Grey Advertising appointed Sizakele ‘Za’ Marutlulle (MA 2007) as the firm’s first black and second female Chief Executive of the South African office, from 1 February 2011. Marutlulle, who replaces Tim Byrne, is also the second Witsie woman to lead Grey South Africa after Ann Nurock (BA 1978). Marutlulle joined Grey after international executives persuaded her it was an opportunity to transform and inject new vigour into the agency, operating in an industry under pressure following the recession. Most recently, Marutlulle was Chief Operations Officer for SA Tourism and ran her own brand consultancy.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the co-director of the Medical Research Council Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit, Professor Shabir Madhi (MBBCh 1990, MMed 1999, PhD Medicine 2004), a grant of more than R33-million for his unit to determine whether vaccinating pregnant women with the influenza vaccine would protect their babies from influenza. The study spans three years and will be conducted in Soweto.
Queen Elizabeth II made actor Janet Suzman (BA 1959) a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in June 2011 for her services to drama. Suzman appeared in Dream of the Dog in 2010 and opposite Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall in 2006 in Whose Life is it Anyway?. Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre in August screened a retrospective of Suzman’s films, including Nicholas and Alexandra, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award, and A Dry White Season, opposite Marlon Brando. Suzman’s cousin, Helen Suzman (BCom, honorary LLD 1973) was made an honorary Dame Commander in 1989.
Legal firm Norton Rose, previously Deneys Reitz Inc, appointed Rob Otty (BA 1989, LLB 1991) as Managing Director of the South African office in April 2011. Otty joined the firm in Johannesburg as a candidate attorney in 1991. Five years later, he moved to the Cape Town office, which he led from 2002. He returned to Johannesburg in 2009 as Deputy Chairman before taking the reins as MD. Otty specialises in insurance law, professional indemnity insurance, and construction litigation. He is highly recommended by international research publications Chambers Global and Best Lawyers.
The American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE) awarded PhD student Daniel Beneke its 2011 AIChE Division Graduate Student Award for postgraduate research excellence in the field of separations science. Beneke received the award in recognition of his contributions to the field throughout the duration of his studies, and for publishing in quality chemical engineering journals. Beneke’s thesis focused on designing reactive distillation systems through a Column Profile Map technique, which demonstrated reductions of up to 30% in the energy usage of classic distillative separation methods.
Kirti Menon joined Wits University as Registrar on 1 June, having previously acted as Deputy Director-General: Universities in the Department of Higher Education and Training since January 2010. Prior to this, Menon was Chief Director: Higher Education Planning and Management in the Education Department. She served on ministerial committees reviewing the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, of which she is a board member. Menon previously worked for the Council on Higher Education, under whose auspices she co-authored reports. She holds Arts degrees in English literature and applied linguistics, a diploma in journalism, and an MBA. She is currently registered for a PhD at Wits. She replaces Derek Swemmer.
Health Technology Exchange (HTX) in Canada created an award in the name of one of its founders, Wits benefactor and biomedical engineer Dr Morris ‘Mickey’ Milner (BSc Elec 1957, PhD Biomed Eng 1968) in recognition of his contribution to researching, developing and commercialising medical and assistive technology for people with disabilities. A world-renowned biomedical rehabilitation engineer, Milner has pioneered the development of advanced rehabilitation and adaptive devices that provide mobility, comfort and independence to people with disabilities. In 2007, he received the Canadian Standards Association’s John Jenkins Award for his lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities. Queen’s University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2004 and the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons inducted Milner into its Terry Fox Hall of Fame in 2000.
Emeritus Professor in the School of Physiology, Duncan Mitchell (BSc 1963, BSc Hons 1964, MSc 1967, PhD Science 1972) received the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award on 2 June 2011. The award recognises eminent scholars who are involved in innovative and internationally significant research that is applicable to advancing South Africa. Mitchell’s pioneering research into remotely monitoring the physiology of mammals for evidence of innate ability to adapt to climate change (and thus avoid extinction) has “profound implications” for South Africa’s tourism and livestock industries, according to an Oppenheimer trustee. Mitchell is the 11th recipient and third Witsie after biologist Prof. Norman Owen-Smith (2005) and engineer Prof. David Glasser (2001) to win the award, which carries a purse of up to R1-million.
Wits University Convocation President, Professor Mamokgethi Setati (BEd 1992, MEd 1996, PhD Science 2002), received the TW Kambule Award for a senior black female researcher over the last five to 10 years, at the NSTF-BHP Billiton Awards ceremony on 26 May 2011. The awards recognise outstanding contributions to science, engineering, technology and innovation. Setati’s award acknowledged her research into teaching and learning mathematics in multilingual classrooms. Setati is the first black South African woman to obtain a PhD in mathematics education. She is an Honorary Professor of mathematics education in the Wits School of Education and founding director of the Wits Marang Centre for Maths and Science Education. The University of South Africa appointed Setati Vice-Principal: Research and Innovation on 30 June 2011.
Professor of Immunology and Head of the School of Pathology at Wits since 1991, Ahmed Wadee (BSc Hons 1975, MSc Med 1979, PhD 1982) assumed the post of Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences from 1 June 2011. Formerly Assistant Dean: Student Affairs for 19 years, Wadee has extensive teaching and research experience. He forged strong ties with his students, several of whom he supervised to PhD level. Wadee also holds a postgraduate science degree from the University of Toronto, Canada.