PROFESSOR Daya Reddy, Dean of Science and one of UCT's 13 A-rated scientists, has been appointed Chair of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Board.
Dr Ben Ngubane, Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, expressed his confidence in Reddy's ability to make a valuable contribution in guiding the NRF over the next three years, a term of office which started on July 1. "I am also confident that you will uphold the mission, vision and objectives of the NRF," he continued in his congratulatory letter.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Njabulo Ndebele, said he had been delighted to learn that Reddy had been appointed as the new Chair of the NRF. "The NRF has provided leadership in the promotion and support of research and research capacity development in the natural, social and human sciences, engineering and technology since its founding in 1999. His appointment is testimony to the high value attached to UCT's research expertise. I have confidence in the quality of leadership Prof Reddy will provide, and that he will contribute significantly to the NRF; making a substantial national impact. I wish him well in his endeavours."
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Associate Professor Cheryl de la Rey said it was appropriate that Reddy, an academic with an outstanding research record and an A-rated scientist, had been appointed to lead the NRF.
"The University is honoured that one of its top researchers has been acknowledged through this appointment. As the Chair of the NRF Board Professor Reddy will be playing a key leadership role in determining policies and procedures for the public funding of research in South Africa," she added.
"Given his track record in research and academic leadership, he is well suited for the task ahead. As a community of researchers, we can have full confidence that with Professor Reddy as chairperson, the NRF will be a pivotal agency in ensuring that science and technology is sufficiently resourced and strategically directed so that it may contribute to the development of all the people of South Africa. In taking up this position, Professor Reddy has the full support of the University."
According to the National Research Foundation Act, the NRF acts through its Board in carrying out its mandate. The NRF President is the Chief Executive, and is ex officio a Board member.
"The NRF faces immense challenges in striving to achieve its objectives," Reddy said. "This is particularly the case with regard to its role in contributing towards significant growth of the country's research base. I am honoured to be entrusted with the task of chairing the Board during this challenging time, and will rely greatly on the combined wisdom and wide range of expertise of the Board members."
Reddy was appointed Dean of Science in January, 1999 and first received an A-rating in 1996. He obtained a BSc degree in civil engineering with first class Honours in 1973 and has a PhD in mechanics from Cambridge University (1977). After a postdoctoral year at University College London, Reddy was appointed in 1979 to a jointly held position as lecturer in applied mathematics and civil engineering. He was later appointed to a Chair in Applied mathematics in 1989.
He served as the Head of Department of Applied Mathematics from 1989 to 1994. He is Director of the Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics (CERECAM), an inter-disciplinary research centre.