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SU, KU Leuven confer first joint doctorate, KU Leuven confer first joint doctorateCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>​The Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University (SU) on Thursday (22 March 2018) conferred its first-ever joint doctorate. <br></p><p>Dr Kurt Schütte received a joint doctorate in Sport Science from SU and one of its oldest partners, the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium at the fifth ceremony of SU's March graduation. This was also the first doctorate to be awarded jointly by the two institutions. Schütte's supervisors were Prof Ranel Venter from SU's Department of Sport Science and Dr Benedicte Vanwanseele from KU Leuven's Department of Movement Sciences.<br></p><p>“I feel incredibly lucky to have had this unique opportunity to blend inspiration and leverage knowledge from two outstanding universities. Of course, it wasn't always plain sailing, since being the first joint doctoral candidate meant that at times there wasn't any real template or anyone's 'footsteps' to follow," says Schütte who hails from Somerset West in the Western Cape.  <br></p><p>Currently a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven, Schütte's thesis focused on how useful wearables are in detecting fatigue, energy and injury in runners on the track or trail routes.<br></p><p>He says he is grateful for Prof Venter's mentorship, the camaraderie during the research experiments and data collection, as well as the fantastic funding opportunities that SU provided. <br></p><p>“Studying abroad has been an extremely exciting opportunity to learn new European cultures and travel abroad. For me it has been a huge privilege and I really encourage all students to go for it if they get the chance."<br></p><p>Schütte says students should explore different scholarship opportunities, attend international conferences if possible, and also embrace diversity. <br></p><p>“I personally believe that being exposed to different perspectives from different universities has expanded my vision for research and creativity for new experiments." <br></p><p><strong>Other joint doctorates</strong></p><p>Schütte's joint doctorate wasn't the only one to be conferred at SU's March graduation. Joint degrees were also awarded to <span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;text-decoration:underline;"><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5541"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">Dr Alanna Rebelo</strong></a></span><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">​</span><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </span>and Dr Simon Couzinié. Rebello, a postdoctoral researcher in SU's Faculty of AgriSciences, received hers in Conservation Ecology from SU and the University of Antwerp in Belgium, while Dr Simon Couzinié, a lecturer at the <em>École Normale Supérieure</em> de <em>Lyon,</em> was awarded his in Geology by SU and Jean Monnet University in France. Rebello's doctorate was also the first in the Faculty of AgriSciences to be conferred by SU and the University of Antwerp. With joint PhD partnership agreements with 21 partner institutions, SU has awarded 23 joint doctorates to date. <img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Rebelo.JPG" alt="Rebelo.JPG" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:385px;height:258px;" /><br></p><p>Supervised by Prof Karen Esler from SU's Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology and Prof Patrick Meire from the Ecosystem Management Group at the University of Antwerp, Rebelo looked at, among others, the benefits palmiet wetlands hold for ecosystems such as slowing the force of floods, cleaning water and providing habitat for biodiversity and sediment retention.<br></p><p>Reflecting on her doctoral journey, Rebelo says she thoroughly enjoyed her PhD and learning the ropes at a new international institution. <br></p><p>“Most of all I loved my research group. I got to attend courses abroad, conferences, and research trips. I was fortunate to meet exciting researchers from all around the world as well as see many very interesting wetland systems."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr Simon Couzinié says he is very honoured and proud to receive the joint degree from SU and Jean Monnet University. His supervisors were Prof Gary Stevens from SU's Department of Earth Sciences and Jean-François Moyen from Jean Monnet University.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Simon.JPG" alt="Simon.JPG" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:344px;" />“During the past three years, I have benefited from the high level research facilities and academic resources available at both institutions and I am grateful to my supervisors and the Science Faculties for having given me such a great opportunity." