“A doctor can save maybe a few hundred lives in a lifetime. A researcher can save the whole world.”  - Craig Venter

This annual Special Edition once again combines outstanding papers from two conferences: 

  • The 32nd annual conference of the Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering (SAIIE32) (4-6 October 2021, held in Muldersdrift, South Africa), 
  • The 22nd annual international conference of the Rapid Product Development Association of South Africa (RAPDASA) (3-5 November 2021, held in Pretoria, South Africa). 


After the first on-line conferences in 2020 due to COVID-19 regulations, it was excellent to see a return to some normality in 2021 – both these conferences were physical, and the participants were truly hungry for the physical networking opportunities. 

The Special Edition, introduced in 2016, continues to showcase the best research presented at these conferences. Papers undergo the same double-blind peer review process using the journal’s criteria; and the choice of those included in this Special Edition was based on rankings provided by the reviewers and on a final check of their quality and suitability by the editors of the journal. 

It was interesting to notice that, in 2020, both conferences focused on the road ahead after the period of uncertainty, with the following two themes: SAIIE32: Steps, and RAPDASA: Industry 4.0 – Digital manufacturing industrializing Africa. It demonstrates the resilience of humankind, and the drive to move forward. 

For this very reason, the feature article as selected by the chief editor, was authored by young Industrial Engineers, looking forward at what the future may hold, with the title: “Beyond The Industrial Engineering Frontier: A Few Steps In History And A Giant Leap Into The Future”. 

Although industrial engineers are a relatively small community of professionals, I am always inspired by the relevant, innovative, and far-reaching impact that we can have on every aspect of our society. 

As you read through the papers in this Special Edition, I trust that you will be inspired by the exemplary work that represents our discipline of industrial engineering. 

Teresa Hattingh 

Guest editor


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How to Cite

Hattingh, T. (2021). NOTE FROM THE EDITOR. The South African Journal of Industrial Engineering, 32(3), iii.




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