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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


The University of Pretoria congratulates all our academic achievers.

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Contents Welcome

4 Professor Tawana Kupe | Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Pretoria

Keynote address

Professor Glenda Gray | President and CEO, South African Medical Research Council

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Chancellor’s Award: Research

Professor Josua Meyer Professor Zander Myburg

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Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarly Book Award Humanities and Social Sciences Property Tax in Africa - Status, Challenges, and Prospects Professor Riël Franzsen and Professor William McCluskey (African Tax Institute, EMS)

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Natural and Applied Sciences Practical Mathematical Optimization - Basic Optimization Theory and Gradient-Based Algorithms (Second Edition) Professor Jan Snyman (awarded posthumously) and Professor Daniel Wilke (Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, EBIT)

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Exceptional Academic Achievers Professor Lyn-Marie Birkholtz Professor Steve Cornelius Professor Teresa Coutinho Professor Walter Focke Professor Rangan Gupta Professor Andrew McKechnie Professor Marion Meyer Professor Louis Nel Professor Emma Steenkamp

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Exceptional Young Researchers Dr Deon Brink Professor Reghard Brits Dr Tung Lê Dr Thulani Makhalanyane Dr Paul Razafimandimby Dr Jeannie van der Linde Professor Daniel Wilke

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Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellent Supervision Professor Mike Wingfield

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019

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Teaching Excellence and Innovation Laureate Awards Mr Jacobus Bezuidenhout Ms Marchantia Pollock Mrs Elna Verster Dr Riana Steyn

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Community Engagement Award Dr Carin Combrinck

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NRF-rated Researchers

A-rated researchers Professor Don Cowan Professor Mike Wingfield

B-rated researchers

Professor Roumen Anguelov Professor Danie Auret Professor Jacek Banasiak Professor Dave Berger Professor Andre Boraine Professor Jan Eloff Professor Schalk Els Professor Hannes Gräbe Professor Lise Korsten Professor Willem Landman Professor Jean Lubuma Professor Andrew McKechnie Professor Marion Meyer Professor Danie Prinsloo Professor Bernardo Rapoport Professor Ronél Rensburg (awarded posthumously) Professor John Taylor Professor Philip Thomas Professor Rudi van Aarde Professor Hein Venter Professor Frans Viljoen

C-rated researchers Professor Zeno Apostolides Professor Emma Archer Professor Mapundi Banda Professor Johan Beckmann Dr Andriëtte Bekker Professor Phil Botha Dr Uche Chude-Okonkwo Professor Rhena Delport Dr Suné Donoghue Professor Anneli Douglas Professor Greta Dreyer Dr Wim Dreyer Dr Yves Dumont Professor Warren du Plessis Professor Rocco Duvenhage Dr Thomas Ebenhan

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73 73 73 74 74 74 75 75 75 76 76 76 77 77 77 78 78 78 79 79 79

80 80 80 81 81 81 82 82 82 83 83 83 84 84 84 85

Professor Rinelle Evans Professor William Fraser (awarded posthumously) Dr Ananda Geyser-Fouché Professor Michael Gitau Professor Rosemary Gray Professor Schalk Willem Jacobsz Dr Fahimeh Jami Dr Alta Jooste Professor Annie Joubert Dr Mark Keith Professor Thias Kgatla Professor Steve Koch Professor Anton Kok Professor Christa Krüger Professor Namrita Lall Professor Eben Maré Professor Wanda Markotter Professor Machdel Matthee Professor Cheryl Mccrindle Professor Pieter Meyer Dr Yvette Naudé Professor Johan Nöthling Professor Nanette Oberholzer Dr Lynne Pilcher Professor Tinus Pretorius Professor Corneliu Simut Professor Gerhard Steenkamp Dr Eyob Tesfamariam Dr Vusilizwe Thebe Dr Wayne Truter Dr Liezel van der Merwe Professor Jan Verschoor Professor Claire Wagner Professor Michael Ward Professor Everard Weber Professor Chris Weldon Professor Cas Wepener Professor Siphamandla Zondi

P-rated researcher Eshchar Mizrachi

Y-rated researchers

85 85 86 86 86 87 87 87 88 88 88 89 89 89 90 90 90 91 91 91 92 92 92 93 93 93 94 94 94 95 95 95 96 96 96 97 97 97

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Dr Matthys Dippenaar Dr Michal Gwizdala Dr Natalie Keough Dr Thulani Makhalanyane Dr Damilola Momodu Dr Duncan Reyburn Dr George Thopil Professor Jeannie van der Linde Dr Tanya van Wyk Dr Gus Waschefort Dr Xianming Ye

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NRF rating categories

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Welcome message The Academic Achievers Awards are an important marker in the University of Pretoria’s drive to become one of the world’s top research universities. This year’s awards have a special significance because they are the first under my vice-chancellorship. I want to thank and congratulate the academics profiled in this publication, because it is the sum total of their efforts which ensures that our excellence is sustained. I also want to thank all academics and staff who perform support functions or play support roles in the institution, because they help to create this environment of excellence. Research is very close to my heart, and the outcomes and impact of our research are especially significant because they provide solutions to the issues and challenges that face our communities locally and across the continent, and also resonate globally. UP research has over the past year helped create new insights and solutions in areas such as prostate cancer among black African men, the finding of solutions to address food insecurity on the continent, advances in the artificial insemination of animals, and the impact of cochlear implants on quality of life. UP ranks in the top 1% of universities internationally in six fields: agricultural sciences, clinical medicine, engineering, environmental sciences, plant and animal sciences, and social sciences. The QS rankings place UP in the top 1,9% of universities worldwide. Furthermore, this year we opened the Future Africa institute and campus, which will be a place where leading scientists and scholars from across the world will come together to address the complex challenges facing Africa and the world. Each person profiled in this publication inspires all of us to think through and come up with ideas and solutions that will make our planet a better place. Your passion and commitment impact and transform our lives more than you’ll ever know. Congratulations to all of you. Our country, indeed the entire world, needs new, cutting-edge knowledge that only researchers or scholars with your expertise are capable of producing. Thank you for being a part of this institution, and ensuring that UP continues to illuminate the path of research excellence.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Tawana Kupe Vice-Chancellor and Principal University of Pretoria

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Keynote address Professor Glenda Gray, MBBCH, FCPaeds (SA), DSc (honoris causa), an NRF A-rated scientist, is the newly appointed president of the South African Medical Research Council. Gray, who trained as a medical doctor and paediatrician at the University of the Witwatersrand, co-founded and led the internationally renowned Perinatal HIV Research Unit based at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. She has expertise in mother-to-child transmission of HIV, HIV vaccines and microbicides. She is the Co-Pl of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and Director of the HVTN International Programs. In 2002, she was awarded the Nelson Mandela Health and Human Rights Award for pioneering work done in the field of motherto-child transmission of HIV-1. She is a member of the Academy of Science in South Africa, and chairs their standing committee on health. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine, of the National Academies, and serves on their Global Health Board. She has also been confirmed as the new Chair Elect for the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD). Professor Gray has also been awarded the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care “Hero of Medicine” award for work done in the field of HIV treatment in children and adults. In 2009, James McIntyre and Gray received the N’Galy-Mann lectureship in recognition of their HIV research contribution in South Africa. In June 2012 she received a DSc (honoris causal) from the Simon Fraser University, Vancouver for her work in the field of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. She was also admitted into the American Academy of Microbiology in 2012. In 2013 she received the South Africa’s highest honour, the Order of Mapungubwe, granted by the president for achievements in the international area which have served South Africa’s interest. In the same year (2013) she received the EDTCP outstanding African Scientist Award. In 2016 she was awarded the TWAS regional prize for building scientific institutions and in 2017 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Glenda Gray President and CEO South African Medical Research Council

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Chancellor’s Award: Research The Chancellor’s Award is made in recognition of exceptional achievement in the field of research aimed at the advancement of science, and the associated promotion of the interests of the University of Pretoria.

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Academic Academic Achievers’ Achievers’ Awards Awards 2019 2019


Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu Chancellor University of Pretoria

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Professor Josua Meyer In 2002 Professor Josua Meyer was appointed as professor at the University of Pretoria and Head of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. In 2004 he became the Chair of the School of Engineering. His research focus is on thermal sciences and fluid flow and, more narrowly, on heat exchangers. His heat exchanger work is at a fundamental level, investigating the transitional flow regime, nanofluids and condensation. At an applications level he investigates thermal, solar, wind and nuclear energy. His research focus is thus directly aligned to one of the University’s institutional research themes of energy. His research group conducts joint research and publishes with scholars from L’Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Ghent University, Duke University, the University of Edinburgh and INSA Toulouse. He is a member, fellow or honorary fellow of various professional institutes and societies such as ASME, ASHRAE, AIAA, Royal Aeronautical Society and SAIMechE. He has also been the editor, guest editor or associate editor of various heat transfer journals. He is regularly invited as a keynote speaker at local and international conferences and has been the conference chair of 14 international conferences. Recently he was on the selection committee of the Franklin Institute Awards Programme (established in 1824 and one of the world’s oldest award programmes) for the Benjamin Franklin Medal. To date, 117 awardees of this institute have been honoured with Nobel prizes. As the author and co-author of more than 600 research articles, conference papers and patents, Professor Meyer has received numerous prestigious awards for his research. Assisting him in his research and the publication of many of his articles were more than 134 postgraduate students (35 doctoral and 99 research master’s degrees) who graduated. He has won more than 45 research awards, including 23 awards for the best article of the year or best conference paper. In addition, he has received the following national and international research awards: Price Award, Rand Coal Award, South African Institute of Mechanical Engineers Medal, LT Campbell-Pitt Award, Literati Award, Chairman’s Award of the Institute for Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning, and the Will Stoecker Award. He has received 11 different national teaching and learning awards from three different universities, as well as an international award in 2013. In 2015 he was included in the top ten shortlist for the AIRBUS diversity award (diversity in engineering education). In 2016 he received the Teaching and Learning Award of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information. He has received six consecutive Exceptional Achievers Awards, as well as an Exceptional Supervisor Award in 2016, in recognition of his exceptional achievement in the supervision of postgraduate students. According to the Essential Science Indicators of the ISI Web of Knowledge, he is a highly cited researcher. Professor Meyer currently holds an A2 rating from the NRF.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Josua Meyer

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Professor Zander Myburg Professor Zander Myburg is a full professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He is the Director of the Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) Programme in the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), and he holds the Chair in Forest Genomics and Biotechnology at the University of Pretoria. Professor Myburg’s research focuses on the genetic control of woody biomass production in fast-growing forest trees and, in particular, the genetic regulation of biopolymer (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) synthesis in wood fibre cells. He established the FMG Programme in 2003 as a joint research venture of UP and South African forestry industry partners that subsequently gained support from the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP), the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and, more recently, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). His research team has pioneered the use of population genomics and systems genetics approaches to unravel the genetic control of growth and wood formation in Eucalyptus trees. He also was the lead investigator of the US Department of Energy (DOE) funded international Eucalyptus Genome Project that generated the reference genome sequence for the genus (Myburg et al. 2014, Nature). His team uses genomics information to develop biotechnology applications for tree improvement in collaboration with South African forestry companies. These applications include DNA fingerprinting, genome-assisted breeding, genetic engineering and genome editing towards enhancing eucalypt plantations for pulp, paper, timber, biorefinery and other bioeconomy products. Professor Myburg’s research team has embarked on an initiative to develop a Genome Diversity Atlas for commercially grown eucalypt and pine trees in South Africa. This resource is used to support genetic resource management and molecular breeding, as well as the development of new landscape genomics approaches aimed at understanding genome diversity in natural and breeding populations and how this underpins tree adaptation to environmental factors. This approach may allow improved genotype-by-site matching in future, a crucial requirement to maintain the sustainability of the South African forestry sector in the context of rapid climate change that is affecting forest growing regions in the country. Over the past 16 years, Professor Myburg has supervised 62 postgraduate (master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral) candidates and he is the author of 100 ISI peer-reviewed papers and book chapters in the field of plant molecular genetics and genomics. He is also the author of over 150 presentations at international scientific meetings, including nine invited and keynote presentations. As a young researcher he received a P-rating from the NRF (2007 to 2011) and he currently holds a B1 rating (2018 to 2024). In 2015 he was awarded the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)-BHP Billiton-TW Kambule Award for his contribution to research and its outcomes in South Africa over the past five to ten years. In 2017 he received the UP Exceptional Achievers Award, and in 2018 he received the South African Genetics Society (SAGS) Fellowship Award.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Zander Myburg

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Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarly Book Award The University of Pretoria introduced the Vice-Chancellor’s Book Award to recognise and reward authors of scholarly books, monographs and collections. The prizes are awarded once a year in two categories, namely humanities and social sciences (broadly defined) or natural and applied sciences. In 2018 two awards, one in the humanities and social sciences, and another in the natural and applied sciences, were made. A book is considered to be scholarly if it presents the findings of an original, systematic investigation undertaken to gain new knowledge and insight, advances knowledge in a particular discipline and brings credit to the University. Scholarly books may be written in any of South Africa’s official languages and translations of major works originally published in other languages are also considered. In order to qualify for nomination, books should bring credit to the University on account of their contribution to the advancement of the humanities, the social sciences or the natural and applied sciences.

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Academic Academic Achievers’ Achievers’ Awards Awards 2019 2019


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Professor Riël Franzsen and Professor William McCluskey Property Tax in Africa - Status, Challenges, and Prospects Recurrent property tax contributes relatively limited revenue in most African countries, representing on average only 0.38% of gross domestic product, compared to more than 2% in the mostly developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This suggests that there is much room for improvement. Africa is the world’s fastest urbanising continent. Therefore, a buoyant and sustainable revenue source is required to address the growing demand for public infrastructure and improved municipal services. Property tax is an excellent candidate to fulfil this role. In view of this, Property Tax in Africa – Status, Challenges, and Prospects is both timeous and instructive. It constitutes the first comprehensive review of property taxes in Africa, covering the property tax systems in 29 country studies and also offering regional overviews for Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone and North Africa. The book discusses key policy issues and administrative challenges affecting the functioning of property tax systems and concluding with possible pathways to improvement in terms of policy and practice.

Professor Riël Franzsen is a professor and director of the African Tax Institute at the University of Pretoria, where he has also occupied the South African Research Chair in Tax Policy and Governance since March 2013. He obtained BLC and LLB degrees from the University of Pretoria in 1981 and 1983 respectively. In 1990 he obtained a doctorate in law from the University of Stellenbosch with a thesis on South Africa’s transfer duty. In 2013 he also obtained a MA degree in creative writing from the University of Pretoria. He holds a B1 NRF rating. From 2001 to 2003 he was a David C Lincoln Research Fellow at the Lincoln Instituter of Land Policy, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Professor Franzsen specializes in land and property taxation, specifically property tax policy. He has acted as a policy advisor to countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Europe, for the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Bank, and various other entities.

Professor William McCluskey is currently an Extraordinary Professor at the African Tax Institute, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and holds a B1 NRF rating. He has held a number of academic positions including, Reader at the University of Ulster (1985-2014) and Professor of Property Studies at Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand (2001-2002). In addition, he has held visiting professorships at the University of Lodz, Poland, and the University of Technology, Malaysia. He has a distinguished publishing record with 73 papers published in a number of international peer-reviewed journals. He has been a keynote speaker at several international research conferences. In recognition of his work he was appointed as a Research Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (2000) and then awarded a David C Lincoln Research Fellowship (2001-2003). His main professional and academic interests are in the fields of real estate valuation, property tax administration, computer assisted mass appraisal modelling and geographic information systems.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor RiĂŤl Franzsen

Professor William McCluskey

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Professor Daniel Wilke and Professor Jan Snyman Practical Mathematical Optimization - Basic Optimization Theory and Gradient-Based Algorithms (Second Edition) This book, published as part of the series Springer Optimization and Its Applications, presents a wide range of mathematical optimisation theory for graduate students and researchers in mathematics, engineering, computer science and other applied sciences. In addition to presenting foundational optimisation knowledge covered in various forms and styles in most optimisation texts, this book lays a new theoretical foundation on how to solve discontinuous optimisation problems. This book presents five algorithms to solve ‘noisy’ problems, as well as three algorithms to solve discontinuous problems. For the first time, the theory and construction of meaningful smooth surrogates of discontinuous functions is presented, as well as the computation of accurate numerical gradients at discontinuities. This positions this book as the only one currently on the market that develops a gradient-only framework for discontinuous functions, delivering practical algorithms for discontinuous functions, and constructing useful surrogates of discontinuous functions using analytical or numerically computed gradients. A practical engineering example covered in this book elegantly demonstrates that discontinuities is a regular occurrence in science and engineering, and by extension, machine-learning problems. A programming chapter introduces the reader to the Python programming language, covering relevant mathematical concepts, and acquainting the reader with these algorithms within a few hours of programming.

Professor Daniel Wilke is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) where he leads his gradient-only research group (GORG), while contributing to the Centre for Asset and Integrity Management (C-AIM). Professor Wilke is an Inaugural Tuks Young Research Leader Fellow, a Y2-rated NRF researcher, an elected member of the South African Association for Theoretical And Applied Mechanics and of the South African National Committee for the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. He has delivered international and local plenary and keynote addresses, and presented talks at academic institutes that include IMT Lille Douai (France) and Tsinghua University (China).

