Suja Joseph-Malherbe MEng, CSEP
With a career spanning defence, consumer electronics, and computer vision, Suja Joseph-Malherbe has realized the power of applying a systems perspective to the planning, management and execution of complex projects.
Her experience in such diverse industries and in numerous challenging projects has equipped her with deep understanding of situations requiring seamless and sustained organizational productivity in practically any field of endeavour. It has also sensitized her to the needs of those tasked with solving complex systems engineering challenges, an empathetic quality which comes to the fore in the calibre of systems engineering training and consulting provided by Project Performance International (PPI).
Whether she is managing technical resources, consulting with a client or developing and presenting material for training, Suja approaches every project with meticulous precision grounded in her early-career experiences of the processes, tools and standards demanded by complex systems development. It is an approach she developed during those initial projects at the CSIR in 2002, armed with her then recently earned BSc in Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand, and an ambition to make a meaningful contribution to the engineering profession.
At the CSIR she was responsible for developing behavioral models of systems in the MATLAB environment. She performed tasks ranging from the programming of device drivers (Coding in C in the Linux and Real-Time Linux™ environments), to GUI and UI development and building virtual worlds for computer simulations.
She also conducted integration, test and qualification activities to verify and validate systems being delivered, as well as authoring a number of system and development specifications, associated test procedures and support documentation.
She bolstered her engineering qualification in 2012 by researching and proposing recommendations for the performance of an image-based target-tracking algorithm in 2-D discrete space for military use. She completed her studies, even while working at the CSIR, and obtained an M.Ing in Electronic Engineering from the University of Johannesburg.
As a Senior Engineer at the CSIR, she worked in the field of power and power management systems for mobile applications, investigating effects of usage and environmental conditions on the performance of a custom Li-ion smart battery pack designed and developed for use by dismounted soldiers. Her engineering skill and expertise enabled her team to successfully deliver integrated power management solutions for the mission-critical operating environment.
Training and human resources development feature strongly throughout her career. Still at the CSIR, she held the Parliamentary Grant Theme Manager appointment for her business unit’s competence area. Her objectives? To build and strengthen the CSIR’s Science, Engineering and Technology base, to develop new knowledge, and to apply this knowledge by investing the Parliamentary Grant in equipment, human capital development and projects.
As a Senior Systems Engineer at Garmin Southern Africa, Suja led the management of software releases for a series of first-of-their-kind adventure and fitness products. Her core activities included testing, deployment and support of the software releases.
Her involvement in INCOSE South Africa reflects her passion for the industry. She has served this professional body for systems engineers as Membership Officer, as Western Cape Branch Coordinator, as President-Elect, and currently as President of the organization. Her term of office ends 31 December 2018. She also functioned as a member of the INCOSE International board of directors, as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee from July 2014 to December 2016.
In 2012, she worked for four months as Editor of PPI’s Systems Engineering Newsletter, SyEN, promoting worldwide awareness and interest in the industry.
Suja lives in the lovely Cape Winelands of South Africa with her husband, Daniël, their son, Jeevan, and their friendly snow-white German Shepherd dog, Dyan.