Prof Susan Bourne is the Interim Dean of the Faculty of Science at UCT. Prior to this appointment she was the Professor of Physical Chemistry and Head of the Department of Chemistry at UCT. She holds a BSc(Hons) and PhD degree, obtained at UCT. Her research interests are in Supramolecular Chemistry and Crystal Engineering. She is an NRF B-rated researcher and has published extensively in international peer-reviewed journals. She is the chair of the Structural Chemistry Commission of the International Union of Crystallography, and serves on the Editorial Boards of two of the leading journals in crystal engineering.
Prof. Bharuthram was the Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Western Cape from 2008 to 2014. Upon his retirement in 2014 he was appointed Executive Special Projects in the Office of the Vice Chancellor.
He obtained his PhD in Theoretical Plasma Physics from the University of Natal in 1980. He has served tertiary education in South Africa for 47 years in several capacities - 29 years at the University of Durban-Westville from Laboratory Assistant to Head of the School of Physics, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor; as Director: Research at the M L Sultan Technikon (1998 – 2002) and the University of Natal/KwaZulu–Natal (2002 – 2005). The previous position he held was Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (2006-07).
Prof Bharuthram has published more than 150 research articles in journals of international standing on fluctuation phenomena in laboratory, space and dusty plasmas, with an emphasis in recent years on space plasmas, in particular on fluctuations in the different regions of the earth’s magnetosphere.
He has served on several national panels for the NRF, Department of Science & Technology and the Department of Higher Education & Training.
Professor Stephanie Burton is the Vice-Principal responsible for research, postgraduate education, and international partnerships at the University of Pretoria. She holds an MSc in Organic Chemistry (1990) and a PhD in Biochemistry (1994) from Rhodes University.
Professor Burton has lectured in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Rhodes University, and then Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. In 2009, she was appointed Director of Postgraduate Studies, and leader of the Biocatalysis and Technical Biology Group, at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
Her continuing research interests are in the field of applied biochemistry and biotechnology, and her field of specialization is biocatalysis – the production of valuable compounds such as antioxidants using biological reaction systems. She is an NRF B-rated researcher, and has published extensively in international peer-reviewed journals and books, and holds several patents. She has supervised over 30 postgraduate students and is on the Editorial Board of three international journals in her field.
Prof. Thandi Mgwebi is the Director of Research and the Director of the South African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC) at the University of the Western Cape.
Prior to her appointment at UWC, she was the Executive Director for Research Chairs and Centres of Excellence at the NRF. She obtained her degrees BSc, BSc (Hons), MSc and Higher Diploma in Education (HDE) at a young age. Her early research career included work as a postdoctoral fellow in the South African Aids Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI) at UCT.
She serves in various capacities including the co-chair of the World Sustainability Forum 2017, special panelist for the DST’s Women in Science Initiative, long-standing member of the Advisory Board of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences and a member of the Advisory Board of the UNESCO Africa Chair in Nanosciences & Nanotechnology.
Boeta Pretorius is the Chief Director of IT at the North-West University.
He has an M.Sc. in Computer Science, and serves on the senate and is a member of several committees, which include the Institutional Committee for Teaching and Learning, the Institutional Committee for Research and Innovation, the Steering Committee for Transformation of Teaching and Learning, Campus Extended Management Teams, Kuali Mobility Board and Executive Steering team of Kuali Student.
He is the Director of Open Collab. He has played a founding role in the African Research Cloud, and has made major contributions to the Student Technology Program, Sakai SA, SA Alfresco user group and several other Asaudit User Groups.
Frik van Niekerk is the Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Technology at the North-West University. He has a prestigious academic career - B.Sc. (with distinction, Physics, Maths & Applied Maths), postgraduate degrees in Applied Maths (with distinction) and Physics (with distinction) and has a D.Sc. in Reactor Science from PU for CHE.
Prof van Niekerk served in senior positions at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA, Denel Aviation and the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor. From 1985 to 1988 he worked at the Gessellschaft Für Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) in München, Germany.
He is a member of the ASSAF and the SA Akademie, and serves as the Chairman of the Board/Director of several NWU Companies. He further serves as a member of several DHET, NRF, NACI and DST advisory/steering committees - which include the NACI Rapid-Response Advisory sub-committee on Energy and the Astronomy Advisory Council of South Africa.