News in brief - 16 September

16 September 2011 | Story by Newsroom

The Dean of Humanities rolls out her merit list | Researchers at the Energy Research Centre draw up winning spreadsheets | A UCT scientist helps a school learner make an impression in Slovakia

Hunmanities Dean's listThe best and brightest among the final-year students in UCT's Faculty of Humanities were celebrated at the Dean's Merit List function in August. This annual event showcases the faculty's most outstanding - consistently so - students, and also serves to promote postgraduate studies among what amounts to a particularly talented pool of students. Among those hailed by the dean, Prof Paula Ensor (third from left), at the event were (from left) Ziyanda Ndzendze, Douglas Coltart, Tom Harris, Sharna Rheinicke and Seopedi Baitsile.

Dr Andrew Marquard &Bruno MervenDr Andrew Marquard (right in picture) and Bruno Merven (left) of UCT's Energy Research Centre have won the Energy Education Award of the South African National Energy Association (SANEA) for their design of an electricity-planning tool known as SNAPP, or Sustainable National Accessible Power Planning. SNAPP - essentially a sophisticated set of Excel spreadsheet with add-ons - allows researchers to model options for electricity supply for South Africa, and has already been used by a number of organisations. Marquard and Merven were nominated for the SANEA award by the Living Planet Unit of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF): South Africa, who funded the project. The latest version of SNAPP is available on the ERC's website or the WWF-SA site

Gary FinkelsteinA switchboard error put Gary Finkelstein, a grade-10 learner at Herzlia High School, in touch with Dr Rob van Hille of UCT's Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research (CeBER). A gold-medal winner at the 2010 Eskom Expo, Finkelstein was looking for help with his project, on the production of greenhouse gases through the breakdown of organic matter (lettuce, in his case), that he was to present at the International Expo in Bratislava, Slovakia, in July. The accidental pairing paid off - Van Hille ran tests on methane production in the CeBER labs, data that helped Finkelstein win two awards in Slovakia.

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