The late Professor Jan Snyman (31 May 1940 to 29 March 2019) retired in 2005 from the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. In 2008 he was one of the recipients of the University of Pretoria Leading Minds (1908-2008) centenary research medal. In 2009 he was awarded the Senior Doctorate (D Eng) in Mechanical Engineering by the University of Stellenbosch for a doctoral submission titled Optimization algorithms and methodologies for the optimal design of engineering systems. Professor Snyman published more than 130 ISI rated journal and peerreviewed conference papers, as well as two books. He continued to contribute to the research community during his retirement, as exemplified by the co-authored publication of the second edition of Practical Mathematical Optimization, together with Professor Daniel Wilke.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Daniel Wilke

Professor Jan Snyman (awarded posthumously)

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Exceptional Academic Achievers This award is made annually to senior academics who have already achieved the status of professor, are regarded highly by their peers, and have consistently excelled in the areas of under- and postgraduate teaching and learning, research, community service and administration over a period of time. Any academic who has been awarded an A-rating by the NRF in the year under consideration automatically qualifies as an Exceptional Achiever for as long as he or she remains an A-rated researcher.

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Professor Lyn-Marie Birkholtz Professor Lyn-Marie Birkholtz is a professor in Biochemistry in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology. She is the current incumbent of the DST/NRF South African National Research Chair (SARChI) in Sustainable Malaria Control. As part of the Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC), she directs the Parasite Control Cluster as an MRC Collaborative Centre for malaria research. She heads the South African Malaria Transmission-blocking Consortium (SAMTC), which is a joint venture with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the University of the Witwatersrand, focused on drug discovery for malaria elimination with the University of Cape Town. The SAMTC provides unique research capacity and expertise on the African continent and is one of only three international sites with such capacity. This contributes to South Africa taking the lead in the discovery of transmission-blocking antimalarials in Africa and provides a strong national and international platform for malaria elimination strategies. Professor Birkholtz also leads an NRF Community of Practice, coalescing the efforts of five SARChI Chairs. This Community’s significance and innovation is embedded in its focused strategies on drug discovery for malaria elimination through solution-orientated research that leads to innovations addressing societal challenges in South Africa. Professor Birkholtz’s research focus is on a key parasitic disease with a major global impact (malaria) that is of national and regional strategic importance addresses several of the current National Development Plan (NDP 2030) goals. Her work also directly addresses Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Prof Birkholtz’s research is focused on the physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology of malaria parasites. Her work finds biochemical distinctions between the malaria parasite and the human host that can be exploited for the design of novel antimalarial chemotherapeuticals as transmission-blocking drugs. Her team has pioneered the use of large functional genomics datasets to support drug discovery for malaria elimination. Her research area contributes to the interplay between malaria control and elimination by focusing on both the pathogenic and transmission forms of the parasite to ensure sustainability in malaria control and elimination, by broadening our understanding of essential biological processes of malaria parasites as a catalyst to antimalarial drug discovery. This has resulted in major breakthroughs in the field, including the first clinical antimalarial candidates originating in Africa that was discovered as part of a large national endeavour. Her team proved that these candidates are potentially able to be used in malaria elimination strategies. As part of the UP ISMC, Professor Birkholtz’s laboratory hosts the largest malaria parasite in vitro cultivation facility in the country and also hosts the Malaria Parasite Clinical Biobank, both of which are considered key national facilities. Her research programme trains students in cutting-edge approaches to understand complex biological processes, and apply this to relevant problems of the African continent (malaria). As an NRF B-rated scientist, she plays an internationally leading role in the discipline of antimalarial target discovery for sustainable malaria control, reflected in more than 70 manuscripts published within the top 5% of journals in her discipline. Prof Birkholtz was awarded the University of Pretoria Exceptional Young Academic Achievers award in two instances before, and was awarded the UP Vice-Chancellor’s Exceptional Supervisor Award and the NSTF Science Communication Award in 2018. She is also a full elected member of the Academy of Sciences for South Africa (2018).

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Lyn-Marie Birkholtz

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Professor Steve Cornelius Professor Steve Cornelius obtained the degrees B. Iuris and LLB at the University of South Africa before being awarded an LLD degree by the University of Pretoria for a thesis titled The interpretation of contracts in South African law. He has been admitted to practise as an advocate of the High Court of South Africa. Since his appointment as professor in the Department of Private Law at the University of Pretoria on 1 January 2010, he has taught Law of Contract and Intellectual Property Law to undergraduate law students, as well as one module of the LLM in Law of Contract. In October 2015, he was appointed Head of the Department of Private Law. He is Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Law, Co-Director of the Centre for Sports Law in Africa and chair of the Faculty Research Committee. Before joining academia, Professor Cornelius served for more than a decade in the Department of Justice, where he played a key role in the drafting of regulations required for the functioning of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Human Rights Commission and the Special Investigating Unit. This was followed by his appointment as Senior Lecturer by the University of Johannesburg, (UJ) where he was eventually promoted to Professor and appointed as Director of the University of Johannesburg Centre for Sports Law. He also served a term as Head of the Department of Private Law at UJ. In 2007, he was recognised by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and received a C2 rating. In 2011 he received a B3 rating as an internationally renowned researcher, and in 2016 he improved his rating to B2. He is the editor in chief of the International Journal for Private Law and serves on the editorial advisory boards of the International Sports Law Journal and International Sports Law Review Pandektis. He also served a term as editor of De Jure, a law journal accredited by the Department of Higher Education and published by the UP Faculty of Law, and a term on the Scientific Committee of the International Association for Sports Law. He is a member of the South African Academy for Science and Art and the Independent Doping Hearing Panel of the South African Institute for Drug-free Sport, a fellow of the Southern African Association of Arbitrators and an independent director on the board of Cricket South Africa. Until April 2018 he was also a member of the Disciplinary Tribunal of the International Association of Athletics Federations – a position that he quit in protest against the adoption of the new IAAF eligibility regulations for female classification. He was part of the legal team that challenged these regulations on behalf of Athletics South Africa before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. He is the author of three books and co-author of one, has contributed 15 chapters to books and is a co-editor of six books, which include Principles of the interpretation of contracts in South Africa, The right to participate and other legal issues in sport, Introduction to sports contracts in South Africa and Introduction to sports law in South Africa. He has published more than 75 peer-reviewed articles and commentaries on sports law and the law of contract in notable South African and international law journals. He has presented more than 40 papers at international conferences and has presented seminars at the TMC Asser Institute in The Hague and the WJH Mulier Institute in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. He has also lectured at various other universities in South Africa and elsewhere, including Anglia Ruskin University in England, where he was a visiting fellow on the LLM in International Sports Law programme.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Steve Cornelius

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Professor Teresa Coutinho Professor Teresa Coutinho is a full professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. She is affiliated with both the Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics and the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute. Her research focus is on pathogenic bacteria, mostly those that are considered opportunistic, and their interactions with plant hosts. Her knowledge of how they cause disease symptoms led to the sequencing of the genome of the first plant pathogen, viz. Pantoea ananatis, in Africa. Comparative and functional genomics illustrated how this ubiquitous bacterium is able to survive in unusual niches in the environment in insect and human hosts, as well as how it infects plants. She has subsequently expanded her programme to include plant pathogenic bacteria of fruit trees and vegetable crops. Over the past 15 years, since she initiated her research programme in phytobacteriology, she has trained 22 MSc and 12 PhD students in this specific field. She has an h-index of 39 (Scopus) and 48 (Google Scholar) with 4466 and 7152 citations, respectively. She has featured in the Thomson Reuters Science Indicators list of the top 5000 most cited scientists in the plant sciences for the past 20 years. She is a past president of the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology (SASPP) and was, until this year, actively involved in the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) as their South African ambassador. She has received an exceptional achievers award from the University of Pretoria twice, for the periods 2013 to 2015 and 2016 to 2018.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Teresa Coutinho

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Professor Walter Focke Professor Walter Focke obtained his bachelor and master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pretoria and a PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering from MIT. He is a full professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Institute of Applied Materials. He teaches phase equilibrium thermodynamics at undergraduate level and polymer processing and polymer materials science at postgraduate level. Professor Focke has successfully supervised 66 postgraduate students, including 39 master’s and 27 doctoral degrees. Professor Focke is a registered professional engineer, a member of the American Chemical Society, the Polymer Processing Society, the International Pyrotechnics Society and the South African Institute of Chemical Engineers. His core research is in chemical product design with the emphasis on carbon materials, polymer additive technology, pyrotechnics and malaria vector control. His research on carbon technology focuses on the use of expandable graphite in thermal energy applications and as conductive and flame-retardant additive in polymer. A highlight in this research was the development of an elegant method for making medium-density graphite foams with high thermal conductivity. The clay and polymer additive technology research is aimed at functional applications in polymers in order to improve thermo-oxidative stability and flame retardancy. In the field of pyrotechnics, he successfully developed a range of ‘green’ compositions for use as time delays and initiating compositions in chemical mine detonators. Professor Focke is also a member of the UP Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control, which won an NSTF award in 2018. His achievements in malaria vector control relate to the controlled delivery of the following repellents and insecticides: a particle-stabilised insecticide for indoor residual spray that outlasted DDT in laboratory trials; a patented low-cost wall lining that has just successfully completed a five-year field trial in the Limpopo province; a mosquito-repellent textile based on bicomponent fibres that are currently in an industrial scale-up trial phase; and a particularly effective topical mosquito repellent blend that also kills insects. Professor Focke has published more than 165 papers in peer-reviewed journals that have been cited more than 2772 times, and he has a Scopus h-Index of 20. He is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics, the Journal of Vinyl and Additive Technology, the International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives and International Polymer Processing. Professor Focke received a B3 rating from the NRF.

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Professor Walter Focke

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Professor Rangan Gupta Professor Rangan Gupta is a full professor in the Department of Economics, in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. His main area of research is monetary policy and theory based on dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) modelling. In addition to this core area of research, he also does applied work using linear and nonlinear time series models for structural analysis and forecasting. He is currently a C2-rated NRF researcher, with nearly 500 publications in domestic and internationally accredited journals. He is an Elected Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). In December 2018, he was ranked fifth in the Top Young Economists in the World by the largest bibliographical database for economists.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Rangan Gupta

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Professor Andrew McKechnie Professor Andrew McKechnie is a professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He holds the South African Research Chair in Conservation Physiology at the National Zoological Garden which is co-hosted by the University of Pretoria. Professor McKechnie’s research focuses on the evolutionary physiology of birds and other animals. His work examines water, energy and nutrient fluxes between animals and their environments, the resultant constraints on survival and breeding, and how natural selection and phenotypic plasticity modifies physiological and behavioural traits that determine these fluxes. Specific areas of interest include sources of metabolic diversity, the ecology and evolution of heterothermic responses, and thermoregulation in the heat. Most of his current work concerns the behavioural ecology and thermal physiology of arid-zone birds in the context of climate change, with an emphasis on developing mechanistic, process-based models of how desert birds are being affected by rapid anthropogenic warming. Along with Dr Susie Cunningham of the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, Professor McKechnie leads the Hot Birds Research Project, a programme involving researchers at three South African and several overseas universities. Since its inception in 2009, the programme has yielded novel insights into the risks posed to arid-zone bird assemblages by acute exposure to extreme heat events, as well as the sublethal fitness costs of chronic exposure to sustained hot weather. Papers emanating from this research have appeared in journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Functional Ecology and Proceedings of the Royal Society. New directions currently being developed include management interventions to mitigate the current and future impacts of warming, and the application of knowledge generated from wild birds to rural poultry production systems in the hottest parts of southern Africa. Professor McKechnie serves on the editorial boards of the journals Emu – Austral Ornithology and Journal of Comparative Physiology B. He regularly writes for semipopular magazines, and is a scientific advisor for African Birdlife magazine. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and has received the University of Pretoria’s Exceptional Academic Achiever Award twice previously. Professor McKechnie currently holds a B2 rating from the NRF.

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Professor Andrew McKechnie

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Professor Marion Meyer Professor Marion Meyer is attached to the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. From 2001until 2013 he served as Head of the Department of Plant Sciences. His research focuses on phytochemistry in general, and more specifically on the metabolomics of secondary compounds of medicinal and toxic plants. These compounds are produced by plants to defend themselves against pathogens and herbivores. His group recently discovered cocaine-related tropanes in an indigenous Erythroxylum species and is now attempting to produce these valuable medicinal compounds in tissue cultures. He is also investigating the origin and maintenance of the “fairy circles” of Namibia and recently found the chemical footprints of toxic Euphorbia species inside these circles. Various theories have been proposed as the cause of the hundreds of thousands of mysterious circular barren patches in the semi-desert areas of Namibia. His current focus in this regard is on a comparison of the spatial growth pattern of the Euphorbia species and fairy circles, and also the mechanism by which these plants cause the fairy circles. One of the main role players in this field of research who proposed a completely different theory has recently agreed that the fairy circles in the southern parts of Namibia are caused by Euphorbia species. Professor Meyer’s latest unpublished results indicate that a different Euphorbia species causes the formation of these circular barren patches in the northern parts of Namibia. The Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators (ESI) currently rank Professor Meyer in the top 1% of scientists in the field of pharmacology and toxicology worldwide. Five patents have resulted from his work and more than 100 papers were published in ISI journals. He has an average of 27 citations per paper (more than 2600 in total) and a Scopus H-Index of 32. He has been the sub-editor of several journals and reviewer and external examiner of many papers and theses annually. Thirty-seven MSc and PhD degrees have been awarded to students under his supervision. Professor Meyer has received a number of awards, including the UP Exceptional Academic Achiever Award four times. He received the SA Association of Botanists’ Gold Medal Award in 2017 for his research achievements and was only the 15th recipient of this prestigious award at that time. He plays an active role in the professional societies in his field of research and is a past president of the SA Association of Botanists.

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Professor Marion Meyer

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Professor Louis Nel Professor Louis Nel is a full professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology. He has launched a world-renowned research programme focused on a better understanding of lyssaviruses for the improved treatment and control of rabies. The establishment of this programme was supported by his postdoctoral and sabbatical research in Oxford (UK) and Atlanta (CDC, USA), among others. His research relies on state-of-the-art methods in molecular biology and includes viral diagnostics, vaccinology, immune contraception, viral pathogenesis, host/virus ecology, molecular epidemiology and virus evolution. His publications number more than 180 and have appeared in scientific journals, as book chapters or as monographs. At the University of Pretoria he has received a distinguished academic achievement award six times. Professor Nel is a permanent member of the World Health Organization (WHO) expert advisory panel on rabies and served as member of the three most recent WHO Expert Consultations on Rabies in Geneva (as chair) and Bangkok, as subsequently published by the WHO in 2005, 2013 and 2018. He has also served as member of the international steering committee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation/WHO rabies control programmes. He has been the scientific advisor and coordinator for the Southern and Eastern African Rabies Group since 2003. With his team at the University of Pretoria and his global collaborators (including universities, institutes, intergovernmental agencies, nongovernmental organisations and industry), he founded the Pan African Rabies Control Network (PARACON) in 2015, the Asian Rabies Control Network (ARACON) in 2018, and the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Northern African Rabies Control Network (MERACON), also in 2018. In other international roles he is an active member of the technical expert panel of the IAEA/FAO (International Atomic Energy Agency and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN), and regularly serves on rabies committees such as that of the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health). Professor Nel assisted the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC, the leading international nonprofit organization dedicated to rabies) in various capacities since 2008. In September 2014 he took over the leadership of GARC. In this role the research generated by his team contributed significantly to the shaping of the global rabies research agenda, ultimately focused on achieving elimination of dog rabies from those regions of the world that continue to be plagued by the disease, including the entire continental Africa and most of Asia. Following the synthesis of a Global Framework for the Elimination of Dog-Mediated Human Rabies in 2015/16 (FAO, OIE, WHO and GARC), he continues to serve on the steering committee for the development and implementation of the Global Strategy. A recent research paper examined 7818 world publications on global rabies research, as indexed in Scopus (Journal of Scientometric Research Vol 5, 3 pp220-229). In this study, it was found that rabies research increased on a global level by 5.87% per annum over the period 2006-2015. South Africa was found to feature as one of the top countries scoring more that the average Relative Citation Index (RCI) of 1 (RSA = 1.24). In the category, International Collaborative Publications of the Top Countries, South Africa claimed the third position. Among the Top 20 Most Productive World Organizations on Rabies Research, the University of Pretoria (Professor Nel’s programme) claimed the third overall place from all universities considered. In the category Most Productive Individual Author on rabies, Professor Nel is in the top 20 and the only African on the list. Only 10 authors from the Global Top Group contributed to the ICP share (International Collaborative Publications) above the group average of 44% and he has been placed in the 3rd position (61.4%).

