The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) in partnership with South32 annually honours excellence in science, engineering, technology and innovation in South Africa.
Engineering Research Capacity Development Award
As director of the UCT Crystallisation and Precipitation Research Unit, Alison Lewis has trained, nurtured and mentored many students. Under her guidance, they have learnt new research methods for the recovery of valuable metals, water and minerals. Over the past 10 years, she has supervised 44 MSc and PhD researchers to graduation, ensuring that they presented and published their research work. Of the 69 international journal papers she has published, 52 were co-authored with a postgraduate student.
TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Emerging Researchers
Hlumani Ndlovu, a lecturer in the Division of Chemical and Systems Biology, leads a lab largely concerned with studying inflammation. With his team, he’s investigating the immunobiology of snail fever, also known as bilharzia, using animal models to mimic infection in humans. He and his team have identified key immunological mechanisms that down-modulate inflammatory liver pathology. Their work could help to identify candidate proteins or immune factors for targeting as host-directed therapies to mitigate debilitating liver fibrosis.
NSTF-Water Research Commission Award
Martine Visser spearheaded a project – in collaboration with the City of Cape Town – that used behavioural nudges to conserve water during the region’s water crisis. It began with a city-wide randomised control trial in which households were motivated to save water via nudges in their monthly utility bills and expanded into ongoing strategic collaborations with the City. Novel outcomes included findings on the longevity of nudges, differences in effect depending on the household’s profile (low/high-income) and a fresh approach to academic–government collaborations in tackling societal issues.