Guest speakers

SACLA Guest Speaker 1: Mr Nico Claasen

From Physical to Cyber-Physical - Expectations for AI in Vehicle Diagnostics


Nico is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Wirk (Pty) Ltd., representing Daten- und Systemtechnik GmbH (DSA) in South Africa. Nico has more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing, automotive diagnostics and software development industries. He has successfully led numerous global teams and projects, showcasing his expertise and leadership skills. An alumnus of Nelson Mandela University, Nico holds Ndip Electrical Engineering, PDBA (Cum Laude) and MBA (Cum Laude) qualifications. Outside of his professional life, Nico is a devoted husband and father to a daughter. In his free time, he spends far too much time on his retro video game collection.

Short Description of the presentation

In automotive diagnostics there is a noticeable trend from physical systems to cyber-physical systems, highlighting the evolving landscape of modern automotive and software technology. The emergence of the Software-Defined Vehicle is a focal point, underscoring the necessity for innovative approaches to manage the increasing complexity of the modern vehicle.

Five critical challenges for science and research are identified. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve error detection and handling in complex software, integrating AI and software system monitoring into vehicles, developing AI-driven diagnostic systems for vehicles, utilising cyber systems to diagnose physical systems and implementing remote repair via cyber systems.

AI and cyber-physical systems will have a transformative impact on the automotive industry, requiring continued innovation and research to address these emerging challenges.



SACLA Guest Speaker 2: Mr Cinga Nyangintsimbi

From Failure to a Team of Fifty


Cinga is the managing director and founder of BATSAMAYI, a software firm based in Nelson Mandela Bay. BATSAMAYI engineers bespoke software solutions. BATSAMAYI was established as a third year project group during Cinga's time as a student at Nelson Mandela University in 2013, where he later became a student assistant and consequently started lecturing final year Information Technology students and assisted as a project supervisor, while continuing to build BATSAMAYI. Today, BATSAMAYI has a team of over 50 young software professionals, most of whom graduated from Mandela University, and specialises in software engineering, quality assurance and cloud services, as an Advanced Tier AWS Partner.

Short Description of the presentation

He will be speaking on the BATSAMAYI Journey - from its establishment during Cinga's time as a student at NMU in 2013, up to present day, with a Team of over 50 young software professionals, most of whom graduated from NMU.



SACLA Guest Speaker 3: Mr Torry Parry

Engagement and Collaboration in the ICT Association space


Anthony (Tony) Parry is the Chief Executive Officer of IITPSA (Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa – formerly Computer Society South Africa) – a position he has held since June 2007. He represents the Institute on the international council of the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and is a current member of the Advisory Boards of both the Department of Computer Science and the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria, as well as of the Industry Advisory Board of the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has been involved in the SA ICT profession for more than thirty-five years, beginning as a Junior Analyst / Programmer with Standard Bank, and then spending around eighteen years with the Barloworld Group, ending up as a Divisional Chief Information Officer. Tony has had some part-time academic lecturing exposure, having previously contracted to UNISA’s School of Business Leadership on their online MBA programme at the time and thereafter to Wits Business School on PDM, PDBA and MBA programmes. He has held Board level positions in various companies since 2002. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Henley in the UK and he is a member of a number of professional bodies, including IITPSA (Fellow and Professional Member), the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (Fellow) and the American Association of Computing Machinery (Professional Member). 

Short Description of the presentation

It will be a short introduction on the topic to contextualise it, followed by engagement with the delegates on the matter, for their input – seeking common ground and value-add.