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Louis Nel

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Professor Emma Steenkamp Professor Emma Steenkamp is a full professor in the Department Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. She is the Director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology at the University of Pretoria. She is also a member of the management committee of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), which represents the premier institute of its kind in the world. Professor Steenkamp is a specialist in the systematics and evolution of micro organisms. She has authored or co-authored more than a hundred peer-reviewed articles in ISI-rated journals and her work has been cited more than 2 500 times in the scientific literature. Most recently she was invited to author a review paper titled “Fungal species and their boundaries matter—Definitions, mechanisms and practical implications” for the British Mycological Society’s journal Fungal Biology Reviews. Under her supervision or co-supervision, 28 master’s and 13 doctoral students have graduated, while she currently supervises or co-supervises 9 master’s and 15 doctoral students. She also leads a number of mentorship programmes aimed at attracting students to postgraduate studies and cultivating the next generation of academics. Professor Steenkamp holds a B-rating from the NRF, and in 2011 she received the University of Pretoria’s Exceptional Young Scientist award. She serves on the Subcommittee for Taxonomy of Rhizobium-Agrobacterium, which is one of the working groups of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (the body that oversees the nomenclature of prokaryotes). She is also a council member of two local science associations (the Southern African Society for Systematic Biology and the South African Society for Microbiology), and she serves on the editorial board of the ISI-rated European Journal of Plant Pathology.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Emma Steenkamp

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Exceptional Young Researchers This award is given to exceptional young achievers in the field of research, as seen against the University’s strategic goals of achieving academic excellence, international competitiveness and local relevance. Any person who has been evaluated by the NRF as a P-rated researcher automatically enjoys Exceptional Young Researcher status.

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Dr Deon Brink Dr Deon Brink is a senior lecturer in the Water Utilisation and Environmental Engineering Division of the Chemical Engineering department situated in the EBIT faculty. Dr Brink is currently leading several projects involving diverse research. However the ‘golden thread’ that runs through his research is resource recovery from waste. This approach is imperative for sustainable development and for catalysing a circular economy. Some projects currently under investigation include the biological remediation and recovery of lead(II) and selenium(VI) from aqueous media, the production of valuable platform chemicals from lignocellulosic feedstocks (succinic and malic acids), and the carbon-negative phycological (using the local micro-algae Desmodesmus multivariabalis) production of biodiesel and platform chemicals from real municipal wastewater and CO2-containing flue gas. In addition, Dr Brink is currently involved in the recovery of valuable pigments from real acid mine drainage, as well as research on sustainable raw materials for the cement industry, specifically the search for sustainable sources of calcium, iron, potassium, and silica. Dr Brink has participated in nine international conferences since 2015. Four full-length conference papers have resulted from this work. In 2019 he will present papers at four international conferences to be held in Italy, the USA, Mauritius and Greece. Dr Brink has published nine internationally accredited journal articles and is currently awaiting feedback on eight journal articles submitted in 2019, including the Springer Nature journals International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology and Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. Dr Brink is the main supervisor of one PhD and eight master’s degree candidates. He is also co-supervisor to one PhD and one master’s degree student. Dr Brink’s early career has been highly productive, with constant creation of opportunities for future contributions to research.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Dr Deon Brink

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Professor Reghard Brits Professor Reghard Brits is an associate professor in the Department of Mercantile Law and holds the degrees BCom (Law), LLB and LLD (Stellenbosch University), as well as a Certificate in Insolvency Law and Practice (SARIPA / Pret). He completed his doctoral thesis, titled Mortgage Foreclosure under the Constitution: Property, Housing and the National Credit Act, in 2012. During 2009, the final year of his LLB studies, while he was writing his LLD thesis (2010–2012), he was a research intern at the South African Research Chair in Property Law under Prof AJ van der Walt at Stellenbosch University. After completing his doctorate in 2012, he spent three years (2013–2015) as a postdoctoral research fellow of the aforementioned Chair. He joined the Department of Mercantile Law at the University of Pretoria as a senior lecturer in January 2016 and was appointed as associate professor with effect from January 2019. He has taught various modules, including Banking Law, Specific Contracts, Property Law and Consumer Credit Law. His main research interest is the law of secured credit (real security rights). Related interests include banking and finance law, consumer credit law, aspects of property and constitutional property law and insolvency law. The highlights of his research career include his 2016 monograph, Real Security Law, for which he received the UP Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarly Book Award in 2017. He has also authored or co-authored 20 accredited journal articles and two book chapters, and is a co-author of the forthcoming sixth edition of Silberberg & Schoeman’s The Law of Property. He has presented papers at a number of local and international conferences. Professor Brits received a C2 rating from the NRF.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Reghard Brits

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Dr Tung Lê Dr Lê is a senior lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. His research interests include the representation theory of finite groups and their subgroups and the automorphism groups of designs or codes. He has six publications in the past three years in international peer-reviewed articles such as Journal of Algebra, LMS Journal of Computation and Mathematics, Bulletin of the Iranian Mathematical Society, Communications in Algebra, and Journal of Symbolic Computation. The co-authors of those publications are S. Goodwin, F. Himstedt, K. Magaard, and A. Paolini. In 2016 Dr Lê received a grant from the Bernoulli Center (CIB) Lausanne for a short research visit or conference (2016), and the North-West University Competitive Grant. Since then he was awarded an NRF Incentive Grant and received research visit support from the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (2017-2019). Dr Lê received a C1 rating from the NRF.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Dr Tung Lê

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Dr Thulani Makhalanyane Dr Thulani Makhalanyane completed his undergraduate studies at the North West University. He then moved to the University of the Western Cape, where he completed his postgraduate training (MSc cum laude in 2009 and PhD in 2013). He joined the University of Pretoria in 2013 as a postdoctoral researcher and was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, in August 2014. Dr Makhalanyane is currently a senior lecturer and undertakes his research at the Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics. His scientific interests focus primarily on central questions in the field of microbial ecology, genomics, and biogeochemistry. Understanding microbial community dynamics in natural systems is a central goal of his research. His current research spans across multiple systems including terrestrial and marine environments. Dr Makhalanyane established the first South African research programme focused on the marine microbial ecology of the Southern Ocean. It is recognized that increased atmospheric CO2 leads to a reduction in ocean pH, directly affecting the viability of marine ecosystems such as corals, molluscs, biota echinoderms, fish and algae. The oceans are also subject to increased temperatures, becoming more stratified. These increased temperatures directly affect the metabolic rates of organisms and the associated water column stratification restricts the flow of nutrients to the surface. Yet the effects of these perturbations on microbial communities and their capacity to effect ecosystem services remains unclear. The principal aim of the studies in the Southern Ocean is to elucidate microbial dark matter implicated in marine carbon fixation. He has authored over 40 publications, which have accrued over 650 citations and he has an h-index of 15. These studies have been published in the leading microbial ecology journals, including Microbiome and the ISME Journal and Environmental Microbiology. He has also authored several reviews in FEMS Microbiology Reviews and Current Opinion in Biotechnology. He has received several national and international awards, including the prestigious TW Kambule-NSTF Award and the International Society for Microbial Ecology Ambassador of the Year Award for his outreach activities. He was also recently elected to the board of the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME), becoming the first African to join the leadership of this prestigious society. Dr Makhalanyane serves as associate editor for Frontiers in Microbiology and is a regular reviewer for leading journals in the field. He also serves on several national and international panels, including panels for the US National Science Foundation, and has represented South Africa in key international bilateral discussions. Since joining the University in 2014, he has been a supervisor or co-supervisor of 13 postgraduate students (seven honours, three master’s and three doctoral) and hosted four postdoctoral researchers. He currently supervises a large team of 14 postgraduate students (one honours, six master’s and seven doctoral candidates). Dr Makhalanyane received a Y1 rating from the NRF.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Dr Thulani Makhalanyane

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Dr Paul Razafimandimby Dr Paul Razafimandimby is a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Natural and Agriculture Sciences. His research interests lie in the theory of stochastic partial differential equations (SPDEs) which are at the interface of mathematical analysis and the theory of probability. The problems that he is interested in are of a theoretical nature, but with strong motivations stemming from the need for sound mathematical analysis for a better understanding of turbulence, collective motions (chemotaxis, birds flocking) and noise effect on, for instance, the dynamics of nematic liquid crystals (NLC). Dr Razafimandimby has made a substantial contribution to the development of theory of SPDEs driven by Wiener and Lévy noise. Together with Professor Zdzislaw Brzeźniak they have generalised the famous Bismut-Elworthy-Li lemma for SPDEs in Hilbert spaces to the framework of UMD Banach spaces. This has led to a positive answer to a long-standing open question on the uniqueness of stochastic nonlinear heat equations in Lp, p > 4, spaces. He has also proved irreducibility and the so-called support theorem which are related to the famous Wong-Zakai approximation and culminated in the work of the Fields medallist, Professor Martin Hairer, for hydrodynamical systems (including 2D Navier-Stokes) driven by pure jump noise. Dr Razafimandimby holds a Y1 NRF rating and has successfully applied for several prestigious research grants at local and international research agencies. From 2015 to 2018 he was one of three principal investigators of a project on the GinzburgLandau approximation of NLC funded by the Austrian Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, FWF. In 2017, he was awarded a travel grant jointly from the European Mathematical Society and Simons foundation. In 2018, he was awarded a three-year NRF Competitive Grant for Y-rated researchers. Lastly but perhaps the most importantly, he was awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) Individual fellowship (IF) from the Research Agency of the European Union. This is considered one of the most prestigious fellowships in Europe and in the world. The 2017 success rate in the Mathematics panel of the MSCA-IF was only 2% and fewer than 21 fellowships were awarded in mathematics across the whole of Europe.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Dr Paul Razafimandimby

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Dr Jeannie van der Linde Dr Jeannie van der Linde is the acting Head of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in the Faculty of Humanities. Over the past eight years her main research focus has been on improving access to early intervention services in underserved contexts. Her research projects have evaluated aspects of service delivery, including the early identification through developmental screening and/or surveillance, the use of mHealth technology, and interprofessional collaboration with community care workers. In South Africa, developmental delays are often detected late, frequently only once children are of school-going age. In view of this Dr Van der Linde focuses on innovative approaches for early identification to reduce or eliminate the effect of delays as soon as possible. Late identification of communication delays is particularly detrimental as communication is directly linked to later academic success. Delayed identification of developmental delays is the result of numerous challenges. Two of these challenges are the availability of accurate developmental screening or surveillance tools, and limited human resources to conduct the screening. In response to this, Dr Van der Linde compared one of the few widely available tools, the current national developmental screening tool, to an international developmental screening tool, which yielded a number of recommendations for improved developmental surveillance in South Africa. Another study determined the accuracy of internationally well-validated developmental screening tools (the PEDS tools) to detect communication delays in multilingual infants in underserved contexts. The PEDS tools have been translated into two African languages (Zulu and Northern-Sotho) and the translated versions of the tools were subsequently validated. Data collected from the developmental screenings has been used to explore the prevalence and nature of communication delays of infants from underserved contexts, as well as the risks associated with these delays. The results of these studies have been published in local and international accredited journals. Based on the evidence there is a great need for accessible and innovative service delivery solutions tailored to the needs of the infants and young children in underserved communities. As part of her research, Dr Van der Linde also oversaw the transfer of the PEDS tools to a smartphone application. Research conducted with the PEDS tools’ mHealth version has shown that care workers are able to accurately conduct developmental screening in public health care contexts. This adds to the skills of existing service providers in communities to accurately conduct developmental screening. Dr Van der Linde’s research projects include an interdisciplinary approach to improve early detection of developmental delays in under-resourced contexts. Despite the disparity in access to early detection and intervention for developmental delays and disorders in vulnerable populations, the current research has contributed to narrowing the gap in service delivery. Preventative functions, such as mHealth awareness, surveillance and intervention campaigns tailored to the individual needs of children using low cost and commercially available hardware (a smartphone), together with custom developed software applications, form part of the service delivery solution proposed. In 2016 Dr Van der Linde received the SASLHA award for the Best Poster Presentation. In 2018 she was invited to present a paper at the HEAD seminar in Linköping, Sweden, and she is currently on the editorial board of the South African Journal of Communication Disorders. Dr Van der Linde received a Y2 rating from the NRF.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Dr Jeannie van der Linde

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Professor Daniel Wilke Professor Daniel Wilke is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) where he heads up his gradient-only research group (GORG), while also contributing to the Centre for Asset and Integrity Management (C-AIM). Over the past decade Professor Wilke, who is a Y2 NRF-rated researcher, developed a new optimisation paradigm that in particular poses a solution to discontinuous optimization problems, namely to find non-negative gradient projection points, rather than conventional mathematical programming approaches that often fall short on providing solutions to discontinuous problems. His original research impacts the efficiency in which computer-aided engineering design optimisation problems can be solved by allowing the model fidelity to continuously improve as the design converges. The essence of this new paradigm is included in the second edition of Practical Mathematical Optimization, published together with the late Professor Jan Snyman in the series Springer Optimization and Its Applications (June 2018). In the more recent years, non-negative gradient projection points have begun to impact the training of machine and deep learning in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) as these require the selection of both an optimization algorithm and a learning rate. Together with his PhD student, Mr Dominic Kafka, these requirements have allowed for the development of strategies to automatically resolve the learning rate. By utilising graphical processing units (GPUs), they demonstrated efficient and effective training of machine and deep learning problems based on finding non-negative projection points. GPUs are well known to be computationally more efficient, whilst reducing energy usage in the training of machine learning problems. This enables more responsible and sustainable computing within AI. These initial findings were delivered earlier this year at the annual GPU Technology Conference at the San Jose McEnry Convention Centre, USA. Half-a-decade ago Professor Wilke refocused his research application area to align with the ever-increasing local industrial simulation requirements. He pursued the modelling of processes that involve granular materials, as this is the second most human manipulated substance on the planet after water, but one of the least modelled substances due to its immense computational expense. In conjunction with the CSIR and Professor Wilke’s former PhD student, Dr Nicolin Govender, they developed a GPU-based discrete element simulation (DEM) framework called BlazeDEM-GPU. This framework has demonstrated DEM simulations that are orders faster than CPU-based simulations. Now within a period of days or weeks, they can solve realistic industrial-scale simulations, using representative particle shapes, rather than using over-simplified spherically approximated particle shapes which would traditionally take months or years. This work further demonstrated the benefits of GPU-based computing in computer-aided engineering simulations. The impact of this research has been profound with almost all leading commercial software providers adopting a GPU-based DEM modelling approach for the first time over the last three years. Lastly, the GPU-powered DEM modelling has enabled Professor Wilke to pursue the development of interactive design optimization simulation frameworks for granular materials. This enables real-time interaction between the engineer and a numerical computer simulation of a physical design or granular process. Current research efforts aim at assisting the engineer to interpret the simulation results using statistical, machine and deep learning.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Daniel Wilke

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Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellent Supervision This award recognises the contribution of members of our academic staff who excel as supervisors of postgraduate research students. The award is made on the grounds of exceptional performance measured in terms of the students’ academic achievement. Evidence of excellent mentorship and guidance provided to young researchers and academic scholars is also taken into consideration.

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Professor Mike Wingfield Professor Mike Wingfield is the founding director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) and advisor to the University of Pretoria Executive. During the course of his 30 years as a university academic he has supervised a large number of postgraduate and postdoctoral fellows. During this period he has been the advisor or co-advisor of 101 doctoral students and 68 master’s students. His past graduate students have come from many different countries, including Europe, North and South America, Asia and Oceania. Upon graduation many of these students have gone on to attain substantial international recognition. A significant number of his past students now hold academic positions at the University of Pretoria and all of these younger academics hold impressive NRF ratings. He has a deep commitment to mentorship, not only in the case of students but also to young academics and believes that this is his most important role. As Director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology based at FABI, he was involved in establishing the CTHB Mentorship Programme that linked undergraduate and postgraduate students, and which has contributed to bringing talented students into the postgraduate student ranks. With his students, he pursues internationally recognised research on fungi and insects, particularly those that damage trees and tree crops.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Mike Wingfield

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Teaching Excellence Laureate Awards The Laureates are awarded to nominated projects that display teaching practices with clear purpose and intent, and which have a strong alignment between the different elements in the broader context, to address identified needs or gaps with the aim of innovating to optimise teaching and learning. These nominations show significant evidence of impact on student learning, are sustainable and can be replicated in other contexts. These projects contribute to best practice in teaching and display significant evidence of innovation that addresses the identified challenges.

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Team members: Ms Marchantia Pollock, Mr Jacobus Bezuidenhout and Mrs Elna Verster The team members are senior lecturers in the Department of Accounting in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. The team has an interest in accounting education research and a passion for the use of evidence-based approaches in the development of students’ technical knowledge alongside the development of relevant and contemporary skills that are required to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Their teaching and assessment strategies are informed by the University of Pretoria’s vision of empowering students to graduate on time and more recently to be ready for the workplace. This combination of the initiatives reflects a holistic view that values both the importance of technical knowledge development and the importance of the development of skills that enable students to thrive in their future world of work. In order to create a learning environment that embraces such a holistic view the team combines the use of technology with innovative teaching that embraces a combination of active and collaborative learning approaches. The active and collaborative learning approaches are enhanced with assessment-driven learning and an extension of the classroom into an online learning platform that is built on the premise of a blended learning environment. Innovations that have formed part of their teaching and assessment strategy include the production of over 80 videos in two languages that allowed for a flipped classroom model to be introduced in 2015. In 2016, the flipped classroom model was enhanced with online formative CBT tests that improved the viewing statistics of the videos. The ‘active’ and ‘collaborative’ elements of the strategy were designed in 2017, when the team implemented the ‘Learn Through Teaching’ collaborative project with authentic online learning opportunities which involved real company financials and the virtual attendance of students at an actual continuous professional development seminar that was hosted by SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants). The team also introduced the use of an immediate online feedback application in class during 2018, which facilitated whole class participation in class discussions and further assisted in student-directed classroom teaching. In 2018 the team expanded their learning environment by creating interactive QR code lecture structure documents, authentic assessments that mimic real-world working environments in order to assist students in developing skills that professionals in their field use on a daily basis. An online ‘tutor in my room’ platform was also created in which students could get answers to frequently asked questions and video feedback on test performance. Lastly, the team also introduced the use of an IF-AT (Immediate Feedback Assessment Tool scratch card) assessments that not only allow for collaborative learning but also assist in providing formative feedback to students during a summative assessment process. The team received Faculty excellence in teaching and learning awards and has presented its innovations at both the Flexible Futures conference hosted by the University of Pretoria in October 2018 and the South African Accounting Association’s conference held at the Nelson Mandela University in December 2018. Their climb to reach the summits of teaching excellence are far from over and in the words of Winston Churchill, ‘This is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, it might perhaps just be the end of the beginning.’

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Ms Marchantia Pollock Mr Jacobus Bezuidenhout Mrs Elna Verster

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Dr Riana Steyn Dr Riana Steyn is a lecturer in the Department of Informatics in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment, and Information Technology (EBIT). Upon re-entering the academic world after a period in industry, she quickly realised that her experience and understanding of the ‘real-world’ is what she needs to bring to the students in a practical manner, which they will understand and engage with. Her research started out focusing on entrepreneurs and how entrepreneurial skills can be enhanced to reach their full potential. She has, however, throughout her academic career, realised that she cannot separate what she wants to teach entrepreneurs from how she teaches students. The specific mindset which an entrepreneur should have, such as an appetite for risk-taking, passion, self-efficacy, pro-activeness, innovativeness and perseverance is how Dr Steyn describes her teaching style. This allows her to shape her students’ way of thinking into an entrepreneurial mindset, as this is what is required to survive in the modern world. She has thus started to create an entrepreneurial educator’s approach to using technology to educate more innovatively. Dr Steyn has come to the conclusion that academics teach in an ever-changing university landscape and student needs over the past ten years have made her realise the need to adapt her teaching approach. The adoption of technologies for learning should ultimately address the question: What does it take to learn? Dr Steyn embarked on a journey to find the best way of ensuring that what lecturers teach actually ‘sticks’. Throughout this journey she has managed to publish several papers on teaching, technology and educational techniques. The biggest focus of her research is on how she can adopt innovative teaching styles, technologies and techniques to ensure that the students, as well as entrepreneurs, remember what she needs them to remember. In August 2018, Dr Steyn started developing an interactive textbook of which the first version has been releasedfollowed by the second version. She has submitted the preliminary findings of the study and the research is currently under review. She has also acquired new software and is currently designing the third version of this textbook. Dr Steyn bases most of her research and teaching on the mind, brain and education (MBE) research power strategies designed by the Centre of Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) at St Andrew’s Episcopal School. These strategies have enabled her to focus her creative and innovative endeavours on research and to understand why it is necessary to approach educational research differently from the way it was done in the past. Dr Steyn received the following significant recognitions and/or awards in the past three years: • 2018 Association of Information Systems (AIS) Award for Innovation in Teaching • 2018 EBIT Faculty Teaching and Learning Award winner • 2019 International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) TC 3—Education South African representative.

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Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Dr Riana Steyn

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Community Engagement Award The Community Engagement Award is awarded annually to one individual to recognise community engagement as a long-standing and valued tradition in higher education and an extensive, high-impact practice in teaching at the University of Pretoria. The criteria for the award are aligned to those for the MacJannet Award, which is internationally administered by the Talloires Network.

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Dr Carin Combrinck Dr Carin Combrinck is a senior lecturer in the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology. She is the director of the honours programme as well as the Unit for Urban Citizenship. The mission of the Unit is to establish an interdisciplinary network of collaboration for the horizontal integration of interfaculty engagement with specific stakeholders, as well as the vertical alignment of curricular engagement to embed a culture of participation in graduates. Dr Combrinck’s field of research is the role of architecture in community development with an interdisciplinary view towards social innovation and urban citizenship. Her approach is shaped by her decade-long engagement with stakeholders ranging from informal settlement leadership structures to City Improvement Districts, which includes curricular engagement, participatory research and social impact. At present, she consults to the City of Tshwane’s Safety Promotion through Urban Upgrading programme, serves on the Hatfield Precinct Plan Advisory Committee, the newly formed Mamelodi Community Learning Collaborative, the Department of Higher Education and Training’s University Staff Doctoral Programme in Community Development, as well as the Moreleta Development Forum. In all of these capacities, the role of the University as an embedded social actor is promoted and supported through a scholarship of engagement. The Mamelodi Collaborative is a formal undertaking between the UP Mamelodi Campus and Rutgers University, Newark in the USA. Her research contributions to this endeavour focus on the educational ecosystem, with a specific view to the spatial conditions required for safe and secure neighbourhoods. To this end, the current cohort of honours students is engaged with Tsako Thabo High School, one of the participants in the Mamelodi Collaborative. Further to the consideration of the University’s seminal role in the Mamelodi area, work undertaken by master’s students under Dr Combrinck’s supervision has been focused on investigating and furthering the spatial implications of the UP Mamelodi Campus Anchor Strategy. In collaboration with the UP Mamelodi Campus After School Programme, a recently completed professional master’s thesis under Dr Combrinck’s supervision investigated the participation of high school learners through multiple workshops as part of a co-design process, that integrated the voice of the end-user into the development of architectural design outcomes. Through her honours studios and in collaboration with the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and the Department of Family Medicine, engagement with a network of Early Childhood Development Centres in the Mamelodi East area was undertaken. This led to several small-scale interventions and further research by the Department of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. Funded research by the NRF and the Swedish research foundation (STINT) includes collaboration with the Department of Geo-Informatics at UP and the Department for Architecture at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The project aims to develop a platform for the sharing of micro geo-spatial data that is captured as part of the honours studios at both institutions. The most significant achievements received by Dr Combrinck over the past three years include the Robert Gustav Schmikl Award for best progress in postgraduate research and the Neill Powell Neill Award for best completed postgraduate research degree in the Department of Architecture.

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Dr Carin Combrinck

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2019 NRF-rated researchers A-rated researchers B-rated researchers C-rated researchers P-rated researcher Y-rated researchers

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Academic Academic Achievers’ Achievers’ Awards Awards 2019 2019


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A-rated researchers Professor Cowan was educated at the University of Waikato (New Zealand), before accepting a lectureship at University College London (UK). In 2001, he moved to the University of the Western Cape (RSA), where he established the Institute for Microbial Ecology and Metagenomics. In 2012 he moved to the University of Pretoria as a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, and he is currently the Director of the Genomics Research Institute and the Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics. Professor Cowan’s research is in the fields of microbial ecology and microbial genomics, where he and his team use modern ‘omics’ methods to understand the diversity and function of micro-organisms in soil habitats. He has published more than 350 research papers, review articles and book chapters and is an editorial board member of 16 international journals. He has a Scopus h-index of 44.

Professor Don Cowan

Professor Cowan has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, a Member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. In 2015 he received the University of Pretoria’s highest research award, the Chancellor’s Medal. Professor Cowan received an A1 rating from the NRF.

Professor Wingfield was the founding director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) established in 1998. At the end of 2017 he stepped down from this position after 20 years at a time when the institute had gained substantial national and international recognition. He currently serves an advisor to the Executive of the University of Pretoria. His internationally recognised research is focused on insect and disease problems affecting trees established in plantations and those in natural woody ecosystems. He is particularly interested in the global pathways of movement of tree pests and in strategies to manage their negative impact. He has published widely on the topic, is included in the Clarivate list of the 6000 most highly cited scientists in the world, and has supervised more than a hundred PhD students. Professor Wingfield is currently serving a five-year term as President of the International Union of Forestry Research Organisations (IUFRO), based in Vienna, which represents more than 15 000 forest researchers globally.

Professor Mike Wingfield

He has been widely recognized for his research including receiving the Kwame Nkrumah Science Award from the African Union and being awarded honorary doctorates from the University of British Columbia (Canada) and North Carolina State University (USA). Professor Wingfield received an A1 rating from the NRF.

72 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


B-rated researchers Professor Anguelov is a full professor and head of the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. His research area is differential equations, their theoretical and numerical analysis. During the period considered for his current NRF rating, his research work was mainly on mathematical modelling in biosciences with a focus on the theoretical and numerical analysis of dynamical systems arising as mathematical models of bioprocesses. These include models in mathematical epidemiology, population dynamics, control of vectors and bioagressors with emphasis on green methods of control (sterile insect technology, mating disruption and mass male annihilation). In the course of this research, contributions were made to the relevant mathematical theories, e.g. the theory of monotone dynamical systems, the theory of piece-wise smooth continuous dynamical systems, the theory of the nonstandard finite difference method. With his work, Professor Anguelov promotes interdisciplinary collaboration in the general field of Biomathematics. He is a PI associated with the SARChI Chair M3B2. As such, he was instrumental in establishing many activities, like the Biomath Coffee and the Biomath Forum series of lectures at UP. Professor Anguelov is one of the main organisers of the international conference series BIOMATH, a guest editor of several special issues on Biomathematics in reputable journals and a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the journal BIOMATH.

Professor Roumen Anguelov

Professor Anguelov received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Auret is a professor in the Department of Physics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He lectures thermodynamics to second-year BSc students and electronic materials to MSc students in his research group. His research focuses on semiconductor materials and devices, and their applications. The semiconductors that his group investigates include silicon (Si) and germanium (Ge) that are used for high-speed computers, and compound materials like AlGaN used in the fabrication of daylight-blind ultraviolet (UV) light detectors. In particular, he investigates the defects introduced into semiconductors in fabrication processes and the influence of these defects on device quality. In his research, the radiation hardness of semiconductors and the devices fabricated based on these principles are also being investigated for device applications in space, such as UV sensors on satellites or space crafts. Professor Auret and his research group collaborate with numerous groups worldwide that perform similar or complementary research. Professor Auret served on several international conference programmes and advisory committees, including the 27th International Conference on Defects in Semiconductors 2013. He was recognised as one of UP’s Leading Minds in 2008 and has published more than 230 papers in ISI-rated journals. He has also supervised more than 40 postgraduate students.

Professor Danie Auret

Professor Auret received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Banasiak is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and the DST/NRF SARChI Chair in Mathematical Models and Methods in Biosciences and Bioengineering. His research focuses on applications of functional analysis, positivity and dynamical systems theory to nonlocal, integro-differential models in kinetic theory, mathematical biology and fragmentation-coagulation processes, dynamics of complex systems, dynamics on networks and asymptotic analysis of multiple scale problems. He has authored or co-authored six research monographs including: Analytic Methods for Coagulation-Fragmentation Models, Volumes I & II (with W Lamb and P Laurençot), CRC Press, 2019; and Singularly Perturbed Evolution Equations with Application to Kinetic Theory, World Scientific, 1995 (with JR Mika). He is the author or co-author of more than 120 refereed research papers. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Afrika Matematika (Springer), an advisory editor of Mathematical Methods for the Applied Sciences (Wiley), Associate Editor of Quaestiones Mathematicae, member of the Editorial Board of Evolution Equations and Control Theory and of the AIMS Library Series of the Cambridge University Press. Since 2010 he has been a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde. In 2017 he was made Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences.

Professor Jacek Banasiak

Professor Banasiak received a B1 rating from the NRF.

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Professor Berger is a professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and leads the Molecular Plant-Pathogen Interactions research group at the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI). He is a plant biotechnologist who conducts collaborative research on crop diseases of economic importance in Africa and globally. His research group interrogates grey leaf spot disease of maize as a model system to understand molecular mechanisms of plant host resistance and fungal pathogenicity. Genomics and data science approaches are employed to integrate and interpret field and laboratory data from maize and the pathogen. His main research aim is to develop sustainable management strategies for long-term food security. He was the recipient of the 2016 Special Award for Crop Science and Food Security from the National Science and Technology Forum and South 32. Professor Berger received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Dave Berger

Professor Boraine, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, is still on the roll of practising attorneys and an honorary member of the SA Rescue and Insolvency Practitioners Association. He is a founding member and former co-director of the UP-based Centre for Insolvency, Labour and Company Law and a member of the Insol Academics Forum, and has served as a member of the Insol Global Fellowship Programme Committee. He is also a member of the IEEI and the International Insolvency Institute. In 2011, the World Bank appointed him as a consultant in conducting a ROSC analysis of the SA insolvency system, and in 2013 he was a member of the World Bank team when it conducted a similar analysis of the Namibian system. His research interests include insolvency law, the law of civil procedure, aspects of property law and consumer law, and he is a co-author of Meskin Insolvency Law. He has taught a variety of law subjects and is involved with the practical legal training of candidate attorneys and insolvency practitioners. He published widely in his field of interest. He was the INSOL Scholar for the 2008–2009 cycle. In 2013, he served as a panellist at an UNCITRAL conference on insolvency systems for SMEs.

Professor André Boraine

Professor Boraine received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Eloff is a full professor in Computer Science and holds the DRS Chair in Cyber-security. He is also the Deputy Dean: Research and Postgraduate Studies in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria. From 2008 to 2015 he served as the Research Director for SAP Research in Africa. His contribution to research on safeguarding platforms against societal and organisational cyber threats is recognised internationally and he is a leading international scholar in the area of research on the convergence of cyber-security, big data and data science. In 2018 he published a scholarly book on software failure investigations. He has also published widely in leading international journals and is an associate editor of Computers & Security, the world’s leading journal for the advancement of cyber-security. He is the co-inventor of a number of patents registered in the USA. Professor Eloff received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Jan Eloff

74 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Els is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT), where he heads the Vehicle Dynamics Group (VDG). His research focus is on improving the dynamics of heavy vehicles driving on off-road terrains to make them safer, more efficient and comfortable. This research relies in particular on developing an in-depth understanding of the interaction between large tyres and rough terrains. The research methodology relies heavily on experimental work and the group uses world-class test equipment and software, much of which is developed in-house and is therefore unique. His research is especially relevant for key industries that drive the economy, such as transport, mining, agriculture and construction. This research forms a critical building block in the multidisciplinary research conducted on smart transportation, autonomy and the applications of the big data that drive the fourth industrial revolution. Professor Els has been elected as the International Society for Terrain-Vehicle Systems’ (ISTVS) Deputy General Secretary for Europe-Africa. He also serves as the ISTVS’ Regional Secretary for Africa, and as an editor of the Journal of Terramechanics.

Professor Schalk Els

Professor Els received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Gräbe is an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT). He holds the Chair in Railway Engineering and the Chair in Railway Safety, sponsored by Transnet Freight Rail and the Railway Safety Regulator, respectively. Professor Gräbe’s research focuses on the behaviour of railway foundation materials subjected to cyclic loading and the characterisation of track component performance and behaviour through field and laboratory experimentation. He combines his experience in track technology, soil mechanics and advanced laboratory testing for the development of novel condition monitoring techniques, maintenance models and numerical analyses of track structures. Professor Gräbe serves on the advisory board of Transnet Freight Rail’s School of Rail and is a board member of the South African Heavy Haul Association. His collaboration stretches from countries such as Ghana and Tanzania, to France, the UK and the USA. Professor Gräbe has received best paper awards from the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (Railway & Harbour Division), as well as the Jenning’s Award from SAICE (Geotechnical Division) for the Best Geotechnical Paper. During 2019 he will be delivering the 6th Stephen Marich Annual Lecture in Railway Engineering in Australia.

Professor Hannes Gräbe

Professor Gräbe received a B3 rating from the NRF.

Professor Korsten is a professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and co-director of the Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence Food Security. Professor Korsten is a plant pathologist and microbiologist by training and has specialised in fresh produce safety and quality. She mainly works in postharvest diseases in fruit and vegetables and foodborne pathogens that compromise the quality and safety of fresh produce. Her research focuses on the supply chain from production to the markets. It covers various aspects of microbial and chemical safety, sources of contamination and intervention strategies. Professor Korsten is a fellow of the Academy of Science of South Africa and chair of the International Society for Plant Pathology Task Force on Global Food Security. She is a member of the board of the Agro-Food Safety section, associate editor of Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems and editor of the journal Crop Protection. She was over the past two years the conference chair of three major international conferences on global food security, food safety for food security and postharvest pathology and is the current scientific committee member for the 4th International Conference on Global Food Security.

