SCIENCE > DEAN'S REPORT

The staff and postgraduate students in the Faculty of Science achieved considerable success in a number of areas during 2010. Our research was supported through R42-million research contract income awarded to staff in the Faculty, which funded projects involving staff, 120 postdoctoral researchers and 700 master’s and PhD students.  55 PhD and 120 master’s degrees were awarded in 2010. The Faculty is proud of its 14 A-rated, 53 B-rated, 50 C-rated and two P-rated scientists. Seventy academic staff currently participate in the Emerging Researcher Programme and Dr Chris Clarkson and Dr Rob Ingle received Claude Leon Awards for lecturers.

An important milestone in the Faculty was the 50th anniversary of the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology.  Numerous events were held during the course of the year to honour this achievement, with Sir Norman Meyers delivering the Vice-Chancellor’s Open Lecture.  A major new initiative was the establishment of the Nansen-Tutu Centre for Marine Environmental Research, a joint venture between the Nansen Environmental Centre of Norway and UCT, with Professor Frank Shillington as co-Director. 

Prestigious awards were received by a number of staff of the Faculty. Professor Jill Farrant was named Distinguished Woman Scientist in the Life Sciences at the annual Department of Science and Technology Women in Science Awards. Emeritus Professor George Ellis received the De Beers Gold Medal from the South African Institute of Physics for his work in theoretical cosmology and Professor Mike Meadows was appointed secretary-general and treasurer of the International Geographical Union. Dr Gary Bronner of the Department of Zoology received the unusual honour of having a fossil named after him, Chrysochlorisbronneri, for his contribution to understanding the biology of golden moles.

On the innovation front, Associate Professors Margit Härting and David Britton received the prestigious 2010 iDTechEx Printed Electronics Europe Award for their ground-breaking work in nanotechnology and printed circuits.  An area in which the Faculty is rapidly expanding its footprint is in patent filing, with Professor Ed Rybicki being recognised in 2010 as the top UCT inventor with 44 patents granted.

The Faculty continues to value high-quality, high-impact research, and numerous formal research groupings, units and centres, together with many individuals, contribute to our research activity.

Professor Kathy Driver
Dean of the Faculty of Science

 

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