Interviews


 

Dr Mardé Helbig

Optimising algorithms to enhance decision-making

19 September 2019

When Dr Mardé Helbig, senior lecturer in the department of computer science at the University of Pretoria, found that little work had been done on solving problems with conflicting objectives that change over time, known as dynamic multi-objective optimisation problems (DMOOPs), she began to focus on solving DMOOPs using vector-evaluated particle swarm optimisation.

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Prof Lindiwe Zungu

Transforming South African mines into ‘zero-harm tolerance’ zones for all workers

27 August 2019

Zungu has developed a comprehensive set of guidelines to assist the South African mining industry to better cater to the needs of female miners. As a result of her research, the industry implemented new protective gear, designed specifically for women working underground.

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Professor Robin Crewe

Lifetime Award for achievement by an individual

26 July 2019

Professor Robin Crewe is an internationally-renowned researcher, educator and innovator for the work he has done on social insects, particularly honeybees. His work into these remarkable insects has provided significant insights into their communication systems and social organisation. In addition to this research, he has taught and mentored students, taken on numerous roles as the head of an academic department, and he’s been the leader of two research groups, the dean of natural science at two universities, and the vice-principal for research and postgraduate studies at the University of Pretoria.

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Professor Harald Winkler

recipient of the Special Annual Theme Award: Sustainable Energy for All

6 May 2019

Special Annual Theme Award: Sustainable Energy for All (in recognition of the United Nations ‘International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’) Prof Harald Winkler, director at the Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town, is an internationally-acclaimed researcher. He focuses on sustainable energy for all in the context of a just transition to low carbon economies. This includes developing a multi-stakeholder process for informed decision making around climate policy.

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Prof Keolebogile Motaung

Biomedical Scientist

12 February 2019

Innovation Award: Corporate Organisation for innovations and their research and/or development (by a team or an individual over the last 5 to 10 years) Sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry. Prof Keolebogile Motaung Founder: Global Health Biotech (Pty) Ltd; and Assistant Dean: Postgraduate Studies, Research, Innovation and Engagement, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology. Her research shows a future of tissue engineering of bone and cartilage that depends on medicinal plants. A cream is currently being manufactured as an alternative natural anti-inflammatory ointment.

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Prof Malik Maaza

Inspired by nature

4 December 2018

NSTF-GreenMatter Awards: towards biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and a greener economy by an individual or an organisation. His work has involved numerous innovations that are green and sustainable. This includes developing thermochromic intelligent nanocoating for smart glass windows, which minimises the energy load. Simply put, Maaza’s research can potentially minimise the energy load caused by air conditioning and energy use

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Professor Leslie Petrick

professor of chemistry at the University of the Western Cape: Washing water clean with waste ash from coal

4 December 2018

NSTF-Water Research Commission Award: towards achieving sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions with demonstrated leadership and impact by an individual or an organisation
A professor of chemistry at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), she has dedicated the past 10 years to researching water chemistry and effluent remediation in search of a way to change waste into something useful.

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Professor Steve Tollman

Director of Wits University’s Health Systems Development Unit. (Photo: EYEscape

3 November 2018

NSTF Management Award winner Prof Stephen Tollman, He has been at the forefront of harnessing inter-disciplinary science to guide policy towards sustainable health and development in a challenging environment in rural Mpumalanga.

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Professor Mmantsae Moche Diale

Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Pretoria

3 November 2018

Engineering Research Capacity Development Award: (by an individual over the last 5 to 10 years)
sponsored by Eskom, Prof Mmantsae Diale, Associate Professor: Dept of Physics, UP, researches materials development for applications in semiconductor devices used in light harvesting processes (particularly
collecting and storing solar energy). She is driven by the need to take energy from the sun, to remove the
country’s reliance on the grid, and to find a better way of storing the energy collected during the day

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