Ford Premier Award presented to top NMMU Master's Degree student

JULY 19, 2016

The Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has once again honoured one of the top Master's Degree students at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) during the academic awards for 2015, held at the Feather Market Hall in Port Elizabeth.

Regan Pieterse (37) was presented with the Ford Premier Award for the best Master's Degree in Technology for Human Resources. Pieterse focused his thesis on expatriate cross-cultural adjustment and human resources strategies that can positively contribute to well-being and adjustment into multicultural work environments. He achieved a score of 86% for the dissertation.

"We congratulate Regan on this award, which addresses the need to look after the wellbeing of people taking on assignments around the world," stated John Cameron, Plant Manager of the Ford Struandale Engine Plant.

"Ford is a truly global company, with employees of diverse nationalities and cultural backgrounds working together in all our markets. This kind of research will hopefully assist people to integrate more easily into new countries, communities and working environments."

Now working in Doha, Qatar, Pieterse said, "I am extremely humbled by this award and would like to extend a huge thank you to Ford South Africa. It's great to see organisations such as Ford taking a keen interest in the higher education landscape in the country.

"I believe that higher education will grow and strengthen through collaboration and key partnerships with the private sector. I hope that this award will inspire the youth in my community, in Wentworth, Durban, and my fellow South Africans to be self-motivated and driven in order to reach their full potential."

Pieterse is currently employed as a learning and development specialist at the Sidra Medical and Research Centre in Doha, and has over 14 years of international HR management experience gained across a variety of work sectors in South Africa, the UK and the Middle East. He is now enrolled in his first year of studies towards a PhD in Labour Relations and HR Management.

"I am fully committed to completing my thesis and graduation in 2018, and then returning home to make my contribution to the field of HR in South Africa," he said.

"As a learning and development professional, I am particularly interested in conducting scientific studies that will contribute to the fields of HR and Organisational Behaviour, as well as to existing academic literature, specifically with regard to learning and development interventions that impact positively on expatriate adjustment and well-being."

Ford has a long association with the NMMU, having sponsored the Ford Premier Award for several years. It also supports the university's Ford Engine Research Unit (FERU) which is committed to developing engineering expertise as well as engine research and technologies within the automotive sector, which is the largest employer in the Eastern Cape.

 

Caption: Pictured (from left): John Cameron, Plant Manager of the Ford Struandale Engine Plant, Dr S Muthwa, Acting Vice-Chancellor at NMMU, award winner Regan Pieterse, and Prof EQ Mokhuane, Deputy Chairperson of the NMMU Council