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Two wins for Wits at research awards

- Wits University

Academics from Wits won in two categories at the prestigious 2016/2017 NSTF-South32 Awards held last night.

Thursday 29 June marked the 19th celebration of this flagship event of the National Science and Technology Forum.

The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials (DST/NRF CoE-SM) at Wits won the award for communication for outreach and creating awareness by a team or an individual. The team is Lesley Cornish, Professor of Physical Metallurgy, Director of the DST/NRF CoE-SM, and Director of the African Materials Science and Engineering Network; Professor Alex Quandt, School of Physics; Associate Professor Deena Naidoo, School of Physics; and Mr Casey Sparkes, Operations Manager.

Professor Joao Rodrigues, Head of the School of Physics at Wits, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Theoretical Physics, and Director of the Mandelstam Institute of Theoretical Physics won the award for management and related science, engineering, and technology (SET) activities by an individual over the last five to 10 years.

Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Postgraduate Affairs at Wits congratulated the winners for taking the top spot in their categories "And for flying the Wits flag high." 

The national NSTF-South32 Awards are the largest SET and innovation awards in South Africa. They are known as the ‘Science Oscars’ and were the first science awards in the country. The focus is on spreading information about SET to the public, which includes the year-long engagement programme with students and learners called the ‘Share ‘n Dare’ Programme.

The awards were presented by the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, who is also the event's patron.