UCT's Emeritus Professor Cesareo Dominguez has been awarded the inaugural Humboldt Research Award, established by the German-based Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AHF) in memory of UCT scholar and AHF fellow Dr Neville Alexander, who died in August.
Dominguez, an emeritus professor of theoretical physics, was named the winner of the accolade alongside psychologist Professor Soraya Seedat of Stellenbosch University and toxicologist Dr Joseph Owuor Lalah of Kenya.
According to the foundation statement, the work of all three researchers has had a major impact on their respective disciplines. They are all expected to provide important research-based inputs to solving the great challenges faced by developing and transition countries.
The award, valued at €60,000 (about R660,000), forms part of the Neville Alexander Memorial Fund, worth about €500,000 (about R5,5 million). It was initiated by the AHF to strengthen collaboration between outstanding African and German academics as part of the German-South African Year of Science 2012/2013.
Thus, winners will conduct research and strike up collaborations with colleagues in Germany.
Dominguez, whose research area is elementary particle/high energy physics, has been collaborating with colleagues from the Universities of Mainz and Munich, both in Germany, for the past 30 years. He visits these institutions at least once a year, and his research collaborators, in turn, visit UCT every year.
The award will allow Dominguez to increase the frequency of visits to twice a year.
Of the honour, Dominguez commented: "I could not possibly expect a higher award."
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