Renette Julia Blignaut is a professor of statistics and she manages the industry directed master’s programme in data science. She worked for 9 years as Statistician (industry and medical research) and has 28 years of experience as an academic. She has been part of the management team of the department for more than 22 years. She has conducted research in various fields namely: statistical learning methods (including data mining); predictive modelling, biostatistics, mobile security awareness, internet access and science education. She has published more than 68 accredited articles and 22 technical reports. She has presented research at more than 48 international conferences, 50 national conferences and 47 workshops. She has supervised or co-supervised 24 masters and 5 PhD students. Her passion is to empower Statisticians and Data Scientists of the future. She serves on the National Steering Committee to strengthening academic staff development in mathematical, statistical sciences and data science in South Africa.