Kevin Sack has received the South African Association for the Advancement of Science S2A3 medal for 2014. The medal honours outstanding South African research students graduating at the master's level.
In a nutshell, Sack's MSc – which he was awarded with distinction – outlined a new material model suitable for describing cardiac tissue within a computational framework. His supervisor was Dr Sebastian Skatulla of the Department of Civil Engineering.
Sack explains: "Our model, the 'Cosserat fibre continuum', accounted for bending and twisting, directly in the material model, which is not usually considered in classical mechanics."
He said that as the heart is composed out of mostly myocyte fibres, accurately accounting for their full range of deformation is an important research question.
"It goes without saying that winning the medal was an incredible honour," Sack added. "I'm sure there were many equally deserving candidates and I am grateful my work was chosen from them."
Sack is currently registered for a PhD in biomedical engineering to produce a computational model of an infarcted heart. He is currently visiting the University of Southampton as part his training.
Photo caption: Kevin Sack (foreground), winner of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science S2A3 medal for 2014, photographed with his supervisor, Dr Sebastian Skatulla, of the Department of Civil Engineering.
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