Professor Lise Korsten

Professor Korsten received a B2 rating from the NRF.

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Professor Landman has worked as a meteorologist for more than three decades. He served as a Chief Scientist at the South African Weather Service, and as a Chief Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, before he was appointed as Professor in Meteorology at the University of Pretoria. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in meteorology, and supervises MSc and PhD students on weather and climate modelling topics. His work focuses on the development and testing of prediction systems for subseasonal-to-seasonal and seasonal-to-interannual time scales. The National Research Foundation of South Africa, has recognised him as central to the development of operational seasonal forecasting in South Africa. His work has impacted on specific applications of seasonal forecasting such as hydrology, agriculture and health in southern Africa. He is an Adjunct Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, which is part of the Earth Institute of Columbia University in New York, USA.

Professor Willem Landman

Professor Landman received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Lubuma is Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Prior to this, he held the SARChI Chair in Mathematical Models and Methods in Bioengineering and Biosciences from 2013–2015, before which he was Head of the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics from 2004–2013. His research interests include the numerical analysis of ordinary and partial differential equations, with the emphasis on models that arise in engineering, science and life sciences, specifically the epidemiology of human infectious diseases. Professor Lubuma has published articles in many prestigious journals and has attended major conferences. He has made significant contributions to the theory of non-standard finite difference schemes and the design of several innovative numerical schemes replicating the dynamics of differential equation models that arise in applications.

Professor Jean Lubuma

Professor Lubuma has made science work in Africa. He has trained several postgraduate students and is involved in a number of regional research programmes. He established the UP Student Chapter of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, which is the first student chapter of this prestigious organisation in South Africa. His achievements include the Sign of Honour of the Bulgarian Academy of Science (2013) and the South African Mathematical Society Award for Research Distinction (2011). He is a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences and is a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. Professor Lubuma received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor McKechnie is a professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He holds the South African Research Chair in Conservation Physiology at the National Zoological Gardens, which is co-hosted by UP. His research focuses on the evolutionary physiology of birds and mammals. His current work is concerned mainly with the behaviour and thermal physiology of arid-zone birds in the context of climate change, with an emphasis on the development of mechanistic, process-based models of how desert birds are being affected by more intense and frequent heatwaves. Along with Dr Susie Cunningham of the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, Professor McKechnie leads the Hot Birds Research Project, undertaken by a team that includes researchers from three South African and several overseas universities. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and has twice been a recipient of the University of Pretoria’s Exceptional Academic Achiever Award. Professor McKechnie received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Andrew McKechnie

76 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Meyer works in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. From 2001 to 2013 he was Head of Department. His research focuses on phytochemistry in general, and more specifically on the metabolomics of secondary compounds of medicinal plants which they produce to defend themselves against pathogens and herbivores. Five patents have resulted from this work and more than 100 papers were published in ISI journals. The Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators (ESI) currently rank Professor Meyer in the top 1% of scientists in the field of pharmacology and toxicology. He has an average of 27 citations per paper and a Scopus h-index of 32. Professor Meyer plays an active role in the professional societies in his field of research and is a past president of the South African Association of Botanists. In 2017 he received the association’s Gold Medal Award for his research achievements. At the time only 14 other botanists had been recipients of this prestigious award. Professor Meyer received a B3 rating from the NRF.

Professor Marion Meyer

Professor Prinsloo is a retired professor in African languages currently on contract appointment. He is a former Head of the Department of African Languages and Chair of the School of Languages. He has received several awards as Exceptional Academic Achiever from the University of Pretoria and was recognised as one of the University of Pretoria’s Centenary Leading Minds. Professor Prinsloo served as a consultant for the Pan South African Language Board to guide dictionary compilation in the 11 National Lexicography Units in South Africa and as the linguistic manager or co-manager of several text-processing, corpus building, HLT and NLP projects for the official African languages of South Africa. He is a founding member, former president and currently vice-president of the African Association for Lexicography (Afrilex) and co-editor of the journal Lexikos. His research is focused on corpus-based African language lexicography and his current research projects include new designs for dynamic electronic dictionaries and electronic dictionary support tools. He has published more than 150 journal articles and book chapters and read 145 papers at national and international conferences. Professor Prinsloo received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Danie Prinsloo

Professor Rapoport is an extraordinary professor in the Department of Immunology, University of Pretoria. He has been working as a medical oncologist in private practice in Johannesburg since 1993. After earning his medical degree in 1978 from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, he completed an internship at Tel Aviv University in Israel. He then specialised in internal medicine at the Witwatersrand University and completed a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Pretoria where he worked as a senior consultant and senior lecturer until 1993. Professor Rapoport’s research efforts have focused on cancer supportive care (mainly febrile neutropenia and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting—CINV), breast cancer, lung cancer, malignant melanoma and more recently immuno-oncology. He has authored and co-authored various book chapters and has published more than 100 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals including Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Oncology, Journal of Global Oncology, Cancer and Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer. Professor Rapoport has delivered more than a 100 lectures at local, regional and international conferences and symposia including ASCO, ESMO, MASCC and SASMO. Professor Rapoport received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Bernardo Rapoport

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Professor Rensburg (31 January 1956 to 22 April 2019) joined the University of Pretoria in 1999 and at the time of her passing was a professor in the Communication Management Division of the Department of Business Management. She served as the Head of the Department of Marketing and Communication Management from 2000 to 2008 and as Programme Coordinator for the Division between 2014 and 2017. She was a well-respected researcher who published extensively. She has been guest editor for the International Journal of Public Affairs (2011) and Public Relations Review (2014) and served on the editorial boards of five accredited journals in the field of public relations and communication management.

Professor Ronél Rensburg (awarded posthumously)

Her areas of specialisation were communication and reputation management, strategic communication in corporate governance and international communication. She has supervised numerous postgraduate students since 2000. She was a founding member and coordinator of the Centre for Communication and Reputation Management in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. She was a past president of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) and previous board member of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management. She received her PRISA Fellowship in 2016. She was a speechwriter and trainer and wrote a regular column for Business24 that focused on communication and reputation management issues. Professor Rensburg received a B3 NRF rating from the NRF.

Professor Taylor is senior research fellow in the Department of Consumer and Food Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Professor Taylor’s life is mission is research, development and implementation work on the nutritional quality and processing of local cereal grains, namely sorghum, maize and millets. The aim is to improve food security in sub-Saharan Africa and to develop its agrofood industry. In recent years, his research has focused on developing the science and technology to replace the functionality of wheat gluten in dough-based foods. The objective is to enable the production of affordable and nutritious staple food products made from sorghum and maize. These grains are generally better adapted than wheat to cultivation in the region. A notable achievement has been the development of wheat gluten-like doughs made from the storage proteins of sorghum.

Professor John Taylor

In 2018, Professor Taylor chaired the local organising committee for the first international conference of the 21st century devoted to sorghum, which was held in Cape Town in April 2018. The conference was jointly hosted by the USAID Sorghum and Millets Innovation Lab based at Kansas State University and the University of Pretoria. Professor Taylor received a B1 rating from the NRF.

Professor Thomas is an emeritus professor in the Department of Jurisprudence, Faculty of Law. His areas of research are Roman law, Roman-Dutch law, legal history and comparative law. Prof Thomas has been an NRF-rated researcher since 2002. He is member of the Akademie für Europäisches Privatrecht in Salzburg, Austria. He is member of the Comitato Scientifico e di Referaggio Internazionale of Legal Roots, the International Journal of Roman Law, Legal History and Comparative Law, as well as a member of the Comitato Scientifico Internazionale of IURA, Rivista Internazionale di Diritto Romano e Antico. Professor Thomas received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Philip Thomas

78 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


As emeritus professor at the University of Pretoria, Rudi van Aarde directs the activities of the Conservation Ecology Research Unit (CERU) as a self-sufficient research group in the Department of Zoology and Entomology. His research focuses on the spatial structuring and dynamics of African elephant populations across southern Africa and on the determinants of the responses of coastal forest communities to ecological restoration. He is the author or co-author of 204 peer-reviewed scientific papers, 13 book chapters, 126 technical reports, 56 popular articles, and has presented his research findings on 197 occasions at national or international conferences and public forums, several of these as invited speaker or guest lecturer. Since 1991 he has supervised 67 PhD and MSc students, and 11 post-doctoral fellows completed their research under his supervision. He has been a council member of ZSSA, SAWMA and RSSAf, president of SAWMA, and has served on several conservation management committees. He regularly reviews papers for high impact factor scientific journals and frequently advises industry, government and conservation departments on conservation-related issues. The University of Pretoria has awarded him for exceptional academic achievement on four occasions, and he is a Fellow of RSSAf. He enjoys photography. Professor Van Aarde received a B2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Rudi van Aarde

Although Professor Venter’s research over the past decade has been focused mainly on digital forensic science, he is still active as an expert in information and cyber security research, in which he has been involved since 1998. He is the author or co-author of more than 220 peer-reviewed publications, has edited several published books, delivered a number of keynote addresses and acted as supervisor for more than 120 postgraduate students. Professor Venter’s research is internationally recognised and has been published in high-impact journals. The results of his research have been practically applied in the editing and publication of several international standards by ISO, for example ISO/IEC 27043—Incident investigation principles and processes—which was published in 2015 by ISO with Prof Venter as the main editor. He is currently acting as the main editor for ISO/IEC 27035-3—Guidelines for incident response operations—and for several new international standards. His research over the past five years alone has earned him an h-index of 21 with a total index of 22 and in 2018 he published a record number of nine articles in journals—the most articles by him ever published in journals in one year. In 2018 he also acted as supervisor for a record number of 11 postgraduate students receiving their degrees, of which five completed their honours, four their master’s and two their doctoral studies.

Professor Hein Venter

Professor Venter received a B3 rating from the NRF.

Professor Viljoen is professor in the Faculty of Law and Director of the Centre for Human Rights. He is the programme director of the Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation Africa (HRDA), hosted by the Centre and presented together with 12 partner universities across Africa, as part of the European Union-supported Global Campus of Human Rights. His research area is international human rights law, including the rights of sexual minorities, with a focus on the African regional human rights system. He has published widely on international human rights law, including International human rights law in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2012). He is editor-in-chief of the African Human Rights Law Journal, the African Human Rights Yearbook and the Global Campus Human Rights Journal. He has been involved with advocacy campaigns and litigation before South African courts, the African Union human rights bodies, including in respect of South Africa’s attempted withdrawal from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. He collaborated with partners to develop a research agenda related to comparative regional human rights regimes; and to assess the impact of regional and UN human rights treaties at the domestic level. Thirty-three doctoral students graduated under his  supervision.

Professor Frans Viljoen

Professor Viljoen received a B2 rating from the NRF.

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C-rated researchers Professor Apostolides is an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and Head of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Group. His research is based on improving the quality and yield of black tea produced from Camellia sinensis in Africa and the health properties of green and black tea. This research has expanded to medicinal plants, especially Pelargonium sidoides from which the LinctagonÂŽ range of products is made. He uses computer modelling, target fishing and network pharmacology to predict which human enzymes the plant products may act on as agonists or antagonists, thereby helping to treat non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes. He has supervised and co-supervised MSc and PhD students from tea producing countries in Africa, and been part of the organizing committee for international tea conferences in China and Japan. He has co-authored a book on tea breeding, contributed two chapters in medicinal plant books, holds two tea-related patents and published 47 peer-reviewed papers.

Professor Zeno Apostolides

His current interests are in metabolomics for discovering biomarkers for drought and disease tolerance in plants and understanding the biochemical mechanisms of these important phenotypic traits. He currently has an ORCID h-index of 14. Professor Apostolides received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Archer is an associate professor of Geography and Environmental Science in the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. She works closely with the Centre for Environmental Studies (CFES). Her research focus is on drylands throughout the SADC region and the African continent. She has a particular interest in sustainable agriculture, climate variability and climate change, and she specialises in sustainable rangelands. She has served as co-chair for the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Africa Assessment, as a coordinating lead author (CLA) on the Forests and Water Assessment of the Global Forestry Expert Panels (GFEP), and is currently a Climate Change Channel Editor for PLOS. In 2018 she was made a Fellow of the Global Land Programme. Professor Archer received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Emma Archer

Professor Banda is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics of the Natural and Agricultural Sciences (NAS) faculty. His research focus is mainly on mathematical flow modelling as well as numerical simulation, optimization and control of flow models. Methods of mathematical analysis, scientific computing, asymptotic analysis and optimal control theory of hyperbolic partial differential equations are employed. His recent research has focused on natural gas flow in networked pipelines in which the mathematical well-posedness for the flow models was established. Extensions were also made to include optimal control, accurate internal boundary conditions at the network junctions and boundary stabilisation of such flow models.

Professor Mapundi Banda

His other research interests include gas kinetic theory, reactive flow modelling especially in environmental flow modelling such as the simulation of acid mine drainage, inverse problems associated with diffusion problems, numerical optimal control in robotics, multiphysics problems with applications in radiative hydrodynamics as well as fluidstructure-interaction. Professor Banda received a C1 rating from the NRF.

80 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Beckmann is an emeritus professor in the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies, Faculty of Education. His areas of research are education law, education policy, human rights and education, leadership development in education, project management in education, standards for the principalship, a professional doctorate in education leadership and management, and religion and education. He was recently invited to join the formation of an international study group for the development of educational leadership comprising Beijing Normal University, the University of Helsinki and the University of Pretoria. He was also invited to participate in a training course for school principals which will be held under the auspices of the South African Teachers Union (Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie) later this year. Lastly, Professor Beckmann has also been invited to contribute two book chapters for a monograph which will be published by EduHRight (North-West University). Professor Beckmann received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Johan Beckmann

Dr Bekker is a professor and the current Head of the Department of Statistics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. She has been serving in this capacity since 2012. Her expertise lies in statistical distribution theory and comprises the study, development and expansion of distributions, and the addressing of parametric statistical inferential aspects within the classical and the Bayesian framework. She is the academic research leader of the Statistical Theory and Applied Statistics focus area in the Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation (DST-NRF) Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. She is also an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and serves on several national and international, educational and academic research boards. Dr Bekker has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers in fundamental statistical research. She contributes significantly to the human capacity development of Southern Africa through the multitude of students for whom she acts as supervisor and mentor in Statistics. Dr Bekker received a C1 rating from the NRF.

Dr AndriĂŤtte Bekker

Professor Botha is a professor in the Department of Ancient and Modern Languages and Cultures in the Faculty of Humanities. His areas of research are Semitic poetic texts, notably the book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the Madrashe (poetic liturgical compositions) of the early Syriac-speaking Christian Church (fourth century of the Common Era). Professor Botha received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Phil Botha

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Dr Chude-Okonkwo received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in 2010. Subsequently, from 2011 until 2014, he held a post as senior lecturer in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the same university. He is currently a senior research fellow in the Department of Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering at the University of Pretoria. His current research interests include molecular communication applied to advanced health care delivery, signal processing, wireless sensor networks, wireless communication and systems biology. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). He has published more than 70 scientific articles. Dr Chude-Okonkwo received a C3 rating from the NRF.

Dr Uche Chude-Okonkwo

Professor Delport started her career as an intensive care nurse specialising in cardiothoracic surgery. Her interest in research and education led to further study in Physiology (MSc), Chemical Pathology (PhD) and Computer-assisted Education (MEd) while employed in the Department of Chemical Pathology. She also served as education adviser to the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences for six years, during which time she continued to publish articles in medical journals. She is an established researcher who has published 86 papers in high-impact peer-reviewed journals and 124 conference papers. In 2019 she had an h-index of 22 and 2 910 citations (Scopus, 2019 – orcid. org/0000-0002-6274-0923). She is the principal investigator for the project ‘Employing ICT within a structured referral model to optimise management of STEMI in SA’, for which she has received funding for 2017–2019 as an unrated scientist.

Professor Rhena Delport

She currently leads a national educational initiative for health workers to improve patient outcome following myocardial infarction through the development of systems of care, and is a member of an international working group that aims to develop a globally applicable blueprint for the management of heart attacks. She is also a member of an international working group that advises on the assessment of medical professionalism. In 2016 she received recognition for teaching excellence from the Faculty of Health Sciences. Professor Delport received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Donoghue is a senior lecturer who teaches research methodology and consumer behaviour in the Department of Consumer and Food Sciences in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. She obtained a PhD degree in Consumer Science from UP in 2008. Her research focuses on consumer behaviour and wellbeing, in particular on consumer cognitions, emotions and behaviour following product or service failures. She is interested in ethics and methodological issues in consumer research, customer satisfaction, consumer psychology and consumer protection. Dr Donoghue has supervised or co-supervised eight master’s students who graduated between 2010 and 2018. Currently she supervises or co-supervises six master’s students and acts as co-supervisor for two PhD students.

Dr Suné Donoghue

Dr Donoghue has published several articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference proceedings, and has presented research papers at national and international conferences. She was also co-author of a paper on consumers’ perceptions of the complexity of selected household purchase decisions, which was awarded Elsevier’s Most Innovative Paper Award at the 2013 European Institute of Retailing and Services Studies Conference in Philadelphia, USA. Between 2013 and 2018 she held a Y2 NRF rating. She was appointed as ethics administrator for the Natural and Agricultural Sciences Ethics Committee (Human Participants) in January 2018. Dr Donoghue received a C3 rating from the NRF.