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“In South Africa, I also had the chance to collaborate and build-up friendships with local students and colleagues while getting to know more about this beautiful country. I clearly regard this joint PhD experience as a personal and professional achievement."<br></p><p>Commenting on the three joint doctorates, Mr Robert Kotze, Senior Director of Stellenbosch University (SU) International,  says “international academic collaborations normally forms the basis for developing joint degrees and awarding a joint PhD can be seen as the culmination of the collaboration of the two supervisors." <br></p><p>“Not only does it bring together different academic traditions, but it recognises academic complementarity and confirms the candidate's ability to conduct research in an international context."<br></p><p>It is quite fitting that the three joint doctorates were awarded in the same year that SU is commemorating its centenary and also celebrating 25<sup> </sup>years of internationalisation. Leading international activities at the university, SU International, which first opened its doors in 1993 as the then Office for International Relations, plays an influential role in positioning SU as rooted in Africa and global in reach. </p><ul><li><strong>Main photo</strong>: Dr Kurt Schütte with Prof Ranel Venter at the graduation ceremony. <strong>Photographer</strong>: Anton Jordaan<br></li><li><strong>Photo 1</strong>: Dr Alanna Rebelo at her graduation ceremony. <strong>Photographer</strong>: Hennie Rudman<br></li><li><strong>Photo 2</strong>: Dr Simon Couzinié<br></li></ul><p> </p><p><br></p>
Sisters both awarded degrees in polymer science both awarded degrees in polymer scienceWiida Fourie-Basson<p>The Harmzen-sisters from Melkbosstrand not only shared the same science teacher at the Bloemhof High School for Girls, but this week they were awarded a PhD- and MSc-degree respectively in polymer science under the supervision of the same study leader in the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science at Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p>Elrika Harmzen-Pretorius is four years older than her sibling, Nelmari Harmzen, which means that Elrika was in matric in Bloemhof High School for Girls when her sister started with Grade 8 at the same school. Both are full of praise for their teacher, Ms Clarisa Steyn, subject head for physical sciences at Bloemhof: “I've always wanted to study something to do with chemistry, as I loved the subject at school," Elrika recounts.</p><p>“She was the best science teacher ever, even though she always called me Elrika," affirms Nelmari.</p><p>The Harmzen sisters have been exposed to chemistry-related careers since early childhood: their maternal grandfather, Wouter de Waal, was a chemist, and their father, Pieter Harmzen, works at a nuclear power facility in the United Arab Emirates.<br></p><p>Yet it was more by accident than design that they both landed up in Professor Bert Klumperman's research group. The Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science is currently the only institution in South Africa that offers polymer science on both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Furthermore, Klumperman is also holder of the South African research chair in advanced supramolecular architectures. During 2017 altogether five PhD-students successfully completed their research and graduated under his supervision. The others are Dr Annette Kargaard, Dr Uaadhrajh Narsingh and Dr Welmarie van Schalwyk.<br></p><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="small_harmzen sisters 008.jpg" src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/small_harmzen%20sisters%20008.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br> </p><p>Nelmari says it was a great privilege to conduct research in the same laboratory than her older sister: “She helped me so much and I am grateful that we could share this experience. But now I'm finished with studying for a while!"</p><p>She started working at Falke Eurosocks in Cape Town this week, while Elrika is employed as a senior analyst at the electron microscopy division of SU's Central Analytical Services (CAF).</p><h4>More about polymer science</h4><p>SU is the only tertiary institution in South Africa that offers training in polymer science on both undergraduate and postgraduate level. This is thanks to the pioneering work done by the founding father of polymer science in South Africa, Professor Ronald Sanderson. In 1977 he was the only polymer scientist in South Africa and Africa. He established the Institute for Polymer Science with the financial support of industry partners such as Sasol and Plascon. In 2000 the institute was merged with the Department of Chemistry and it became the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science. Today the division has its own building, with five modern, well-equipped laboratoria and state-of-the-art analytical equipment. There are eight fulltime academics and an annual cohort of 50 postgraduate students.</p><p>Professor Sanderson passed away in August 2015. In commemoration of his contribution to polymer science at SU and South Africa, the department established the Ronald Sanderson Honours Bursary in Polymer Science. For more information, go to<br></p><p><em>​On the photo, Mrs Elize Harmzen, Dr Elrika Harmzen, Nelmari Harmzen and their father, Mr Pieter Harmzen.</em><br></p>
