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Distinguished Researchers

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has produced a large number of distinguished scholars over the years and is currently blessed with a wonderful cohort of highly productive researchers. Any list of distinguished researchers runs the risk of missing people and therefore presented below are just some of the many people that Wits is proud to call its own.

Nobel Laureates

Wits is justly proud of its three research focused Nobel Laureates. They include: Aaron Klug for Chemistry in 1982, Nadine Gordimer for literature in 1991 and Sydney Brenner for Physiology or Medicine in 2002.

Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Awards

Some claim this fellowship is the South African equivalent of the Nobel awards. Since its inception in 2001 14 awards, some of them multiple awards in one year, have been made (no award was made in 2003). The following Wits academics have won awards: (i) David Glasser for sustainable process engineering in 2001, (ii) Norman Owen-Smith for ecology in 2005, (iii) Duncan Mitchell for physiology in 2010, (iv) Helen Rees for HIV/Aids and reproductive health in 2015 and (v) Lynn Morris for virology in 2017.

Highly Productive and Highly Cited Researchers

The correct balance between quantity and quality of research output can often be difficult to strike. The following table consists of the names of current, on-campus Wits academics that have produced 40 or more peer reviewed publications in journals indexed by the Web of Science (the so called ISI journals) in the last five years (2013 to 2017).  Thus they have averaged eight publications per annum over this period and can be regarded as highly productive. Perhaps more importantly at least half of their publications have been cited in the literature by other researchers in the last five years. In fact the table is ranked by the percentage of documents cited with the top six having more than 80% of their papers cited – a sign of quality and impact.

 

Natural Sciences

Name

Faculty

School

Web of Science Documents

Times Cited

Madhi, Shabir A.

Health Sciences

RMPR

52

383

Vilakazi, Z.

Science

Physics

69

607

Ruan, X.

Science

Physics

332

5309

Coville, N. J.

Science

Chemistry

44

294

Garcia, B. R. Mellado

Science

Physics

313

5189

Colafrancesco, S.

Science

Physics

59

860

Manger, P. R.

Health Sciences

Anatomy

35

196

Kara, A. H.

Science

Mathematics

36

177

Kar, D.

Science

Physics

146

879

Chimuka, L.

Science

Chemistry

36

123

Forbes, A.

Science

Physics

53

279

Luca, F.

Science

Mathematics

66

35

Jivan, H.

Science

Physics

50

57

Reed, R. G.

Science

Physics

35

47

Dragomir, S. S.

Science

Computer Science

37

43

Medicine and Health Sciences

Listed below are people who have published thirty or more publications in the broad field of medicine and health sciences in Web of Science (ISI) indexed journals in the last five years (2013 to 2017).  They are ranked by the percentage of their publications that are cited. 

Name

Faculty

School

Web of Science Documents

Times Cited

Madhi, S.A.

Health Sciences

RMPR

113

1216

Kahn, K.

Health Sciences

RH In T

88

662

Norris, S.A.

Health Sciences

DPHRU

67

439

Kumar, P.

Health Sciences

Pharmacy

60

134

Pillay, V.

Health Sciences

Pharmacy

59

116

Fox, M.P.

Health Sciences

SBIMB

58

591

Choonara, Y.E.

Health Sciences

Pharmacy

57

107

du Toit, L.C.

Health Sciences

Pharmacy

52

88

Norton, G.R.

Health Sciences

Physiology

51

220

Woodiwiss, A.J.

Health Sciences

Physiology

50

215

Sanne, I.

Health Sciences

Clinical HIV R Unit

49

544

Cohen, C.

Health Sciences

Public health

46

596

Tollman, S.

Health Sciences

RH In T

44

299

Klipstein-Grobusch, K.

Health Sciences

Public health

44

209

Manger, P.R.

Health Sciences

Anatomy

43

271

Maskew, M.

Health Sciences

Internal medicine

41

358

Delany-Moretlwe, S.

Health Sciences

Perinatal HIV

34

305

Pettifor, J.M.

