As we welcome our students and staff back to campus for the 2021 academic year, we extend an additional welcome to Dr Des Pyle, the newly appointed Dean of the School of Disaster Management.   Dr Pyle is a well-known figure in the disaster management and academic sectors and will unreservedly be an asset to the institution.

Dr Pyle is an experienced educator who carries a Masters in Education and a PhD in Geography from Rhodes University. His academic career spans different top secondary schools, including Graeme College, St. Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls, and Kingswood College. He has held different leadership roles at Rhodes University and the University of Cape Town before joining Stenden in 2013 to launch the Disaster Management School. His passion for climatology and extreme weather phenomena has earned him an expert position on many different boards, one of which being the Academic Advisory Board of the Stenden Disaster Management School where he served as Chair up to his appointment as Dean.

According to Dr Pyle, the Disaster Management field is a growing industry globally, with governments increasing their commitment to implementing mitigation measures against natural and man-made disasters. He returned to the Disaster Management field after experiencing the need to engage with academia again and implement ideas and projects in the Disaster Management school that he considered unfinished. Dr Pyle hopes to use his passion and knowledge of climate change and severe weather patterns to enrich the Disaster Management program. According to Dr Pyle, Stenden South Africa’s BBA degree in Disaster Relief Management offers a solid all-round education in all facets of Disaster Management and is currently one of the best programmes in Africa due to its integration of practical and theoretical training. He hopes to see the Disaster Management programme grow to become globally competitive and attract more students internationally.

Dr Pyle’s passion and knowledge in the Disaster Management field is extensive and we look forward to working with him.