Alumnus Showcase: Dr Estie Serfontein

A shining star in the Da Vinci Galaxy is our Doctoral Alumnus Dr Estie Serfontein, an agile, aligned and engaged managerial leader in the aviation industry.


Dr Estie Serfontein is a dynamic and remarkable female leader of the aviation industry, and a Doctoral alumnus who flexes her academic muscles with her research output.  Dr Serfontein is also a self-motivated leader with passion and resilience in abundance and extensive experience in the aviation industry. She is the quality assurance manager for Execujet Aviation.

Her skills have led her to successfully manage teams and processes as a strategic driver of programmes that allow for continuous quality improvement and efficiency through audits and special projects. Through her experience, Dr Serfontein has amassed a breadth of knowledge in analysing data and orchestrating project implementations, as well as ensuring compliance with local and federal regulations.

Ever a consistent high achiever, Dr Serfontein not only successfully completed her Doctoral degree and contributed a thesis titled: “Sociotechnical and organisational resilience in South African commercial flight operations”, under the supervision of Professor Krishna Govender but she has been able to truly harness her remarkability in her research acumen and prowess, with an impressive publication record in the last year.

Dr Serfontein has been published in 3 academic journals, thus demonstrating how her research not only reached the highest academic standards by contributing new knowledge to her industry but was also able to be evaluated amongst peers in this regard. This is no small feat and Dr Serfontein credits her supervisor Professor Govender for having helped in further developing her researching and writing capabilities for publication.

Below are the links to the three articles that Dr Serfontein has published with her supervisor:

When asked about what she found to be meaningful about her academic journey at The Da Vinci Institute, and what led for her to publish, Dr Serfontein explains that “I found it exhilarating when everything started to come together. But there were many other small rewards throughout my research journey, like finding synergy in different sources that underpins a specific aspect you are interrogating or realising that a specific paragraph you were rewriting a few times finally has sensible impact.  I was fortunate to have an academic supervisor who celebrated progress with me, but simultaneously continued to apply subtle pressure to raise the bar even higher. Every time.”

Today we celebrate alongside Dr Serfontein and congratulate her on this remarkable publication achievement. She truly is a holistic thinker, a driver, and an achiever, with a methodical approach in all that she does. It is her self-motivation, passion, and leadership prowess, all of which are certainly qualities about her to remark on, as she has certainly harnessed her remarkability. Dr Serfontein is a reminder that each of us be the Purple Cow in the herd. Or, as Seth Godin says, “to shine among a crowd of perfectly competent, even undeniably excellent cows — be remarkable. When something forces you to remark on it, it is remarkable. Something remarkable is worth talking about, worth paying attention to. Boring stuff quickly becomes invisible”. We remark on Dr Serfontein and greatly appreciate her unique voice.

It is in the spirit of the Women’s Month that we celebrate the remarkable achievements of our Alumnus Dr Estie Serfontein, an agile female leader within the realm of aviation, and a well accomplished researcher and shining star in the Da Vinci galaxy.