Fifth graduation ceremony: Students from Science, Education, Law and Military Science graduate graduation ceremony: Students from Science, Education, Law and Military Science graduateCorporate Communications Division<p>Almost 400 students in the faculties of Science, Education, Law and Military Science at Stellenbosch University (SU) received their degrees at the fifth March graduation ceremony on Thursday (22 March 2018).<br></p><p>At the ceremony, honorary doctorates were also bestowed on two highly regarded thought leaders – Baroness Christine van den Wyngaert, “an esteemed international academic and International Criminal Court judge", and Prof Brian O'Connell, “a formidable and visionary leader at all levels of South African education". SU's Centenary commemorations include the awarding of 13 honorary doctorates during the March graduation week. Both Van den Wyngaert and O'Connell delivered short speeches after receiving their degrees. <br></p><p>In his welcoming address at the event, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers said the graduation was a truly historic occasion, as it formed part of the University's Centenary year.<br></p><p>“Against the backdrop of valuable lessons from our complex history, our Centenary signifies a new beginning for Stellenbosch University. We strive to be a relevant institution that plays a key role in the development of our nation and our continent," he said.<br></p><p>Prof De Villiers reminded the audience that the Faculty of Science started out in a 1 m x 1 m space –  the size of the wall cabinet in which its first scientific instruments were stored. Today, the Faculty has 170 laboratories in eight academic departments spread across 13 buildings on campus and empowers nearly 900 graduates per year with globally competitive qualifications.</p><p>“The Faculty of Education, in turn, is one of the four original faculties with which the University started out. Today, we are proud of its contribution to the improvement of education in the country. And, of course, the Faculty of Law occupies the beautiful Old Main Building, which dates back to the University's prehistory as Victoria College."<br></p><p>“In addition, our Faculty of Military Science is the only one of its kind in Africa, providing professional military education for the South African National Defence Force in accordance with an agreement with the Department of Defence, which has recently been renewed."<br></p><p><br></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p><br></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p><br></p><p>O'Connell's message to graduates was as follows: “If knowledge is electricity, you are the power source. You are the ones who will save the world. Hope must be followed by action." O'Connell also advised students to try and understand the past and keep their eye on the future, and to live by the slogan “Hope, action and knowledge".  </p><p>Van den Wyngaert said she was “extremely grateful to be honoured with this award. Stellenbosch University is one of the best in South Africa, Africa and the world". She also said it was encouraging to see South Africa's achievements in the pursuit of human rights, and urged the country to remain active in the international justice realm. <br></p><p><br></p>
Young physiologist selected for Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting physiologist selected for Lindau Nobel Laureate meetingMedia and Communication, Faculty of Science<p>Dr Balindiwe Sishi from Stellenbosch University is one of 600 young scientists under the age of 35 worldwide who have been selected to participate in this year's Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany from 24 to 29 June.<br></p><p>Over a six day period the participants, from 84 different countries, will interact with 43 Nobel Laureates in physiology and medicine. This includes the winners of the <a href="">2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine</a>. Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young were honoured for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.</p><p>Dr Sishi, a researcher in the Department of Physiological Sciences, says she only applied after being nominated by Prof Kathy Myburgh, holder of the </p><p>SARChI research chair in <a href="/english/research-innovation/Research-Development/sa-research-chair-in-integrative-skeletal-muscle-physiology-biology-and-biotechnology">integrative skeletal muscle physiology, biology, and biotechnolog</a>y<strong>:</strong> “I was curious. I didn't even know such events take place!"