One of the key representatives from the University in this regard was world-acclaimed Prof Eugene Cloete, who is currently the Head of the Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology at the University of Pretoria and Chairperson of the School of Biological Sciences, which is categorized within the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
The Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Prof Anton Ströh was also at the conference to welcome the guests and say a few words of encouragement to them. Several local and international leading experts within the various disciplines attended the Young Water Professionals Conference which presented the ideal platform for these experts to add invaluable insight and knowledge into the lives of these young professionals.
One of the speakers who added profound scientific insight was Prof Hans-Curt Flemming from the University of Duisberg (Germany). He is a leading scholar who was born in Friedrichshafen, studied Chemistry in Stuttgart and Freiburg and did his PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg on biosynthesis of O-antigens of E. coli.
Prof Flemming reiterated the usefulness and vitality of this conference. “This conference is vital to give perspective to young researchers. It lays a foundation whereby we are able to highlight problems, discuss possible solutions and interact with each other,” says Prof Hans-Curt Flemming. According to this living resource who has published over 250 articles and 6 books, the young researchers who attended the conference should have a political responsibility to improve the conditions in our country.
“Students in South Africa including the ones who attended this conference have a huge political responsibility. In this country many things are connected to politics and it is the students’ responsibility to also tap into the political realm and make it possible for the inhabitants of this nation to have access to clean water, amongst other things. This will have an impact on various other factors that can bring about positive change,” continues Prof Flemming who also advised students to be curious, daring and to propel themselves to where they think they will find resources.
“All in all, I like the atmosphere of this University. People are open, friendly and full of hope. Their feet are still on the ground. The interactivity of the conference is something to be praised because it presented the students with the opportunity to ask questions and gain relevant insight,” concluded Prof Flemming.
The University of Pretoria hosted the Young Water Professionals Conference on February, 27.