Francois Retief

Principal Consultant and Course Presenter

B.Eng (Electronic), CSEP


Francois Retief obtained a degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Stellenbosch where he cultivated his skills in team leadership with positions like chairman of the Student Engineering Council and National President of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE).

After graduating from university, his first role was as field engineer for one of the first commercial GSM/GPS telemetry systems developed by RACAL (now Thales), released in 1998.  Learning from the errors of early developments of projects, in this role he became exceedingly interested in the application of systems engineering to projects. Based on the success of the second mobile development that he was involved in, he was first appointed Systems Engineer on the mobile system and soon after was promoted to Senior Systems Engineer where he was tasked with building a System Engineering team to support the entire organization. After being head-hunted to optimize engineering for production in a company that manufactured high speed data communication components for the military and playing a key part in their ISO 9001 certification, Francois was asked to return to Thales as Senior Systems Engineer for their 4th generation telematics system.

Upon completion of the project, Francois joined the newly formed Astrata Systems as Systems Engineering Manager working on several cutting-edge projects, a notable one of those projects being the Singapore HazMat Transport Vehicles Tracking System which was deployed in 2005.  In this position, Francois experienced the groundbreaking impact of agile software development for the first time, an approach that was of great interest ever since. Francois has supported several organizations in implementing an agile approach to development since then.

His next assignment was as Project Manager and Systems Engineer at Mix Telematics for a team of 25 engineers in a fleet management company with about 200 people at the time.  During this role, Francois’ main focus was supporting the organization in switching their software development approach to agile development, within the constraints of hardware development and complex international deployments, all within the existing ISO 9001 Quality Management Process and within delivery deadlines.  By applying his expertise and lessons from prior experience, Francois helped create an outstanding outsourcing project-based department in the company.

After a decade of acting as Chief Systems Engineer and Project Manager on the development of various fleet management and vehicle tracking systems, Francois decided to follow his passion and start his own company providing consulting services in the development of complex technology systems.  In this capacity he also supported development of Certification Training International (CTI’s) INCOSE SEP Exam Preparation Course of which he was the first course presenter and which has now  been delivered to over 3,000 participants worldwide for companies based in the USA, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Spain, New Zealand, Australia and many more countries.

During this time, he became one of the 3 founding members and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of, a large-scale international podcasting, live streaming and digital audio advertising platform. is one of Africa’s largest digital audio hosting platforms and is used by over 1500 podcasters and radio stations from more than 20 countries, publishing content in 27 languages.  As COO of Francois oversees technical support to publishers and listeners, manages advertising relationships with key sales houses, manages key projects with large strategic partners, is responsible for billing and financial processes and acts as external presenter and technical interface for the company.

Francois is an INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) and was one of the founding members and first chairperson of the Western Cape Branch of INCOSE as well as a former INCOSE ambassador.  As an INCOSE ambassador, he presented at numerous conferences and events and has been guest lecturer at the University of Cape Town and University of Stellenbosch on Systems Engineering presenting systems engineering topics to university students.  In his career, Francois has served on various boards and committees including being a Technology Advisory Board Member for the Cape Peninsula University and a technical advisor on digital audio measurement for the South African Interactive Advertising Bureau Digital Audio Marketing Committee.

Francois lives in Somerset West in the Western Cape, South Africa with the love of his life, and enjoys spending time with his 3 children. Outside of excelling in his professional career as an engineer, Francois obtained a black belt in Gojy Ryu karate, enjoys trail running and playing guitar in a church band.

Scroll to Top