Wits mourns the passing of digital innovator Barry Dwolatzky

Wits Director of Innovation Strategy Professor Barry Dwolatzky

Wits Director of Innovation Strategy Professor Barry Dwolatzky

17th May 2023

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


Font size: - +

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has announced the passing of Wits Director of Innovation Strategy Professor Barry Dwolatzky, who was the founder and director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE), as well as the founder of innovation hub the Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct.

He was also instrumental in conceptualising, developing and imagining the Wits Innovation Centre, which was launched in April.

“Dwolatzky was an innovator, a strategist and a humanitarian. His passing is a great loss to the Wits community where he touched the lives of students, staff, researchers, academics, industry partners, innovators, entrepreneurs and friends in many ways.

“In addition to his many achievements and awards, he will be remembered for his humility and humanity, and his ability to make every person with whom he came into contact feel special. The Wits Flag above the Great Hall will fly at half-mast [on May 17] in honour of Professor Dwolatzky. May he rest in peace, knowing that his legacy will live on for generations to come,” the university said.

“Young people have the creativity and energy, the drive and the reason to build a new South Africa, a new Africa and a new world. I believe in the future of our country. That is also the point of a university - to prepare people for the future,” Dwolatzky said at the launch of his memoir 'Coded History – A life of new beginnings', in November.

Dwolatzky's primary focus over the past 30 years has been the growth and development of the South African software engineering sector. In 2005, he was the major driver in setting up the JCSE at Wits. In 2013, he spearheaded the establishment of a major digital innovation hub in Braamfontein which became the Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct.

Tshimologong has attracted significant support from government and a range of major local and international companies, including the IBM Research Laboratory, Wits highlighted.

In recognition of his contribution to the South African information technology (IT) industry, Dwolatzky was named the South African IT Personality of the Year in 2013.

In 2016, he received an award for Distinguished Service to IT from the Institute of IT Professionals of South Africa, as well as the Wits Vice-Chancellor Award for Academic Citizenship.

Dwolatzky is a Wits alumnus who started his undergraduate studies at Wits in Electrical Engineering in 1971 where he continued to excel until he achieved his PhD.

After graduating, he left South Africa in 1979, and spent a decade in the UK as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Imperial College London, and the GEC-Marconi Research Centre. Over this period, he worked on a number of large software research and development projects.

Dwolatzky returned to Wits as an academic in 1989, worked his way up the academic ladder and became a full Professor in 2000. He continued with his teaching and research activities until very recently.

“South Africa has lost one of its most influential academics. We continue to celebrate his legacy and his impact and influence will reverberate through our society for decades to come,” Wits said.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



Goodwin Submersible Pumps Africa (Pty) Ltd
Goodwin Submersible Pumps Africa (Pty) Ltd

Goodwin Submersible Pumps Africa is sole distributors for Goodwin electrically driven, submersible, abrasion resistance slurry pumps.

Booyco Electronics
Booyco Electronics

Booyco Electronics, South African pioneer of Proximity Detection Systems, offers safety solutions for underground and surface mining, quarrying,...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine round up | 10 May 2024
Magazine round up | 17 May 2024
17th May 2024
Photo of Martin Creamer
On-The-Air (10/05/2024)
10th May 2024 By: Martin Creamer

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.293 0.347s - 163pq - 6rq
Subscribe Now