82 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Douglas is an associate professor in the division Tourism Management, Department of Marketing Management in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. The focus of her research is on business and corporate travel management. Her research has made a significant contribution to building a body of knowledge on corporate and business travel management and in establishing it as a scientific field. In her research, she highlights the importance of this market segment, and shows that it cannot be approached in the same way as leisure travel. She has published in leading international tourism journals. She is a member of various industry and academic associations, both locally and internationally. She has also been part of several funded research projects, involving international research partners from Australia, Finland and Austria. She is currently the principal investigator of a collaborative interdisciplinary research project, involving seven academics from two international universities (Edith Cowan and Murdoch Universities in Australia) and two local universities (North-West University and the University of South Africa) examining the link between environmental management and responsible tourism. As part of this project, she also investigates the environmentally responsible behaviour of corporate and business travellers compared to that of leisure travellers.

Professor Anneli Douglas

Professor Douglas received a C3 rating from the NRF.

Professor Dreyer is an associate professor and currently acting Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences. She leads the Gynaecologic Oncology Unit and Woman’s Cancer Research Group locally, and the HPV Cervical Cancer Research Fund nationally. She was always interested in the development and prevention of cancer, inherited cancer risk and BRCA-gene mutations presented a first opportunity and introduction to cancer genetics. After completing a PhD in cellular genetic carcinogenesis, her research focus moved to viral oncogenesis and the epidemiology of HPV and HIV mediated cancers. After forming a multicentric South African research group, Professor Dreyer started population-based cancer prevention trials. The aim was to study new technologies to prevent female lower genital cancers in South Africa, as an example of a developing nation. In recent years, HPV-vaccination and a variety of molecular screening tests and triage strategies were researched. She also remains interested in all aspects of gynaecological cancer surgery and devotes time to the training of sub-specialists from South Africa and abroad in radical and ultra-radical pelvic surgery.

Professor Greta Dreyer

Professor Dreyer recently received the CANSA Prize as Researcher of the Year and the Discovery Health Rural Award. She was also visiting Professor in Vellore, India in 2017 and will be going again this year. Professor Dreyer received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Dreyer is a senior lecturer in Historical Theology in the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, and a Hardenberg Fellow of the Johannes à Lasco Institute, Germany. He completed doctoral studies in practical theology, as well as church history and church polity. He is responsible for several undergraduate modules in which patristic, reformation and modern church history and theology are taught. Dr Dreyer started a research project ‘Church and Justice’. The main focus is the contribution of reformed theology to social, economic and political justice in different contexts. This includes research on theologians such as Augustine, Calvin and Barth, and their views on church and state, justice and social responsibility. It also explores the contribution that reformed theology and churches could make in promoting fundamental values such as justice and human dignity on the African continent, and specifically in South Africa. Dr Dreyer is the author of two monographs, seven book chapters, 33 articles in theological journals, as well as more than a hundred articles in various newspapers and magazines. Dr Dreyer received a C3 rating from the NRF.

Dr Wim Dreyer

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Dr Dumont is research visitor in the department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics in the Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, and Research Director in CIRAD (Umr AMAP, Montpellier, France). He is a Principal Investigator associated with the SARChI Chair M3B2. His field of research is applied mathematics, with main applications in agronomy, biology and ecology. Over the past few years he has focused in the development and study of mathematical models related to pest and vector control, crop protection, savannah-forest interactions and epidemiology, with strong partnerships with Southern countries. Most of his work has been done within the framework of interdisciplinary projects, combining field experiments and mathematical modelling. His research has made relevant contributions in the theory of monotone dynamical systems, the theory of impulsive differential equations, and the theory of nonstandard finite difference schemes.

Dr Yves Dumont

He has supervised and/or co-supervised several PhD theses in France, Cameroon and South Africa. He has published one book and more than 60 articles in peer reviewed journals and conferences on topics ranging from computational mechanics to mathematical biology. Dr Dumont has been a guest editor of several special issues on biomathematics in reputable journals (Ecological Modeling, Computers and Mathematics with Applications). He is also a co-founder and member of the editorial board of the journal BIOMATH. Dr Dumont received a C1 rating from the NRF.

Professor Du Plessis is professor in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology. His primary responsibility has been the establishment of a group focused on electronic warfare (EW) by developing new postgraduate courses and initiating relevant research. While EW may sound dangerous and secretive, it actually just deals with electromagnetic signals like radio waves, infrared signals, and light. His work to date has focussed primarily on cross-eye jamming and techniques to reduce the vast quantities of data generated by such systems. He is a registered Professional Engineer (Pr.Eng.), a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a Lifetime Member of the Association of Old Crows (AOC), and a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). He is a member of the AOC International Advisory Committee and a member of the Board of the AOC Aardvark Roost (the South African chapter). He is author of over 50 journal and conference papers and is lead or sole author of more than half of these. His many academic awards include the Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s Medal.

Professor Warren du Plessis

Professor Du Plessis received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Duvenhage is an associate professor in the Department of Physics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He works on mathematical aspects of quantum dynamics, particularly in relation to ergodic theory and statistical mechanics. The goal of his research is to gain a better understanding of the long-term behaviour of quantum dynamical systems. The broad mathematical framework for this work is an area known as operator algebra, but the research involves a number of different ideas from both mathematics and physics, including harmonic analysis, differential equations, non-commutative geometry, open systems, non-equilibrium systems and entanglement. The interplay between physics and mathematics is one of the main reasons research in this field is interesting and challenging. Professor Duvenhage received a C1 rating from the NRF.

Professor Rocco Duvenhage

84 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Dr Ebenhan is a Research Fellow at the Department of Nuclear Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences. He manages the one-of-a-kind research laboratory for preclinical molecular and nuclear imaging, including non-invasive 3-dimentional imaging of rodent animal models. His core research includes fundamental and bench-to-bedside research of infectious diseases, and the imaging of tuberculosis in particular. He focuses on understanding mycobacterial manifestation and resistance to treatment using molecular imaging techniques. He also became an expert in developing new, more customised imaging agents that may lead to more efficient and disease-selective imaging. In addition, he co-investigates several projects aimed at establishing radioendotherapy, a new type of treatment for terminally-ill patients suffering from prostate cancer. In the past years he has been rewarded with prestige prizes, such as the award for the winning paper of social interest by the Medical Olympiad Association. He also received a feature in the SNMMI smartbrief for his publication in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. In 2016 Dr Ebenhan’s research was featured in the University of Pretoria annual report and he received two international poster prizes. He is currently nominated for the national NSTF research award for emerging researchers. He has successfully supervised 17 MSc, PhD and postdoctoral candidates.

Dr Thomas Ebenhan

Dr Ebenhan received a C1 rating from the NRF.

Professor Evans is a professor in the Faculty of Education where she facilitates modules related to English language teaching, as well as instructional design and communication. Her current research seeks to establish the nature of Classroom English, namely the discourse used by teachers when managing learner behaviour and facilitating content during classroom interactions. Although at present the majority of prospective teachers are not English mother tongue speakers, it is assumed that since they speak English socially with reasonable fluency, they will be able to use it as a language of instruction. However, a mismatch exists between these expectations and reality. Since complex cognitive processes take place when teachers expound content and learners grapple with mastering it, learning is ultimately hindered by instructional dissonance and ineffective communication skills. The envisaged outcome of this project is a framework to develop the linguistic proficiency and confidence of pre-service teachers who are required to teach using English. Her scholarly book, Complex classroom encounters – A South African perspective was published with a Canadian counterpart and she has received several awards, amongst others the Dean’s Award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teacher Education. She presently serves as the national chair of the South African Association for Language Teaching.

Professor Rinelle Evans

Professor Evans received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Fraser was professor in the Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Faculty of Education, from 1997 until his retirement in 2014. As emeritus professor he was again appointed on a contract basis in the same department. Prof Fraser had a BSc in Biological Sciences and obtained his doctoral degree in Didactics. He was Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (CBIOL, FRSB), member of the Education Association of South Africa, member of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, member of the Royal Society of South African (2002 to 2017) and a member of the European Research in the Didactics of Biology. He supervised 71 master’s and doctoral students. He authored 42 chapters in academic publications and wrote articles in peer reviewed and accredited publications. Professor Fraser delivered keynote addresses worldwide at conferences and congresses. He was a referee and examined dissertations and theses for the universities of South Africa, the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, North-West, Free State and Stellenbosch. He reviewed articles for most national education journals in South Africa, the Turkish Online Journal for Distance Education, the International Journal of Instruction and the International Journal of Biological Education.

Professor William Fraser (awarded posthumously)

In 2016 and 2017, his research outputs included four published accredited articles and two book chapters. Professor Fraser received a C2 rating from the NRF.

85


Dr Geyser-Fouché is a senior lecturer in the Department of Old Testament Studies in the Faculty of Theology. Her main area of interest is Second Temple literature, narrowed down to Qumran texts. To date her research has focused on postmodern and postcolonial epistemologies, conceptualised in terms of her ‘woman’s knowing’, and she consciously explores/exposes matters such as power abuse and marginalisation, as well as ecological issues. With regard to the power behind texts, her research is concerned specifically with the use of exclusive language as a tool to empower and disempower. She also researches the polemic nature of Old Testament and other Judaic texts. In the past, South African scholars generally tended to neglect the study of Qumran texts. In 2015, Dr Geyser-Fouché organised a Qumran Conference at the University of Pretoria, and in 2016 the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) linked the Qumran Conference to their conference held in Stellenbosch. In 2016, the high quality papers that had been presented at the 2015 conference were published as a special collection of the mega-journal HTS Theological Studies. Dr Geyser-Fouché acted as the sub-editor for this collection. She currently has an h-index of 10.

Dr Ananda Geyser-Fouché

Dr Geyser-Fouché received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Gitau is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology. He has been the head of the Power Electronics and Electric Drives Research group, a subgroup within the Power Research group, since 1998 and was appointed to lead the Power Research group from the beginning of February 2019. His research interests are in the broad area of power electronics. Specific research activities include the application of power electronics in renewable energy systems, converter analysis and small-signal modelling, conducted electromagnetic noise generation and propagation modelling, and mitigation techniques in DC-DC converters and electric drives. Professor Gitau received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Michael Gitau

Professor Gray is emeritus professor in the Department of English. Her primary accomplishment is the completion of a monograph, pending publication by Bloomsbury Academic Publishers, London, UK, with a Foreword by Ben Okri. Comprising twenty essays, it is titled, The Tough Alchemy of Ben Okri: The Writer as Conceptual Artist. She presented nine papers on the Okrian oeuvre in the past three years at International Conferences around the world, seven of which have been published in accredited journals or as book chapters. Three articles will be published in accredited journals this year and one – “Sublime Transformative Paremiology in Ben Okri’s A Way of Being Free (1997)” – was sourced by the World Foundation for Phenomenology and Research at Harvard University in Boston, USA, for a prestigious book listed on both Web of Science and SCOPUS, on Literary Aesthetics. She won the English Academy’s Gold Medal for distinguished service to English over a lifetime; in 2016 was invited by the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy, to give a key note address on “Perspectives of South African Literature”. She is Managing Editor of The English Academy Review: Journal of English Studies; serves on three Editorial Committees; and is external examiner at UKZN.

Professor Rosemary Gray

86 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019

Professor Gray received a C2 rating from the NRF.


Professor Jacobsz is an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering. He completed his PhD degree at the University of Cambridge, after which he followed a career in industry before joining the University of Pretoria in 2010. His field of specialisation is geotechnical engineering, in particular unsaturated soil mechanics. In 2011 he successfully co-applied for NRF funding to establish a geotechnical centrifuge laboratory at the University of Pretoria. His primary interest involves the physical modelling of geotechnical problems and the study of cavity propagation resulting in sinkhole formation – a threat affecting 25% of Gauteng, which is underlain by dolomite bedrock. He aims to develop improved guidelines for the determination of probable sinkhole sizes. His achievements in the field of unsaturated soil mechanics include the development of low-cost, high-capacity tensiometers capable of measuring pore water suctions in soil exceeding a megapascal, and the filing of a patent for the application of fibre-optic strain measurement as a means of leak detection on pipelines. Further activities involve international collaborations with Cambridge and Durham Universities to develop guidelines for designing wind turbine foundations for construction on expansive soils and a collaboration with the University of Western Australia to study cave mining by using physical modelling in the centrifuge.

Professor Schalk Willem Jacobsz

Professor Jacobsz received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Jami completed her bachelor and master’s degree in Plant Pathology in Iran and her PhD at the University of Pretoria. She is currently a senior postdoctoral research fellow in the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) and her research is strongly focused on the characterisation of plant pathogenic fungi and the research goals of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP). Dr Jami regularly participates in international scientific meetings and has published 26 research papers in international peer-reviewed journals. She has an h-index of 10. Dr Jami received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Fahimeh Jami

Dr Jooste is a senior lecturer and researcher in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Pretoria. Her research interests are special functions and orthogonal polynomials. In 2016 she received a scholarship from the TWAS-DFG (The World Academy of Sciences—Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) Cooperation Visits Programme to visit the University of Kassel, where she started her research collaboration has with Professor Wolfram Koepf, a specialist in computer algebra. To date, this collaboration resulted in the publication of various research articles in peer-reviewed journals. In 2019 she was granted a UP staff exchange bursary to visit the University of Kassel for another three month period, in order to extend this joint programme, where computer algebraic methods are used to obtain results in the field of orthogonal polynomials and special functions. Dr Jooste received a C3 rating from the NRF.

Dr Alta Jooste

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Professor Joubert, who is currently the Head of the Department of Physiology, studied at the University of Pretoria, where she majored in Chemistry and Biochemistry. After completing her PhD degree in Biochemistry (UP) she embarked on a research career in molecular and cellular cancer physiology. Her research focuses on a) the in silico design of potential anticancer agents; b) the chemical synthesis thereof in liaison with a pharmaceutical company; and c) the evaluation of these agents with a view to improving anticancer treatment.

Professor Annie Joubert

She has published 100 peer-reviewed articles in accredited international scientific journals and collaborates with industry and with the following institutions: University of Oxford (UK), University of Bath (UK), University of Florida (USA), Baylor College of Medicine (USA), CRI INSERM (France), Joseph Fourier University (France) and SABANCI University (Turkey). Prof Joubert has received several awards, namely the Albert Beyers Travelling Fellowship, William Dunn School of Pathology (University of Oxford, UK), the Exceptional Young Researchers Award (University of Pretoria) and the AG Oettle Silver Medal, which is the Cancer Association’s highest award for a South African researcher who has made a significant contribution to the fight against cancer. Professor Joubert received a C1 rating from the NRF.

Dr Keith is a senior lecturer with the Mammal Research Institute in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. His research interests are broad, but his work focuses mainly on the ecology of small and medium mammals. His work includes investigating the effects of land use and management effects on species and mammal communities. His most recent work studies the potential of using ecological rodent-based management in agricultural landscapes, as well as drivers of bat assemblages in the savannah and grassland biome. Research from his postgraduate students include the study of ungulates and carnivores, as well as reintroduced lion and elephant populations. Dr Keith received a C3 rating from the NRF.

Dr Mark Keith

Professor Kgatla is an emeritus professor in the Department of Religion Studies in the Faculty of Theology and Religion. He holds doctoral degrees in Missiology (Mission Studies) and Religious Studies from the University of South Africa. His research focuses on socio-political and religious praxis in South Africa, specifically on the role Churches can play in shaping the moral consciousness of society, as reflected in the academic papers and chapters in books he has published. In A Wild Donkey Has No Bands, a book recently written by him, he proposes the introduction of the use of the autobiography as a qualitative method in the social sciences.

Professor Thias Kgatla

His research spans various disciplines, which include pastoral theology, social anthropology and sociology. Through his research he aims to contribute relevant information to policy makers, as well as to the churches that should guard over the moral fibre of society. His academic leadership was evident when he led an international interdisciplinary research project on the exploration of witchcraft killings in Limpopo under the auspices of The South Africa-Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development. He has acted as supervisor for national and international students completing MTh, MA and PhD degrees. Professor Kgatla received a C2 rating from the NRF. .

88 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Koch is a professor of economics and Head of the Department of Economics. As an applied microeconomist he addresses issues of policy relevance with a specific focus on African households and household behaviour. His research considers health, energy and environmentally-focused policy questions. Professor Koch and his colleagues have devoted much time to examining health and healthcare. Research in this area includes: the potential effects of a mandatory contribution to the national health insurance fund and the implications thereof for household budgets and budget allocations; the effect of user-fee abolition and other policy revisions on healthcare-seeking behaviour; and lastly, inequality in access to and financing of healthcare, including gender dimensions of inequality and drivers of change in gendered health inequality. Professor Koch and his colleagues have also addressed productivity and profitability within the private healthcare sector, along with contraceptive use and fertility. They have addressed the impact of community forestry on household welfare, as well as the availability of better cookstoves and the adoption of that technology. Although not specifically aimed at the possible health benefits, the latter was driven by the understanding that a protected environment and less polluted dwelling promote good health.

