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Francois Denner


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Francois Denner

Space Programme Manager at South African National Space Agency

Electronic Engineering graduate with majors in Photonics and Electromagnetism
20 year career that covers Elecronic Engineering/Metrology (optical radiometry)/Senior management/Project management/Senior consultant with experiences and interest ranging from policy, strategy to management and implementation.
The underlying competence areas in support of this experience are advanced manufacturing technologies and industries, industrial competitiveness and compliance infrastructure (standardisation, quality assurance, accreditation and metrology)

Professional details

Current Position(s)

Space Programme Manager | South African National Space Agency
2012 - present

Previous Position(s)

Principle Project Manager | CSIR
2012 - 2012

Consulting and Project Management

Contract position with CSIR Manufacturing Systems and Materials for the coordination of the new National Biocomposites Centre of Competence. Biocomposites is a new technology driven industry foreseen for South Africa as underpinned by the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy of the Department of Science and Technology and the Industrial Policy Action Plan of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Chief Technical Advisor | UNIDO
2008 - 2012

Government, Public Administration and Defence

Project management and project implementation of donor funded projects in support of upgrading and strengthening of standardisation, quality assurance, accreditation and metrology (SQAM/SMTQ) infrastructure.

Director: National Aerospace Centre of Excellence | University of the Witwatersrand
2006 - 2008

Academia, Education and Training

Establish and manage the NACoE as an initiative of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) aimed at unlocking partnerships between industry and academia to result in the upgrading of industrial capabilities and improved competitiveness of the South African aerospace industry.

Chief Director: Advanced Manufacturing | Department of Trade and Industry
2003 - 2006

Government, Public Administration and Defence

Provide high-level analysis, research and management of projects related to the medium to long-term competitiveness of the South African economy in general, and advanced manufacturing sectors specifically (aerospace, defence).
Provide leadership in policy and strategy formulation on enhancing the medium to longer-term strategic competitiveness of the South African economy, specifically of the manufacturing component of a national Industrial Policy

Innovation and Business Development, New Strategic Initiatitves (M&MTEK) | CSIR
2002 - 2003

Consulting and Project Management

Provide strategic, technology and project specific support to Manufacturing & Materials Technology Business Unit. This specifically where new strategic initiatives were identified and where interaction with Government and Private Sector at a strategic level was crucial for the unlocking of medium and long term business opportunities.
Nature of work was project formulation, negotiations, meetings, preparation of strategies, concept documentation, keeping abreast with international trends and developments and positioning of the CSIR as the partner of choice in emerging opportunities. Core competence areas during this time included advanced manufacturing technologies and technology transfer

Manager: National Metrology Laboratory | CSIR
1999 - 2002

Consulting and Project Management

Lead to the National Metrology (NML) management team by providing strategic direction, long term planning, vision and work towards the achievement of NML Goals which include Scientific Metrology, Industrial Metrology and calibration services in all areas of metrology.
[NML is now seperate institution, National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMiSA)]

Educational history


University of Pretoria/Universiteit van Pretoria

1987 - 1992

B.Ing (Electronics) - Electronic Engineering (Photonics, Electromagnetism)

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