NRF acknowledges UJ’s research knowledge and efforts with five new chairs

​​​​The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is pleased to announce that it has received a major boost to its fast growing research and innovation efforts with the announcement that five new research chairs through the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) have been awarded to the University. The announcement was made today, Wednesday, 2 September 2015.

The five new research chairs are all led by females.

Laser Applications in Health: Prof Heidi Abrahamse (Faculty of Health Sciences);

South African Art and Visual Culture: Prof Brenda Schmahmann (Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture);

Welfare and Social Development: Prof Leila Patel (Faculty of Humanities);

Integrated Studies of Learning Language, Mathematics and Science in the Primary School: Prof Elizabeth Henning (Faculty of Education); and

Industrial Development: Prof Fiona Tregenna (Faculty of Economic and Financial Sciences).

The awarding of the new distinguished research chairs take the number of chairs that UJ now holds to 12 and will with no doubt further elevate the University’s research capabilities, output and global impact.

The five new chairs augment the following chairs at UJ:

African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy: Prof Chris Landsberg (Faculty of Humanities);

Education and Care in Childhood: Prof Jace Pillay (Faculty of Education);

Geometallurgy: Prof Fanus Viljoen (Faculty of Science);
Indigenous Plant Use: Prof Ben Erik van Wyk (Faculty of Science);

International Law: Prof Hennie Strydom (Faculty of Law);

Social Change: Prof Peter Alexander (Faculty of Humanities); and

Nanotechnology for Water: Prof Vinod Gupta (Faculty of Science).

These research chairs provide a meaningful learning experience to the nation’s brightest young minds, and it will contribute significantly to UJ’s own efforts to nurture next generation scholars.

Furthermore, two of UJ’s researchers were acknowledged and celebrated for their continued pioneering work in advancing knowledge creation and innovation at the 2015 National Research Foundation (NRF) Awards. The prestigious NRF Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, 27 August 2015 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

The Champion of Research Capacity Development and Transformation at SA Higher Education Institutions award was presented to Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Innovation, Postgraduate Studies and the Library, UJ. Through his leadership he has been an important advocate for increased transformation of South Africa’s science community and landscape.

At the same awards ceremony, Prof Michael Henning, a research professor at the Department of Pure and Applied Mathematics, received his second A-rating. The NRF A-rating is awarded to “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.” Prof Henning has made significant contributions to several topics in graph theory and hypergraph theory. His favourite topic is in the area of domination theory in graphs, where his fundamental contributions have established him as a world-leader in the field.

UJ is home to 144 rated researchers, six of whom are A-rated. The A-rated researchers are: Prof Micheal Henning (Faculty of Science); Prof Nic Beukes (Faculty of Science); Prof Hendrik Ferreira (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment); Prof William Harris (Faculty of Health Sciences); Prof John Maina (Faculty of Science) and Prof Thaddeus Metz (Faculty of Humanities).​​

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