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Cricket fast bowling researcher elected to SA Young Academy of Science

- Wits University

Benita Olivier is an Associate Professor in musculo-skeletal physiotherapy in the Physiotherapy Department at Wits.

She is one of just 10 researchers elected to the Academy this year.

Olivier is a prolific researcher with a high level of research productivity. Her research investigates and promotes prevention of musculoskeletal dysfunction. She has a special interest in the prevention of sports injuries, with a specific focus on human movement analysis.

As part of her PhD research project, Olivier investigated cricket fast bowling action with the aid of kinematic analysis. She established the Wits Physiotherapy Movement Analysis Laboratory in 2010 and has moulded it into a lab of research excellence.

Olivier has published 37 manuscripts and is currently supervises 13 MSc and 4 PhD students. She is a National Research Foundation Y-rated researcher.

In 2014, she was the recipient of the Claude Leon Merit Award, the Friedel Sellschop Award for Exceptional Young Researchers and was named a Mail & Guardian Top 200 Most Influential Young South African. She was also a finalist in the 2014 Standard Bank Rising Stars Awards and received the School of Therapeutic Sciences Mentoring Award in 2014.

As a mother of two young boys, Olivier aspires to live a balanced life, with a strong sense of integrity and a drive to positively contribute to the lives of others on a daily basis.

The South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) is the voice of young scientists in South Africa. SAYAS aims to contribute solutions to national and global societal challenges; provide a platform for young scientists to influence policy decisions; develop scientific capacity in South Africa through mentoring and role-modeling of future scientists; and foster opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations amongst young scientists.