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Flagship Research Programmes

> Postharvest Agriculture (with the Faculty of Science)

Postharvest agriculture involves all stages immediately after harvesting an agricultural product and includes the cooling, the cleaning, storage and packing of the product. Immediately after harvest, the product begins to deteriorate. The postharvest agriculture research group therefore focuses on using data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning methods at the different postharvest stages to limit product deterioration.

> Learning Analytics (with Sol Plaatjie University)

The usage of online platforms for learning because of advancements and ubiquitous availability of digital technology as well as the COVID19 pandemic means that there is much more data available today to enable a better understanding of learners, their learning habits and the context in which they learn much better. The learning analytics research group focuses on analyzing this data to inform better teaching and learning practices.

> Smart Mobility (with the Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management)

A growing number of people live in cities; urban migration is on the rise despite the recent COVID pandemic and the economic downturns. Nevertheless, city infrastructure does not change as quickly as the urban populations and may be archaic in many instances, with every city presenting a unique set of constraints. Smart cities provide an environment that offers its constituents the ability to make transparent, intelligent, data-driven and self-justifiable decisions across a broad spectrum of areas, including economic development, public services, public safety, and many others. Data science, therefore, plays a crucial role in enabling Smart Cities through the ability to combine multi-city data sets that can paint a picture on the key relationships within and between cities. Close collaboration is needed between all stakeholders in a city, from researchers, industry, government, researchers, non-profit partners, technology developers, and citizens from conceptualization to design and implementation. The research group on Smart Mobility seeks to use data science to enable Smart Mobility in urban cities of emerging economies.

> Future of Work (with the University of Witwatersrand)

Digital technology has been reorganizing the way people work since the invention of the wheel. The discourse on the role of technology on employment dates back more than 500 years ago, when technological innovations notably began to transform production, trade and human livelihoods. In recent decades, the term “Future of Work” (FoW) emerged, describing a topic of interest focused on how shifts in the political, economic, social and technical environments would reshape work, how it would be done, employment opportunities, and threats facing workers. In particular, the role of digital technologies in shaping the FoW has gained prominence as a field of research driven by the rapid advancements and their disruption of business and society. This research groups seeks to model job susceptibility in different job sectors with a view to create alternative learning pathways into future jobs.

> Marketing Intelligence (with the Department of Marketing Management)

The research group seeks to understand consumer behaviour.


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