Professor Steve Koch

Professor Koch received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Kok, who joined the University of Pretoria as a senior lecturer on 1 June 1999, is currently an associate professor in the Department of Jurisprudence in the Faculty of Law. While he served as the deputy dean of the Faculty of Law from 2010 to June 2018, the Faculty was recognised by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as the highest-ranked law faculty in Africa and it was one of only three law faculties to receive unconditional re-accreditation for their LLB degrees from the Council on Higher Education. In 2016 the UP Executive appointed Professor Kok as the coordinator of transformation initiatives dealing with language, curriculum and institutional and residential culture. His main research interests are equality legislation, human rights and legal education, and his research is currently focused on the impact of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 on societal transformation in South Africa, and how this Act may be utilised to address unfair discrimination, hate speech and harassment. He is an active member of the Berkeley Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group. Professor Kok received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Anton Kok

Professor Krüger is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences. She is jointly appointed by the Gauteng Department of Health as a Head of Clinical Unit at Weskoppies Hospital, and has worked as a psychiatrist in the SA public health sector for 22 years. Her professional activities include rendering in-patient psychiatric services for adult patients with disorders of mood, anxiety, trauma and personality, professional training of psychiatrists and medical students, and research. Her specific portfolio is coordinator of research in the Department of Psychiatry and she chairs the departmental Research Committee. Her psychiatric practice drives her research on the factors that cause different dissociative pathologies in South Africa. Dissociation is a protective psychological process for managing overwhelming traumatic emotions and experiences. When dissociation is severe, it may manifest as dissociative identity disorder (previously called multiple personality disorder) or possession experiences. Having served on the Board and several committees of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) over many years, Prof Krüger is also a Fellow of the ISSTD and recently received the ISSTD Pierre Janet Writing Award and the ISSTD President’s Award of Distinction. In 2018 Prof Krüger was elected as President Elect, President and Immediate Past President of the ISSTD for 2019 to 2021.

Professor Christa Krüger

Professor Krüger received a C2 rating from the NRF.

89


Professor Lall has been placed in the Essential Science Indicators list of the top 1% of publication outputs (citations) in the discipline Pharmacology and Toxicology. She has been appointed as an adjunct Professor at the School of Natural Resources University of Missouri, USA (Dept is 1 of the top 15 in the world), at JSS college of Pharmacy India and as a Senior Research fellow at the Bio-Tech R&D Institute, Jamaica. She has international recognition for her research into the potential of medicinal plants for pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical purposes. One pharmaceutical product for skin-hyperpigmentation has been commercialised internationally and nationally. Another twelve Pharmaceutical prototypes are close to commercialisation. She has published 130 research articles, 15 patents, 24 book chapters and her H-index is 34 (and RG score is over 38 (Top 5%). A book edited by her on medicinal plants has recently been published by Elsevier.

Professor Namrita Lall

Some of her awards are The Order of Mapungubwe, South Africa’s highest honour (2014), UNESCO-L’Oreal Award for Women in Science (one of the 10 candidates internationally, 2002) and Biotech Fundi Lifetime Contribution Award by GDARD and Innovation Hub (2017). She has been awarded National Research Chair in Plant Health Products from IKS, by the NRF/DST in 2016. Professor Lall received a C1 rating from the NRF.

Professor Maré is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics and the head of Absolute Return Investments at Absa Asset Management. His research focuses on the mathematical modelling of the financial markets and financial risk management. This includes the modelling of so-called derivative securities and the analysis of their pricing, hedging and risk management. Asset management is one of the key areas being considered and in one particular area the focus is on models of retirement savings and investments. Professor Maré received a C3 rating from the NRF.

Professor Eben Maré

Professor Markotter is the Director of the Centre for Viral Zoonoses in the Department of Medical Virology in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ School of Medicine. Since January 2016, she has also held a DST-NRF South African Research Chair in Infectious Diseases of Animals (Zoonoses). In her research, which focuses on zoonotic viruses associated with small mammals, she follows an interdisciplinary approach that includes ecological and environmental factors that may influence spillover. The results obtained have significantly contributed to the knowledge and understanding of zoonotic infectious diseases associated with bats in Southern Africa. This has resulted in the consideration and initiation of preventative measures and the enhancement of public awareness of bats and bat-related diseases.

Professor Wanda Markotter

90 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019

Her research outputs include more than 50 peer-reviewed research papers and several chapters in books. National and international recognition of her research is reflected in the interest shown in her work by researchers from around the world and the prominent international grants awarded to her. In 2014, she received a NSTF-BHP Billiton Emerging Researcher Award and a University of Pretoria Young Academic Achievers Award. Professor Markotter received a C1 rating from the NRF.


Professor Matthee is an associate professor at the Department of Informatics. Her research generally focuses on developing and evaluating thinking skills, such as critical thinking, computational thinking, problem solving and design thinking, which are required in an information technology determined society. These skills are needed in learning environments, organisations and by individual users in the 21st century. For that reason, topics such as privacy, cyber safety, fake news and user experience are included in her research. She is part of a research team who was awarded a SoTL (Peer Enhanced Scholarship for Teaching and Learning) grant for 2018 to 2020 to investigate the effectiveness of a course in critical thinking, problem-solving and design-thinking for students of Information Systems. Professor Matthee received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Machdel Matthee

Professor McCrindle is a practicing veterinarian and an emeritus professor associated with the Department of Research Support and Innovation, as well as the Faculties of Health Sciences and Veterinary Science. Between 2000 and 2012 she developed under- and postgraduate online modules in Veterinary Public Health and Veterinary Extension and Communication. She also wrote all the Unisa modules in Veterinary Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as contributing to chapters in books. Her research findings have also been published as proceedings from international conferences and workshops, and as web-based modules. In 2004, she was nominated for the Distinguished Woman Scientist Award of the National Department of Science and Technology and in 2006 she was the recipient of the Shoprite/Checkers Woman of the Year in Education Award. In the same year, she was invited by the Department of Science and Technology and the British Council, to participate in the South Africa Day celebrations in London. She has been a part-time journalist for more than 40 years and is a columnist for the Farmer’s Weekly. Since 2012 she has assisted academics and students at the Department of Research Support and Innovation to ensure the use of correct grammar and layout, and the logical flow of protocols, dissertations, theses and peer-reviewed publications. She still rides quarter horses at competitive level in South Africa and Internationally.

Professor Cheryl McCrindle

Professor McCrindle received a C3 rating from the NRF.

Professsor Meyer was appointed as a student medical technologist in the Department of Immunology, University of Pretoria in 1989. He was awarded the Diploma in Medical Technology in Immunology in 1991, a National Higher Diploma in 1995, a Masters in Biomedical Technology in 2005 (Tshwane University of Technology) and a PhD in Medical Immunology, Circulating Autoantibodies, Acute Phase Reactants, and Cytokines in Relation to HLA Genotype and Disease Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis, from the University of Pretoria in 2011. He has progressed from medical technologist to laboratory manager, medical scientist and is currently an associate professor and Head of Department. He has an interest in data analysis, bioinformatics and quality assurance. He has served as a reviewer for national and international peer review journals and grants. His present research interest centres on novel biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis to identify disease severity, progression and treatment efficacy. The Department of Immunology has two state-ofthe-art research institutes residing under it. The Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine (ICMM) falls under the directorship of Professor Michael Pepper and the Centre for Neuroendocrinology (CNE) is led by Professor Bob Millar.

Professor Pieter Meyer

Professor Meyer received a C3 rating from the NRF.

91


Dr Naudé is a manager of the chromatography-mass spectrometry laboratory in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. The laboratory houses state-of-the-art analytical equipment. Her research is in the area of analytical chemistry, specifically chromatography-mass spectrometry. She develops novel, low cost, disposable or re-usable, portable samplers to address environmental, medical, agricultural and veterinary concerns of both African and international relevance. These sorptive samplers, made in-house of silicone rubber, are suitable for use with regular equipment available in any chromatography laboratory, making it ideal for resource-poor laboratories. These samplers are equally suitable for high-end laboratories. An exciting application is the non-invasive collection of skin volatiles (human and animal) in the fields of malaria, tuberculosis and pest control. Other applications include the study of pollution in the environment such as emerging pollutants and endocrine disrupting chemicals (for example the insecticide DDT), as well as the study of aroma, particularly synergism.

Dr Yvette Naudé

Her research is featured in a film commissioned by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany. Dr Naudé received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Nöthling is a professor in the Department of Production Animal Studies whose research covers a variety of topics. His main ongoing research theme is reproduction in dogs. After initially focusing on the effects of sperm dose, method and time of insemination on fertility achieved with frozen-thawed spermatozoa, he later conducted research on methods of improving the effectiveness of performing elective caesarean sections on bitches. This theme yielded 29 articles, and three master’s and two PhD students who had conducted related research graduated under his supervision. He is currently acting as supervisor for another master’s student. Another theme is wildlife research, which yielded 10 articles on various topics. Five of these articles dealt with the ovarian reserve in the African elephant and emanated from research undertaken by a PhD student who he supervised, while another drew on the work of a master’s student who he co-supervised and which dealt with reproduction in the African wild dog. A third theme, reproduction in bulls, yielded six articles.

Professor Johan Nöthling

He also leads the research on an emerging theme, which involves using Nile crocodile eggs to assess reproduction in that species. One master’s student who conducted research on this theme has already graduated under his supervision and he is currently supervising a PhD student. One article on this topic has been accepted for publication, two are under review and two are being prepared. His research started in 1988 and has so far yielded 49 papers published in accredited journals, 489 citations and an h-index of 13. Professor Nöthling received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Oberholzer is an associate professor in the Department of Anatomy. Her research focuses on two types of toxicity—the safety of weight-loss products and the effects of chronic exposure to heavy metals. Obesity is an epidemic in South Africa. As a result, many people use over-the-counter weight-loss products without knowing what the medication contains or what the adverse effects associated with its use are. Her second interest stems from the fact that although the acute effects of excessive heavy metal exposure have been well described, little is known about the effect of long-term exposure to sub-toxic levels or the exposure to combinations of metals. The effects of toxicity are often not identified using standard blood testing and therefore Professor Oberholzer has developed animal models of toxicity in order to study the toxic effects using histological techniques and electron microscopy allowing early structural and functional alterations to cells and tissues to be identified in the major organs and the coagulation system of the body.

Professor Nanette Oberholzer

The NRF contributed to the funding of Professor Oberholzer’s research in the form of Incentive Funding and as part of the Competitive Programme for Rated Researchers. Professor Oberholzer received a C2 rating from the NRF.

92 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Dr Pilcher is a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural sciences. She is an organic chemist and her research focuses on organic synthesis to solve biological problems. Dr Pilcher, in collaboration with Professor Jan Verschoor, has contributed to developing TB diagnostics based on mycolic acids. She also collaborates with Dr Mohammed Balogun on nanotechnology and organic synthesis to improve existing TB, HIV and Malaria drugs. Dr Pilcher is currently pursuing mechanistic studies on purine compounds to explain the role of adenine in kinase reaction mechanisms. In addition to her interest in proposing mechanisms to explain organic reactions, Dr Pilcher also has a keen interest in igniting research curiosity in undergraduate students. In 2014 she was awarded the University of Pretoria Laureate award for Teaching Excellence. Dr Pilcher is also the recipient of the 2017 South African Chemical Institute Chemical Education Medal. Dr Pilcher received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Lynne Pilcher

Professor Pretorius is a professor in the Department of Engineering and Technology Management at the Graduate School of Technology Management (GSTM) where he teaches Technology and Innovation Management and Strategy. His area of research is technology management with a specific focus on technological capability and how it can be developed, especially in the context of developing countries. His interests include the analysis, planning and technology strategy development aspects with research projects on the forecasting, road-mapping, diffusion and alignment of technology with business strategies. Important application areas include the implementation of fourth industrial revolution technology platforms in industries such as health, telecommunications, banking, mining, manufacturing and others. He is a board member of the International Association for the Management of Technology as well as editorial board member of a number of journals, and member of the Technology and Engineering Management Society of the IEEE. He is active in continuous education and consulting activities in his field to support the objective of technological capability development in government and industry sectors in Southern Africa.

Professor Tinus Pretorius

Professor Pretorius received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Simut is senior vice-chancellor postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, Faculty of Theology and Religion. With interests in the 16th century ecclesiastical Reformation, 17th century Western esotericism and theosophy, 18th century idealism, 19th century liberal theology, 20th century church secularisation, and 21st century Radical Catholicism, he currently investigates the relationship between South Africa’s decolonisation and Romania’s decommunistisation in universities and other tertiary education institutions. Professor Simut received a C3 rating from the NRF.

Professor Corneliu Simut

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Professor Steenkamp is an associate professor in the Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science. He is currently section head of small animal surgery. His interests are two-fold, namely clinical research on dental and maxillofacial conditions of domestic animals, as well as treatment regimes for these conditions. Treatment options in these fields are often lacking and he strives to be on the forefront with new techniques or ideas, often generated by his research. He also utilises his clinical expertise to help conserve wildlife heritage. Wildlife is often faced with unprecedented catastrophes, as in the case of rhino poaching. Taking care of and treating these species that people were not trained for can be daunting. Professor Steenkamp endeavours to explore these avenues whenever they are presented in order to make a contribution to conservation.

Professor Gerhard Steenkamp

Professor Steenkamp received his PhD in 2017 and passed the inaugural examination in the Zoo and Wildlife Dentistry discipline under the auspices of the American Veterinary Dental College. He has published 31 peer-reviewed papers, 4 book chapters and given more than 50 international conference presentations. In 2018 Professor Steenkamp was recognised by the South African Veterinary Council as a Specialist in Veterinary Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery. Professor Steenkamp received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Tesfamariam is a senior lecturer of advanced environmental soil physics and irrigation management in the Department of Plant and Soil Science, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. The subject of his research area is the optimisation of soil and water resource use in changing environments to secure food production. Dr Tesfamariam divides the research area into two separate research programmes, namely food security under changing environment, and the responsible use of natural resources for sustainable food security. Over the past three years he has received the following three awards: a President’s Award for the best oral presentation from the Soil Science Society of South Africa at the 2016 combined congress, a Knowledge Tree Award on human capital development in the water and science sector from the South African Water Research Commission (WRC) at the third biennial WRC symposium (2017), and a President’s Award from the Soil Science Society of South Africa for the best oral presentation at the 2019 combined congress.

Dr Eyob Tesfamariam

Dr Tesfamariam received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Thebe is an associate professor of development studies in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, where he also coordinates the development studies programme. His current research interests and activities continue to build from his broad focus on migrant labour societies of southern Africa and their transformation: the workerpeasantry, the context of its existence, its relationship to land and labour migration, its development and transition over time, its interaction with state institutions and policy, gender dynamics within these societies, and agrarian transformation. As a part of this broad focus, he is also working on climate change and small farmer adaptation, and food and food security. He is a research intensive researcher who received the award for 2017 Faculty of Humanities Researcher of the Year (Established Researcher category). Dr Thebe received a C3 rating from the NRF.

Dr Vusilizwe Thebe

94 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Dr Truter is a senior lecturer / researcher in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. His main fields of interest are pasture-based livestock production science, forage quality, conservation agriculture, land reclamation, phytotoxicity, grazing management, fodder flow programming and grass bioenergy production systems. His research places particular emphasis on understanding the interrelationships between soil, pastures, water and herbivores. This knowledge supports the introduction of sustainable pasture-based livestock production on both reclaimed mined land, overgrazed rangelands and pasture ley cover cropping systems. Semi-intensive pasture and forage production systems in communal rangelands can support small-scale and emerging farmers. This research focusses on the development of a small-scale semi-intensive pasture-based livestock farming model, which predicts pasture and forage availability and quality under different environmental and management conditions. He investigates the interrelationships between vegetation and livestock, in particular the impact of livestock on the condition, production and quality of reclaimed land. He received the Grain SA Award for Best Article Series (26 monthly articles) published in GRAIN SA during 2014–2016. This series of articles was titled ‘Conservation Agriculture: Integrated Crop and Pasture based Livestock Production Systems’.

Dr Wayne Truter

Dr Truter received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Van der Merwe is a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry. Her research group has developed and participated in a number of projects related to research in waste valorisation and mineral beneficiation, with specific emphasis on the utilisation of solid materials. Depending on the raw material studied and the intended application, their research may include studies on solid-state thermochemical reactions, solid-liquid conversions and wet and dry surface modification techniques, as well as a variety of leaching studies. Specific examples include studies related to the application of coal fly ash as a reinforcing filler in rubber and PVC, and the recovery and valorisation of major elements from South African waste materials for the production of valuable compounds, like iron-based nanoparticles, silica nanoparticles and hydrotalcites. The activation of fly ash for use along with Portland cement in a hybrid alkaline binder has also been studied and has contributed valuable information required for the production of cementitious products with a low carbon footprint. Her work has a strong focus on thermal analysis (TGA and DSC), solid-state chemistry and surface characterisation as important contributors to a fundamental understanding of the science required for effective waste valorisation.

