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2023 Research and Innovation Excellence Awards – a celebration of research with impact at SU
Author: Division for Research Development | Afdeling Navorsingsontwikkeling
Published: 03/11/2023

​​​Stellenbosch University (SU)'s Research and Innovation Excellence Award ceremony was held at STIAS on Monday 30 October 2023. The awards recognised researchers, postdoctoral research fellows and postgraduate students who contributed in one of the award categories: postgraduate students; early career researchers; established researchers; women in research; awards for newly A-rated researchers; postgraduate supervision; technology transfer/innovation; research outputs; The Conversation Africa awards for science communication; postdoctoral research fellows; a DVC Interdisciplinary/Group award; as well as a Rector and Vice-Chancellor'​​​​s Research for Impact Award.

Research-related activities and outputs make a critical contribution to expanding SU's national and international reputation as an excellent research-intensive university that advances knowledge in service of society.

More importantly is the fact that new knowledge generated at SU in this manner is transferred to a broader national and global audience, thus enhancing the application of research results and the establishment of high-level human capacity.

The awards therefore give recognition to individuals for their exceptional and excellent contribution towards SU`s research enterprise. They have been engaged in high qualify research, knowledge transfer, or research-related activities over a sustained period of time and therefore deserve acknowledgement for the impact of their work.

In her opening address, Prof Sibusiso Moyo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies at SU, highlighted the fact that SU relies on the research and innovation expertise of its people, excellent infrastructure and an impeccable reputation to deliver high quality training, produce new knowledge and conduct research needed to solve some of the pressing problems in our environment and society. Impactful research is one of the main drivers that measures the value add of SU to knowledge generation and high-end skills training. “We therefore celebrate this group of awardees, but also everyone who has been nominated in the various categories. We also want to thank the Faculties, Departments, Schools, Research Centers and Institutes for creating enabling spaces for these researchers and students to thrive. This year we introduced a nomination process and a few more categories to look at the broader impact of the research beyond focusing only on the number of publications but also the impact of the research outcomes", she added.

Prof Wim De Villiers, Rector, and Vice-Chancellor, congratulated the awardees who contribute to SU's strategic vision of becoming Africa's leading research-intensive institution: “One of SU's core strategic themes is Research for Impact. And the impact our researchers are making - on Stellenbosch University's reputation and influence as a world-class institution that produces excellent research, and within their fields of expertise in South Africa, Africa and beyond – that's a legacy to be proud of."

You can find the awards ceremony booklet with the names of all the nominees in the different categories here:

Research and Innovation Excellence Awards 2023 awardees: ​​

Dr Megan BruwerCivil Engineering
Ms Kimberly CoetzerBiomedical Sciences
Ms Elizaveta KorolevaMicrobiology
Ms Carmen-Marie PayneMedical Physiology
Dr Samantha PillayBiomedical Sciences
Dr Tulimo UushonaAnimal Sciences
Dr Bronwyn CoetzeePsychology
Dr Wynand GoosenBiomedical Sciences
Dr Karel KrugerMechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Dr Douglas ParryInformation Science
Dr Sanjeev RambharosePhysiological Sciences
Dr Rizwana RoomaneyPsychology
Dr Delano van der LindePublic Law
Prof Karen EslerConservation Ecology and Entomology
Prof Andries EngelbrechtIndustrial Engineering
Prof Ashraf KageePsychology
Prof Michele MillerBiomedical Sciences
Prof Grant TheronBiomedical Sciences
Prof Annie BekkerMechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Prof Oonsie BiggsCentre for Sustainability Transitions
Prof Zsa-Zsa BoggenpoelPrivate law
Prof Catherine CluverObstetrics and Gynaecology
Prof Marlo MöllerMolecular Biology and Human Genetics
​Awards for newly A-rated Researchers  
Prof Guy MidgleyDirector: School for Climate Studies
Prof Gerhard WalzlMolecular Biology and Human Genetics
​Postgraduate Supervision Awards  
Prof Dirk de VilliersElectrical and Electronic Engineering
Prof Sara GrobbelaarIndustrial Engineering
Prof Doreen KauraNursing and Midwifery
Prof Cletos MapiyeAnimal Sciences
Prof Robbie PottChemical Engineering
Prof Jan van VuurenIndustrial Engineering
​Technology Transfer/Innovation Awards  
Prof Resia PretoriusPhysiological Sciences
Dr Jason SamuelsIndustrial Engineering
​DVC Top Research Output Award  
Prof Oluwole MakindeMathematics
Prof Soraya SeedatPsychiatry
Prof Robin WarrenMolecular Biology and Human Genetics
Prof Bernard WesselsPrivate Law
Dr Evert KleynhansMilitary History
​​The Conversation Africa Awards  
Dr Charles MacRobertCivil Engineering
Dr Sara AndreottiBotany and Zoology
Prof Amanda GouwsPolitical Science
Mr Wandile SihloboAgricultural Economics
Prof Lungi Nkonki - Future Professors ProgrammeHealth Systems and Public Health
Dr Margreth Tadie - Future Professors ProgrammeChemical Engineering
Dr Tongai Gibson Maponga - Future Professors ProgrammeMedical Virology
Dr Uhuru Portia Phalafula - Future Professors ProgrammeEnglish
Prof Nox Makunga - Future Professors ProgrammeBotany and Zoology
Dr Gibson Ncube - Future Professors ProgrammeModern Foreign Languages
Dr Tawanda Zininga - Future Professors ProgrammeBiochemistry
Prof Retief Muller  - for PhDs deliveredSystematic Theology and Ecclessiology
Prof Johann Cilliers - for PhDs deliveredPractical Theology and Missiology
Prof Maureen Robinson - for PhDs deliveredCurriculum Studies
Prof Marius Ungerer - for research outputsUSB
Prof Florian Krobb - for research outputsModern Foreign Languages
Prof Christof Sauer - for research outputsPractical Theology and Missiology
Dr John Harper - for research outputsOld and New Testament
​Postdoctoral Awards  
Dr Chioma Ohajunwa - Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Year AwardAfrica Centre for HIV/Aids Management
Prof Grant Theron - Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor AwardBiomedical Sciences
Dr Natalia Florez Quiroz - Top Postdoctoral Research Fellow AwardCivil Engineering
Dr Eirik Wik - Top Postdoctoral Research Fellow AwardInstitute of Sport and Exercise Medicine
Dr Hayley Jackson - Top Postdoctoral Research Fellow AwardBiochemistry
Dr Suventha Moodley - Top Postdoctoral Research Fellow AwardBiochemistry
Dr Lindani Moyo - Top Postdoctoral Research Fellow AwardPlant Pathology
Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI)School for Data Science and Computational Thinking
Institute for Life Course Health Research (ILCHR)Global Health
Prof Tulio De OliveiraCentre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI)