying
Winning national awards at the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession’s 10th international research conference were, from the left: Prof Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu with honours graduate student Melissa Moss, centre, and Mariska Karsten, a current honours student in Quantity Surveying and Construction Management.

Melissa Moss, a student from the Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management at the University of the Free State (UFS), has won the prestigious Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) Gold Medal Award 2018 for excellent performance at honours levels.

According to Prof Kailua Kajimo-Shakantu, the head of the department, this is an annual award which all institutions in South Africa that offer accredited Quantity Surveying programmes compete for. The adjudication process is undertaken by an independent panel consisting of several prominent academics as well as practitioners. The criteria for the award include; outstanding academic achievement and the individual’s involvement in extramural activities, contribution to community, social responsibility, personality and leadership qualities.

Aim for critical-thinking graduates

The achievement is in line with the department’s aim of developing, by means of dynamic scientific education, independent, critical-thinking, and well-rounded graduates who will become leaders in their field. 

Melissa, an honours student, received the premier award from ASAQS for excellent achievement over her four years of study.

The department is also very proud of Mariska Karsten. She was a runner-up for the ASAQS Future Leaders Award 2018 for excellent achievement over her three years of study. While the ASAQS Gold Medal Award has been in existence for decades, the ASAQS Future Leaders Award is a new category introduced in 2017 when the “inaugural” award was won by another of the UFS Department’s students, Gerné Bothma.

“Individuals such as these students of ours should be recognised, encouraged and nurtured so that they can reach their full potential and become the future leaders that not only the profession needs but also academia and the country as a whole. They are smart young people who show promise to contribute positively towards the profession. I have no doubt that they will serve the profession well with commitment, passion, integrity and creativity. I am proud of their achievements and the possibilities ahead of them,” said Prof Kailua Kajimo-Shakantu.

Both Melissa and Mariska received their national awards, presented this year at the 10th South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP) International Research Conference gala event held in Johannesburg. The conference was themed: The Quantity Surveying Profession and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  

First female president of ASOCSA

Earlier this semester, Liane van Wyk, an honours student in Construction Management, presented and won the Best Student Research Proposal Competition Initiative at the 12th Built Environment Conference held in Durban. Liane, together with Prof Kajimo-Shakantu, and master’s student, Isabella Chandi, presented papers at the conference. 

A highlight for Kovsies at the conference was Prof Kajimo-Shakantu being elected and inaugurated as the sixth and first female President of the Association of Schools of Construction of Southern Africa (ASOCSA).

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