Witsies finalists in Science Oscars
- Wits University
Eight Witsies are finalists in six categories of the NSTF-South 32 Awards, dubbed the ‘Science Oscars’.
The prestigious annual awards, hosted by the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) and global resources firm, South32 recognise excellence and outstanding contributions to science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa.
Wits academics who are finalists in the Lifetime Award category include:
- Jill Adler is the Department of Science and Technology (DST)/National Research Foundation (NRF) South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) Chair in Mathematics Education in the School of Education at Wits.
- Prof. Bavesh Kana is co-director of the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Tuberculosis Research. He is also a finalist in the category Innovation: Corporate Organisation.
- Kenneth Ozoemena is Professor in Materials for Energy and Electrochemistry in the School of Chemistry at Wits. He is also a finalist in the Special Annual Theme Award category.
- Beric Skews is director of the Flow Research Unit in the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering.
Dr Jennifer Fitchett in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at Wits is a finalist for a TW Kambule-NSTF Emerging Researcher Award, while Prof. Vishnu Jejjala, the DST/NRF SARChI Chair in Theoretical Particle Cosmology, is up for a TW Kambule-NSTF Researcher Award.
Prof. Alexander Quandt in the Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials in the School of Physics is a finalist in the category Innovation Awards: Corporate Organisation and in the category Special Annual Theme.
Wits Communications Services, led by Shirona Patel, is a finalist for the Communication Award for outreach and creating awareness of SET and innovation by a team of individual over five years. The team comprises Boniswa Khumalo, Refilwe Mabula, Deborah Minors, Schalk Mouton, Lauren Mulligan, Erna Van Wyk, and Buhle Zuma. The award recognises a communicator who has made an outstanding contribution to SET through a substantial impact in terms of public awareness of SET. Nominations come from (i) professional science communicators employed as journalists, writers, and presenters in science communication institutions and (ii) professionals in other fields, such as lecturing, SET management and research but who make communication about SET part of their lives. Wits Communications
Winners of the NSTF-South 32 Awards will be announced on Thursday, 27 June 2019 at a gala event in Johannesburg. The Minister of Science and Technology, who is the patron of the Awards, will present them.