Dr Liezel van der Merwe

Dr Van der Merwe received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Verschoor is associated with the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, as he has been for the past 42 years. His international collaborations with Israel, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands placed him in a unique position to accept the challenge for improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB). His research focuses on the use of cell wall mycolic acids of Mycobacterium tuberculosis as antigens in the detection of diagnostic biomarkers of active TB. Professor Verschoor is an expert on the role of mycolic acids to establish persistent, active TB in the body, how they can be exploited in TB immunodiagnosis and used as targeting ligands for nano-encapsulated anti-TB drugs. In 2013 his contributions were recognized by being a member of the overall winning team of the GAP Biosciences Innovation Hub competition on MARTI TB Diagnostics. In 2014 he received the ‘2014 Biotech Fundi Lifetime Contribution’ award of the Gauteng Biosciences Innovation Hub. He continues with research at the CSIR and the MARTI-TB diagnostic start-up company of UP to see the new mycolic acids-based products through to the market.

Professor Jan Verschoor

Professor Verschoor received a C1 rating from the NRF.

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Professor Wagner is a full professor in the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Humanities. Her areas of research are environmental psychology as well as teaching research methodology. She has merged these two areas to develop student capacity using project-based learning. Since 2011 she has collaborated with the Department of Town and Regional Planning (UP) to design interdisciplinary research-led teaching and learning programmes. In 2013 and 2017 the group received a grant from the Department of Higher Education and Training to investigate students’ experiences of participating in interdisciplinary, near-peer mentoring and this has culminated in a series of conference papers and articles. The group is currently collaborating with the CSIR on a national study of urban household water use and behaviour. She is also part of a team that has lead an international body of work about the pedagogy of social research methods. She is a member of the RC33 board and vice-president for online communication, as well as a member of the editorial board of the Bulletin of Sociological Methodology. She has published in an American Psychological Association journal, as well as a Nature journal, and holds an H-impact factor of 13.

Professor Claire Wagner

Prof Wagner received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Ward is a professor at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). His research interests include financial markets, investments and corporate finance. He serves on the editorial committee of the Investment Analyst Journal, and is a reviewer for several other journals. Professor Ward has, in collaboration with various co-authors, won a number of awards for his publications. Professor Ward received a C1 rating from the NRF.

Professor Michael Ward

Professor Weber is Head of Education Management and Policy Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria. His academic interests cover various fields, including qualitative, case study and survey research; globalisation and internationalisation in education; history and sociology of education; policy studies in education; higher education; diversity education; teachers and teachers’ work; comparative and international education; and educational change in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Nigeria.

Professor Everard Weber

In his recent book, A home away from home: A community of international and South African university students (Nova, New York, 2017), he reviews the changing demographic composition of universities as a result of globalisation. He analyses the diverse social relations between South African and international postgraduate students living together in residence by way of an instrumental, qualitative case study based on the analysis of interviews. This is a welcome addition to the limited studies of this nature undertaken thus far in the field of African higher education. The project draws on community studies to analyse the sociology of three residences at the University of Pretoria. This community is analysed with regard to the intersectionality of race, socio-economic class, gender, sexuality and nationality. These social relations, embedded within the residence community, constitute a characteristic of globalisation: the interrelationship between the nation state (nationality) and international developments (globalisation and internationalisation), which has undermined the nation state’s autonomy. The problem is viewed at the cultural coalface of one university community, rather than systemically and structurally. Students constantly engage with representations of where they come from and the global realities they encounter, as is illustrated in the analyses of the intersectionality of diversity relations. The book reveals the range, complexities and specificities of diversity. Studies of this nature can be compared with others undertaken in the field of international education in Africa, the global South and the developed world. Professor Weber received a C2 rating from the NRF.

96 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Professor Weldon is an associate professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He has diverse skills and experience in entomology, with a research background that encompasses insect behaviour, ecology and physiology. His research interests address the themes of insect tolerance to environmental stress and the fitness consequences of larval and adult diet. This stems from his fascination with how insects are able to adapt to and thrive in challenging conditions. Professor Weldon and his postgraduate students also pursue research that addresses the intersection of human health and livelihoods with the activities of insects. Results from these studies inform sustainable management practices that can reduce reliance on pesticides but may also facilitate the beneficial use of insects in nutrient cycling, production of feed for livestock, and as forensic evidence. Professor Weldon was elected President of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa in 2017. Professor Weldon received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Chris Weldon

Professor Wepener is a professor in, and Head of the Department of Practical Theology in the Faculty of Theology and Religion. He specialises in the study of ritual, liturgy and homiletics, with the emphasis on religious rituals within their particular contexts. His recent projects included the study of rituals and social capital formation, rituals in fictive texts as well as liturgies of anger. He was the first editor of Bonding in worship. A ritual lens on social capital formation in African Independent Churches in South Africa, published by Peeters Press in Leuven in 2019. He is also a novelist. Between 2016 and 2018, he acted as supervisor for eight students who completed their theses, and more than 30 who completed (mini-)dissertations. During this time he was also invited to serve as a guest lecturer in Princeton, Berlin (Humboldt) and Accra, delivered papers at conferences and received grants from the NRF, the University of Pretoria and Humboldt University. He has published a collection of short stories that was shortlisted for the UJ Debut Prize for Afrikaans fiction and a novel shortlisted for the UJ Afrikaans Fiction Prize. Two of his books, namely Die reis gaan inwaarts, which deals with the work of novelist Karel Schoeman, and Kookpunt! were shortlisted for the Andrew Murray Prize. The book Jong teoloĂŤ praat saam, of which he was a co-editor, was awarded the Desmond Tutu-Gerrit Brand Prize for Theological Literature.

Professor Cas Wepener

Professor Wepener received a C1 rating from the NRF.

Professor Zondi is professor in and head of the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria. He is a member of the National Plannning Commission and president of the South African Association of Political Studies. He publishes on African decolonial thought; Africa, the south and the world; and radical African thought. He recently published chapters in the following edited books: South African Foreign Policy Review III (2019) and Power, Development and Institutions in Africa (2019). Professor Zondi received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Professor Siphamandla Zondi

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P-rated researcher Professor Mizrachi is an associate professor in the department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology (BGM) and the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI).

Professor Eschar Mizrachi

His research focuses on the modelling of wood formation and its evolution in land plants over the past 400 million years. This includes understanding genes and gene networks regulating cell patterning during wood development, as well as the biology determining how carbon is partitioned during the synthesis of polysaccharide (sugar polymers) such as cellulose and xylan, compared to lignin (a phenolic biopolymer). Of notable contribution to the field is the recent publication of several papers by Professor Mizrachi describing a new type of plastid proposed to be involved in wood formation—the xyloplast. Gene developmental networks involved in wood formation can be compared between different lineages of plants that have been separated for millions of years, possessing different growth patterning and wood chemistry traits. This provides a deeper understanding of aspects such as convergent evolution of certain traits, or components and subnetworks under strong selection in plant evolution. In addition to producing publications in numerous high impact journals, Professor Mizrachi was recognised as an Academic Achiever by UP in 2018. Professor Mizrachi received a P rating from the NRF.

Y-rated researchers Dr Dippenaar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Geology in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science. His research focus is on the interface between engineering geology and hydrogeology in the specialist field of unsaturated or vadose zone hydrology applied to urban and anthropogenically altered environments. Recent outcomes contribute to mechanisms responsible for sinkhole formation in Gauteng, the role of unsaturated subsurface flow systems on the persistence of microbes, the complexities of quantifying flow through fractured rock systems at depth, and the effects on the subsurface water cycle due to urban development. In practical terms, the work contributes to mitigation of human-induced geological and hydrological disasters such as ground movements, slope failures, groundwater contamination, groundwater dependent ecosystems, and waste disposal. His teaching reflects his research focus around the geotechnical and groundwater professions. He is a professionally registered earth scientist, the current national chair of the Ground Water Division which represents the profession, and contributes to editorial functions of the South African Journal of Geology and Frontiers in Water, as well as reviewing functions of similar journals.

Dr Matthys Dippenaar

He has published 19 papers in peer-reviewed journals to date, as well as nine full-length papers in peer-reviewed conference proceedings. Dr Dippenaar received a Y2 rating from the NRF.

98 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


Dr Gwizdala is a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Physics in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He explores the excitation energy flow regulatory mechanisms in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes and their impact on photosynthetic processes, organisms and the environment. He uses biochemical and advanced spectroscopic methods, combined with molecular biology, to investigate molecular mechanisms in natural photosynthetic complexes and to design and study artificial pigment-protein complexes. His goal is to develop artificial photosynthetic machinery to turn non-photosynthetic microorganisms into light-driven bioreactors that will produce desired products in a sustainable manner. He studied in Poland and the UK, and, after he reconstituted in vitro a photoprotective mechanism of cyanobacteria, was awarded his PhD with the highest distinction by the University Paris-Sud in France. He was subsequently awarded a long-term fellowship by the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) to pursue his research at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands and when he was offered a Claude Leon Foundation Fellowship, he moved to South Africa. In his postdoctoral projects Michal discovered and characterised a novel class of photoregulatory mechanisms in lightharvesting complexes, using single molecule spectroscopy as his main research tool.

Dr Michal Gwizdala

He has co-authored 16 peer-reviewed publications, 3 popular-science articles and participated in more than 35 conferences, seminars and workshops. Dr Gwizdala received a Y1 rating from the NRF.

Dr Keough is a senior lecturer in the Department of Anatomy in the Faculty of Health Sciences School of Medicine. Her research interests include the development, anatomy and biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system, in particular clinical orthopedic applications and considerations for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic or work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). She investigates the effect of whole-body vibration on bone mineral density and intervertebral discs and her specific anatomical areas of interest include the shoulder for rotator cuff (RC) and acromioclavicular injuries, as well as the embryological development, the knee for ACL/PCL injuries and the lower back. Her research team uses innovative techniques (micro CT scanning, digital imaging correlation (DIC) and microscribe digitisation) to visualise and describe the morphology, microstructure, vasculature and biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system with the aim of identifying potential risk factors and ultimately improving the treatment of MSDs. Dr Keough received a Y2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Natalie Keough

Dr Makhalanyane is a senior lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of the Western Cape in 2013. His scientific interests focus primarily on central questions in the field of microbial ecology, genomics, and biogeochemistry. Understanding microbial community dynamics in natural systems is a central goal of his research. His current research spans across terrestrial and marine environments. Dr Makhalanyane has authored over 40 publications in leading international journals, which have accrued over 600 citations and has an H-index of 15. He has received several national and international awards, including the prestigious National Science and Technology Foundation TW-Kambule Award. He was recently elected to the board of the International Society for Microbial Ecology. Dr Makhalanyane serves as Associate Editor for Frontiers in Microbiology and a regular reviewer for leading journals in the field (over 15 titles). He also serves on several national and international panels and has represented South Africa in key international bilateral discussions. Since joining the University in 2014, he has been a supervisor/co-supervisor of 13 postgraduate students (7 Hons, 3 MSc. and 3 PhD) and hosted 4 postdoctoral researchers.

Dr Thulani Makhalanyane

Dr Makhalanyane received a Y1 rating from the NRF.

99


Dr Momodu is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Advanced Materials in the Department of Physics, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science. His research focuses on developing novel nanostructured hybrid material composites and converting low-value biomass waste for renewable energy generation and storage. The project addresses environmental pollution associated with energy production and storage. The introduction of harmful gases or toxic chemicals into the ecosystem and the inefficient disposal of hybrid batteries inspired this initiative for sustainable environmental remediation. It focuses on the use of less toxic materials for designing devices while ridding the environment of unnecessary waste. Furthermore, the cost of these devices is reduced by using sustainable and abundant raw materials. Dr Momodu has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles resulting in over 700 citations in a 5 year period with an H-index of 17 and an i10 index of 27.

Dr Damilola Momodu

He has a passion for teaching and is involved with the first year physics modules mentoring students to better understand physics and to develop a love for it. He is a professional member of the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP), the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE) and the Materials Research Society (MRS). Dr Momodu received a Y2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Reyburn is a senior lecturer in both practical and theoretical information design subjects in the School of the Arts at the University of Pretoria. In his teaching he specialises in the theory and practice of idea generation and visual rhetoric, as well as in applications of mimetic theory to design culture and the critique of ideology. His varied research interests include philosophical hermeneutics, philosophical theology, ethics, mimetic theory and visual (design) culture. He is the author of the book Seeing things as they are: GK Chesterton and the drama of meaning (Cascade, 2016), co-editor with Roberto Sirvent of Theologies of Failure (Cascade, 2019), and the author or co-author of several chapters in books and journal articles. Dr Reyburn received a Y2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Duncan Reyburn

Dr Thopil is a senior lecturer at the Department of Engineering and Technology Management (Graduate School of Technology Management) within the faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology. His core area of research is sustainable strategy management with emphasis on issues of energy and water. His research though technically focused, is multi-disciplinary in nature, with key considerations for the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainability, both at macro (national policy) level as well as micro (organisational) level. To date, he has published more than 20 research articles in journals and conference proceedings of international standing, while maintaining quality focused postgraduate supervision. He is a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa and past chair (2014 to 2017) of the South African section of IEEE’s Technology and Engineering Management society.

Dr George Thopil

100 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019

Dr Thopil received a Y2 rating from the NRF.


Dr Van der Linde is the acting Head of Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in the Faculty of Humanities. Her research focus is socially responsive and innovative to deal with problems experienced in service delivery to vulnerable and underserved communities. An interdisciplinary approach is followed to improve early detection of developmental delays in under-resourced contexts. Despite the disparity in access to early detection and intervention for developmental delays and disorders in vulnerable populations, the current research has contributed to narrowing the gap in service delivery. Preventative functions, such as mHealth awareness, surveillance and intervention campaigns tailored to the individual needs of children using low-cost and commercially available hardware (a smartphone) together with custom developed software applications form part of the service delivery solution proposed. Dr Van der Linde was awarded the SASLHA Best Poster presentation in 2016. She was invited to present a paper at the HEAD seminar in Linköping, Sweden, in 2018, and she is currently on the editorial board of the South African Journal of Communication Disorders.

Professor Jeannie van der Linde

Dr Van der Linde received a Y2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Van Wyk is a senior lecturer in spirituality, systematic theology and ethics in the Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion. She is chairperson of the Faculty Research Ethics Committee. Her research focus area is political theology, which deals with the relationship between the state and the religious citizen, as well as the socio-political relationship between church and society. One of the main tasks of her research is to create a social-theoretical awareness of the complexity of relationships. Dr Van Wyk specifically studies the relationship between identity and diversity (sameness and difference), and the way in which this relationship impacts socio-political contexts. Her research is conducted from a feminist theological perspective with a strong focus on gender justice. Her recently completed research includes a chapter on the relationship between religion, gender and sustainable development. Her postgraduate students’ research focuses on the relationship between spirituality (transformation) and ethics. Achievements during the past three years include a teaching and learning award in 2018, as well as international collaboration with members of the Humboldt University and the Protestant Theological University (Amsterdam).

Dr Tanya van Wyk

Dr Van Wyk received a Y2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Waschefort is a senior lecturer at the School of Law and Co-Director of PostResearch at the School of Law and Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex, and extraordinary lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. Prior to joining the University of Essex, he held academic appointments at UP, as a lecturer, and the University of South Africa, as an associate professor. Between 2011 and 2013 Dr Waschefort was appointed as a legal advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Professor Christof Heyns. Dr Waschefort has also been a visiting researcher to the International Law Centre of the Swedish National Defence University, as well as the Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice, at New York University. His primary research interests relate to contemporary challenges in the context of armed conflict in Africa. With a background in photojournalism, he has extensive experience working within active conflict zones. Dr Waschefort’s key recent publications include International Law and Child Soldiers (2015) and he has also authored or co-authored articles in the Journal of International Peacekeeping (2016), the International Review of the Red Cross (2016) and the Oxford Handbook on International Law and Global Security (2020 - forthcoming).

Dr Gus Waschefort

Dr Waschefort received a Y1 rating from the NRF.

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Dr Ye is a senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology. His research expertise lies in the areas of energy efficiency and demand-side management (EEDSM), building and industry energy system modelling and optimisation, renewable energy, microgrids, and electrical vehicles. He is a certified measurement and verification professional (CMVP) and a SANAS approved technical signatory to support the national EEDSM programme and 12L Tax Incentive scheme. Dr Ye was awarded research funding under the 2017-2018 Industry Academia Partnership Programme from the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK. Dr Ye received a Y2 rating from the NRF.

Dr Xianming Ye

102 Academic Achievers’ Awards 2019


The evaluation and rating of individuals is based primarily on the quality of the research outputs and is undertaken by national and international peers/reviewers.

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Acknowledgements Portraits in this publication are by Eyescape Studios. Other photographs were supplied by Shutterstock and UP’s photo library. The UP Language Unit is acknowledged for sub-editing. Publication Manager: Tebogo Menong, Department of University Relations. Design and layout: Liana SchrÜder, Department of University Relations.

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