Health Sciences

 

31

192

 

Engineering and Technology

Listed below are people who have published ten or more publications in the broad field of engineering and technology in Web of Science (ISI) indexed journals in the last five years (2013 to 2017).  They are ranked by the percentage of their publications that are cited. 

Name

Faculty

School

Web of Science Documents

Times Cited

Coville, N. J.

Science

Chemistry

31

235

Adam, E.

Science

Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sc

11

105

Mason, D. P.

Science

Comp Sc and Applied Mathematics

16

40

Sacks, N.

Engineering

Chemical and Metallurgical

10

47

Guo, Bao-Zhu

Science

Comp Sc and Applied Mathematics

52

491

Momoniat, E.

Science

Comp Sc and Applied Mathematics

14

79

Moloto, N.

Science

Chemistry

22

42

Kumar, P.

Health Sciences

Pharmacy

16

41

Sigalas, I.

Engineering

Chemical and Metallurgical

28

76

Pillay, V.

Health Sciences

Pharmacy

16

41

Choonara, Y.E.

Health Sciences

Pharmacy

14

34

du Toit, L.C.

Health Sciences

Pharmacy

13

20

Mahomed, F.

Science

Mathematics

23

56

Kim, T.

Engineering

Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical

11

39

Majozi, T.

Engineering

Chemical and Metallurgical

20

30

Ruan, X.

Science

Physics

10

17

Garcia, B.R. Mellado

Science

Physics

10

16

Stacey, T.R.

Engineering

Mining

10

8

Celik, T.

Science

Comp Sc and Applied Mathematics

18

43

Musingwini, C.

Engineering

Mining

13

11

Skews, B.W.

Engineering

Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical

14

6

Pedro, J. O.

Engineering

Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical

14

24

Cornish, L.A.

Engineering

Chemical and Metallurgical

20

24

Takawira, F.

Engineering

Electrical and Information

26

27

Quandt, A.

Science

Physics

10

11

Minnitt, R.C.A.

Engineering

Mining

12

4

Social Sciences

Listed below are people who have published ten or more than publications in the broad field of Social Sciences and Humanities in Web of Science (ISI) indexed journals in the last five years (2013 to 2017).  They are ranked by the percentage of their publications that are cited.

Name

Faculty

School

Web of Science Documents

Times Cited

Pillay, N.

Science

Animal, Plant and Environmental Sc

15

31

Wadley, L.

Science

Archaeology

12

77

Schmid, P.

 

Evolutionary Studies Institute

10

94

Manger, P.R.

Health Sciences

Anatomy

10

53

Berger, L.R.

 

Evolutionary Studies Institute

17

119

Schradin, C.

 

Evolutionary Studies Institute

12

51

Manderson, L.

Health Sciences

Public Health

16

15

Maroun, W.

CLM

Accounting

11

12

Chari, S.

Humanities

WISER

12

1

Southall, R.

Humanities

Sociology

26

0

Pillay, D.

Humanities

Sociology

23

0

Naidoo, P.

Humanities

Sociology

22

0

Brosig, M.

Humanities

International Relations

20

0

Morris, A.

Science

 

13

0

Humanities

Listed below are people who have published four or more than publications in the broad field of Humanities in Web of Science (ISI) indexed journals in the last five years (2013 to 2017).  They are ranked by the percentage of their publications that are cited.

 

Name

Faculty

School

Web of Science Documents

Times Cited

Kuman, K.

Science

Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sc

4

13

Porraz, G.

Science

 

8

38

Wadley, L.

 

ESI

12

94

King, R.

Science

RARI

5

11

di Lernia, S.

Science

Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sc

4

31

McGranaghan, M.

Science

RARI

4

16

Huffman, T.N.

Science

Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sc

5

10

Mitchell, P.

Science

 

10

39

Sadr, K.

Science

Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sc

5

6

Henshilwood, C.S.

 

ESI

7

118

Challis, S.

Science

RARI

4

14

Makalela, L.

Humanities

Languages, Literature, media

4

2

Russell, T.

Science

Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sc

4

18

Allais, L.

Humanities

Philosophy

7

9

Kadenge, M.

Humanities

Languages, Literature, media

5

2

Milani, T.M.

