News bytes

08 August 2011
  • "Water is the new oil" is currently a catchphrase in the mining world, and also the basis of Dr Dyllon Randall's award-winning lecture, which took the top spot in the South African leg of the Young Persons' World Lecture Competition. Sponsored by the international Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining network, the competition's final round takes place in São Paulo, Brazil, on 29 September. Here Randall, of UCT's Crystallisation and Precipitation Unit, will compete for the big prize with his lecture, Pass the Salt: Recovery of water and salts from mining brines using Eutectic Freeze Crystallization.

  • A collaborative research project between UCT's Department of Computer Science and the University of Nairobi (UoN) in Kenya, which aims to develop 'micro solutions' for drought monitoring, is beginning to bear fruit. Recently, UCT doctoral student Muthoni Masinde, her supervisor Dr Antoine Bagula and collaborators from ICTP-Italy and Libelium-Spain ran a workshop at the UoN's School of Computing and Informatics on the use of the technology on which the project is based, namely wireless sensor networks (WSNs). These networks are made up of a scattering of hundreds - even thousands - of sensors that monitor environmental conditions in a particular area. At the workshop, the UoN's Professor Lucy Irungu, deputy vice-chancellor for research, production and extension, hailed the collaboration and the opportunity for UoN to benchmark itself against UCT.

  • Women are smarter than men when it comes to career choices, according to career consultant Andrew Bramley. Delivering a talk, Career Transitions - A practical approach to career change and job hunting in South Africa at the latest Alumni Leadership Forum of the Development and Alumni Department on 20 July, Bramley noted that women often make good career decisions in their 20s and early 30s, while men often resolve their careers when nearing their 40s. However, there are people in their 50s who are changing their careers.

  • In June, 37 UCT students travelled to Guangzhou, China, for the university's first Chinese language summer camp. The group - pictured here in Tiananmen Square - included six international students. The camp is the first marquee event since UCT rolled out a credit-bearing course in Initial Mandarin in February this year. The trip was made available with substantial help from the Chinese Language Office International (Hanban), the headquarters for the nearly 700 international Confucius Institutes - including the one at UCT - and Confucius Classrooms it oversees. In picture (above) are Palesa Mathibe and Alli Appelbaum (left and middle).

  • Business magazine African Business Review has, in its July edition, listed UCT's Graduate School of Business (GSB) as the best business school in Africa. On its list of top 10 business schools on the continent, the magazine hailed the GSB for its innovation and "clear set of values". No fewer than five South African-based business schools featured on the list. In November 2010, the GSB was also named the best business school in Africa, for the third consecutive year, at the Eduniversal Global Convention in Prague, Czech Republic.

  • Two UCT scientists were among the 14 international experts who recently launched the new Washington DC-based Vaccine Research Foundation, which will campaign for increased funding for vaccine research against infectious diseases. Co-founders Professor Gregory Hussey, director of Vaccines for Africa, and Professor Willem Hanekom, director of the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, share the foundation's belief that the minimal funding of vaccine research is "shortsighted". "The impact of colliding HIV and TB epidemics in South Africa is devastating," said Hanekom. "Vaccine development is hampered by inadequate resources. The foundation has a critical role in reversing this situation."

  • Members of the Surgical Gastroenterology Unit in the Department of Surgery at UCT and Groote Schuur Hospital made a clean sweep of the awards at the combined Association of Surgeons of Southern Africa and South African Gastroenterology Congress, a gathering that attracted around 1 800 delegates. Dr Marc Bernon was awarded the first prize for his paper, Prospective randomised trial comparing self-expanding metal wall stents with plastic stents in the palliation of malignant obstructive jaundice; Dr Christopher Price came second for his paper, Combined palliative stenting for malignant biliary and duodenal obstruction; and Galya Chinnery received the third prize for her paper, Civilian low velocity gunshot wounds of the pancreas: Analysis of 219 patients treated at a level 1 trauma centre. In picture, Professor Jake Krige (far left), head of surgical gastroenterology, congratulates winners (from left) Chinnery, Bernon and Price.

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Monday Monthly

Volume 30 Edition 11

08 Aug 2011

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