College of Science, Engineering & Technology

2017/2018 NSTF-South32 finalists announced

Unisa congratulates Malik Maaza and Titus Msagati who are finalists in the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 awards. They have been recognised for their excellence and outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology and innovation in South Africa in the following categories.

Prof Malik Maaza (Senior Scientist: National Research Foundation (NRF) Nanosciences LABS and UNESCO Africa Chair, CGS) and Prof Titus Msagati (Professor at the Research Unit of NanoWS, CSET)

Award

Finalist

Lifetime Award (by an individual over a lifetime—15 years or more) Prof Malik Maaza—Senior Scientist: National Research Foundation (NRF) Nanosciences LABS and UNESCO Africa Chair, College of Graduate Studies
NSTF-GreenMatter Award: Towards achieving biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and a greener economy (contribution by an individual or an organisation over the last 5 to 10 years—sponsored by GreenMatter) Prof Malik Maaza—Senior Scientist: National Research Foundation Nanosciences LABS and UNESCO Africa Chair, College of Graduate Studies
NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award: Sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions (by an individual or an organisation to be awarded in recognition of demonstrated leadership and impact over the last 5 to 10 years—sponsored by the WRC)
Prof Titus Msagati—Professor at the Research Unit of Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability, College of Science, Engineering, and Technology
Special Annual Theme Award: Towards Sustainable Energy for All (awarded according to criteria in any of the other categories but which meet this objective) For 2018, the award is made in recognition of the ‘International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’ as declared by the United Nations.
Prof Malik Maaza—Senior Scientist: National Research Foundation (NRF) Nanosciences LABS and UNESCO Africa Chair, College of Graduate Studies

The announcement of the NSTF Awards winners will take place at the prestigious NSTF Awards gala dinner taking place on 28 June 2018 in Gauteng.

Background

The NSTF Awards were established in 1998 as a collaborative effort to recognise outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation by SET-related professionals and organisations in South Africa. This includes experienced scientists, engineers, innovators, science communicators, engineering capacity builders, and organisational managers/leaders, as well as data and research managers.

South32 is a metals and mining company that de-merged from BHP Billiton in 2016. It took over the co-branding sponsorship agreement for the annual NSTF Awards.

The NSTF-South32 Awards are referred to as the ‘Science Oscars’ of South Africa. They are the largest, most comprehensive, and most sought-after national awards of their kind in the country. They were also the first science awards in South Africa.

The theme for the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards is Sustainable Energy for All. This is in recognition of the International decade of Sustainable Energy (2014-2024) as declared by United Nations. The 20th annual Awards Gala Dinner will celebrate this theme on 28 June 2018.

New features were introduced for some categories and the criteria as follows:

  • Innovation awards: The Innovation Category has greater emphasis on ‘innovation’. The Research for Innovation Awards is now the ‘Awards for Innovations and their research and/or development’.
  • Research categories: All research categories are now open to anyone thoroughly experienced in research, regardless of whether they have a PhD. We have also strengthened the focus on further development of outputs towards innovation.
  • Special Annual Theme Award: This year the NSTF’s special annual theme award is for a contribution to SET and innovation towards Sustainable Energy for All in South Africa.

The accreditation and selection process for the NSTF-South32 Awards are made by an adjudication panel of independent judges. They represent six different sectors of the NSTF membership and within which the NSTF operates. This adjudication panel, in conjunction with the Award partners, review the nominations to select the finalists and winners each year. A panel of experts, appointed by the NSTF Executive Committee, also assists the panel by reviewing and validating the final selections.

The patron of the NSTF Awards, the Minister of Science and Technology, presides over the programme. The new Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, confirmed her attendance to participate in the proceedings this year. The event is a glamorous affair attended by the cream of the crop of the SET community. It is the largest event of its kind and is open to the public. Over 600 guests attend the event. The SET community is invited to book tables for their organisations to celebrate the achievements of the nominees and finalists. Contact Bokgabo Tlhaku at enquiries@nstf.co.za or call +27 (0)12 841-3349/3987.

*Compiled by Sharon Farrell