Humanities

Languages, Literature, media

7

5

Etieyibo, E.

Humanities

Philosophy

5

0

 

NRF Rated Researchers (data extracted in October 2017)

In South Africa the National Research Foundation (NRF) arranges a voluntary evaluation of individual researchers’ impact on their respective disciplinary fields.  This is a peer review based system and classifies researchers from all disciplines in to one of five major categories.  The categories are listed below.

 

Number of NRF Ratings
Category Definition  
A Researchers who are unequivocally recognised by their peers as leading international scholars in their field for the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs.  
B Researchers who enjoy considerable international recognition by their peers for the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs  
C

Established researchers with a sustained recent record of productivity in the field who are recognised by their peers as having:

  • Produced a body of quality work, the core of which has coherence and attests to ongoing engagement with the field,
  • Demonstrated the ability to conceptualise problems and apply research methods to investigating them.
 
Y Young researchers (40 years or younger), who have held the doctorate or equivalent qualification for less than five years at the time of application, and who are recognised as having the potential to establish themselves as researchers within a five year period after evaluation, based on their performance and productivity of quality research outputs during their doctoral studies and/or early post-doctoral careers.  
P Young researchers (normally younger than 35 years of age), who have held the doctorate or equivalent qualification for less than five years at the time of application and who, on the basis of exceptional potential demonstrated in their published doctoral work and/or their research outputs in their early post-doctoral careers are considered likely to become future international leaders in their field.  


In the A category – known as leading international scholars – Wits has 23 people (see below).

Surname

Faculty

Specialisation

Adler

JB

Humanities

Mathematics education,  Teacher education

Ashwal

LD

Science

Geochemistry,  Petrology,  Mineralogy,  Tectonics

Brouwer

D

Health Science

Public health

Comins

JD

Science

Optical spectroscopy,  Brillouin spectroscopy,  Advanced materials

Every

AG

Science

Solid state physics,  Ultrasonics,  Phonon focusing

Feldman

C

Health Science

Pneumonia,  Respiratory diseases,  HIV co-infection,  Antibiotics

Gray

G

Health Science

HIV

Henshilwood

CS

Institute

Middle and later Stone Age,  Modern Human Behaviour

Hofmeyr

CI

Hum

Postcolonial literary studies

Jewkes

R

Health Science

Public health

Lewis-Williams

JD

Science

Cognitive archaeology

Luca

FL

Science

Analytic number theory

Madhi

SA

Health Science

Vaccine-preventable disease

Mahomed

FM

Science

Lie symmetry and operator methods,  Differential geometry

Manderson

LH

Health Science

Global public health,  Chronic illness,  Gender and health

Mathew

CGP

Health Science

Cancer - Genetic aspects,  Genetic association studies

Mbembe

AJ

Humanities

Philosophy

Mitchell

D

Health Science

Thermal physiology,  Conservation physiology,  Pain - Physiological aspects

Morris

L

Health Science

Virology,  Infectious diseases

Owen-Smith

RN

Science

Ecology,  Savanna ecology,  Wildlife ecology,  Herbivore ecology

Penn

C

Humanities

Health communication,  Speech-language pathology

Richter

LM

Institute

Human development,  Health sciences,  Child development

Rubidge

BS

Institute

Karoo biostratigraphy,  Basin analysis,  Karoo sedimentology

Scholes

RJ

Institute

Savanna ecology,  Applied remote sensing,  Ecosystem services

Skews

BW

Engineering

Gas dynamics,  Shock waves,  Flow visualization

Smith

R

Institute

Palaeoscience

Wadley

L

Science

Archaeology - Middle Stone age,  Cognitive archaeology

Zelenyuk

Y

Science

Mathematics

Wits’ success in other rating categories is summarized below showing the number of each category in the five faculties that make up the University.

 

Institutes

CLM

Engineering

H Sc

Humanities

Science

Total

A

3

0

1

9

5

10

28

B

3

10

7

32

25

42

119

C

5

19

23

36

48

63

194

P

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

Y

0

12

7

12

15

21

67

Total

12

41

38

89

93

136

409

 

 

 

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