Renowned scientist passed away

Posted on August 01, 2013

His career in natural sciences stretches over more than 50 years. He was previously employed at, inter alia, the University of North-west, the CSIR, the University of South Africa and the University of Pretoria. He was a former Professor in Physical Chemistry and Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at UNISA, and retired as Chief Executive Director Science, Technology and Information Science at UNISA. In January 2005 he was appointed as Honorary Professor and later, in January 2008, as Extraordinary Professor in Chemistry at the University of Pretoria, as well as member of the UP Centre for Advanced Research. He mentored numerous students in Chemistry at UP and also focused on the use of quantum theory and the structure of matter. He acted as supervisor or co-supervisor for over 30 PhD and 20 MSc students and published more than 75 research articles in international natural science journals. He authored 3 textbooks and 19 publications in the field of education and information technology. His lectures on the art and science of ancient Egypt were extremely popular.

He was president of the South African Chemical Institute (SACI) for two terms and recipient of the James Moir commemorative medal, as well as the Raikes medal of SACI. He was the president of the Joint Council for Scientific Organisations of South Africa, as well as the Chair of the Chemistry Section of Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. The Havenga Prize for Chemistry was also awarded to him.

His selfless and enthusiastic involvement with science in South Africa was an exceptional gift. He frequently conveyed an astute and accurate take on various academic issues with a gleam of humour. He was an exceptional role model and inspiration for many natural scientists, young and old.

Our deepest condolences go to his family, colleagues and friends.

The service will be on Monday 5 August 2013 at 10:00 in the German-Lutheran church, Johannesgemeinde, Pretoria East, Vivianstreet, Willow Park. The service will be in Afrikaans and German.

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