Academics honoured at the University of Pretoria

Posted on April 26, 2013

The awards were presented in three categories: the Chancellor’s Award in the research category, Exceptional Academic Achievers and Exceptional Young Researchers.

In the first category, the Chancellor’s Award in research was given to Prof Sue Nicholson ofthe Department of Zoology and Entomology at the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Her research focuses on the physiological aspects of pollination biology by examining pollination from the context of the animals involved, rather than the plants.

Researchers were also recognised for being rated according to the National Research Foundation’s (NRF) rating system. Seventy nine researchers were rated or re-rated for the first time according to this system, which is a peer-review process that benchmarks research at both national and international levels.

It is a rigorous evaluation process and only about one-tenth of all academic staff employed at South African universities achieve a rating which is valid for three years.

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Cheryl de la Rey, congratulated the academic achievers and academics successfully rated by the NRF. She attributed the university’s standing as one of South Africa’s leading research-intensive universities largely to the achievements of its academic staff.

She said the outstanding academic talent and expertise demonstrated will enable the University to make an even greater impact in developing people, creating knowledge and making a difference locally and globally.

“You are a source of great pride to the University. We salute your achievements”, she said.

Listed below are academics who were recognised for their research in the last two categories of the Exceptional Academic Achievers, and the Exceptional Young Researchers:

Exceptional Academic Achievers

Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology

Prof Theo Bothma, Head of the Department of Information Science and Chairperson of the School of Information Technology

Prof Ian Craig, Section Head of Control Systems in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering

Prof Josua Meyer, Head of the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering and Chair of the School of Engineering

Prof Andries Engelbrecht, Head of the Department of Computer Science. He holds the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChi) Chair in Artificial Intelligence

Prof Xiaohua Xia, Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Director of the Centre of New Energy Systems and Director of the National Hub for the Postgraduate Programme in Energy Efficiency and Demand-side Management

Faculty of Health Sciences

Prof Robert Pattinson, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Prof Maryna Steyn, Department of Anatomy, and Director of the Forensic Anthropology Research Centre

Faculty of Humanities

Prof Charles van Onselen, Research Professor and Historian at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship

Faculty of Law

Prof Karin van Marle, Head of the Department of Jurisprudence

Prof Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights

Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Prof Danie Auret, Department of Physics

Prof Nigel Bennett, Department of Zoology and Entomology

Prof Teresa Coutinho, Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology

Prof Johann Kirsten, Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development

Prof Jean Lubuma, Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics

Prof Bob Millar, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Director of the Mammal Research Institute

Prof Zander Myburg, Department of Genetics, Chair in Forest Genomics and Biotechnology

Prof Louis Nel, Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology

Prof John Taylor, Department of Food Science

Prof Mike Wingfield, Director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)

Exceptional Young Researchers

Faculty of Humanities

Prof Lorenzo Fioramonti, Department of Political Sciences, Jean Monnet Chair in Regional Integration and Governance Studies, and Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation

Prof De Wet Swanepoel, Department of Audiology

Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Prof Lyn-Marie Birkholtz, Department of Biochemistry, SARChI Chair in Sustainable Malaria Control

Prof Christine Maritz-Olivier, Department of Genetics

Prof Andrew McKechnie, Department of Zoology and Entomology

Prof Bernard Slippers, Department of Genetics, Research Leader of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme and Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology at FABI

Prof Marietjie Oosthuizen, Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology and Entomology

Faculty of Veterinary Science

Dr Folorunso Oludayo Fasina, Department of Production Animal Studies


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