</p><p>Sishi's research focuses on finding new ways to decrease the side-effects of the popular chemotherapy drug, Doxorubicin, on the heart. Cardiotoxicity is now considered one of the most important consequences of chemotherapy, leading to an increase in morbidity and mortality of cancer survivors. </p><p>“We use cellular and rat models to simulate the progress of the disease in order to understand which mechanisms are involved. On cellular level, the focus is on understanding the role of organelles such as the dynamic changes in the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum stress and the intracellular communication between organelles. We use this information to evaluate how Doxorubicin therapy will influence these parameters."</p><p>She says in order to be able to develop better treatment strategies, and improve the quality of life of cancer patients, it is essential to understand these complex mechanisms on a cellular level.<br></p><p><em>On the photo, Dr Balindiwe Sishi in her research laboratory. Photo: Stefan Els</em><br></p>
Martin Smit new curator at Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam Smit new curator at Hortus Botanicus AmsterdamWiida Fouriue-Basson<p>Martin Smit, curator of the SU Botanical Garden, has been appointed as the new curator of collections at one of the world's oldest botanical gardens, the <a href=""><em>Hortus Botanicus</em> Amsterdam</a>.</p><p>Fortuitously he will then be in charge of one of the world's most valuable Pelargonium collections, which contains some of the original genetic material collected by botanists from Stellenbosch University in the 1970s and 1980s. Described as South Africa's “gift to the world', Pelargonium varieties are cultivated all over the world and are very popular as bedding plants and in flower boxes.</p><p>Smit says the collection was originally started by Adri van der Walt, then professor of botany at SU. Van der Walt collaborated with Gerhard Fischer in Germany, and a large part of the South African collection was sent to Germany. In 2007 the company he founded, Fischer Pelargonium, became one of the world's largest suppliers of pelargoniums.</p><p>In his farewell message, Martin emphasized the uniqueness of the SU Botanical Garden: “Few people realise that this is the only botanical garden in the Cape Floral Kingdom associated with a university. This creates unique opportunities for research and training. In other floral kingdoms around the world, you would typically find ten times and sometimes even hundreds of botanical gardens associated with universities."</p><p>He also singled out his staff and the volunteers for their hard work and support.</p><p>At a farewell function recently, several of his colleagues and Friends of the Garden recognized Smit's contribution towards restoring the status and research value of the SU Botanical Garden, often with limited resources.</p><p>Over the past five years Smit initiated several projects to restore neglected parts of the garden. The heating system for the lily dams was renovated to accommodate the specific needs of the giant water lily, <em>Victoria cruziana</em>. This is now the only garden in Africa, apart from Madagascar, where visitors can observe this unique lily.</p><p>The tropical glass house was renovated and enlarged and is now home to the world's smallest water lily, <em>Nymphaea thermarum</em>. This critically endangered water lily disappeared from the Rwandan wild a decade ago, and there is only a handful of botanical gardens worldwide who have succeed in propagating and growing this sensitive little plant.</p><p>On Martin's initiative the long-forgotten underground water reservoir was renovated, just in time to keep the plants alive during the current drought. </p><p>He introduced new standards of recordkeeping in the garden. The database has been digitalised and via the <a href="">IrisBg database</a> the garden is now connected with other botanical gardens worldwide. Local visitors can learn more about the plants in the garden by downloading the <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=2892">Garden Explorer app</a> on their smart phones. </p><p>Viola Calitz, administrative officer, thanked Martin for his energy, commitment and drive: “He created several growth and training opportunities for his staff, including opportunities to visit gardens overseas. He managed to get the garden back on the international radar, which led to a significant increase in the number of international visitors. There is no doubt about his vision and passion for the garden."</p><p>Mr Bonakele Mpecheni, horticultural assistant, wished him well with his new career and said he hoped the new garden will value Martin for what he can contribute.</p><p>Professor Léanne Dreyer spoke on behalf of the Department of Botany and Zoology when she thanked Martin for his support for research and training: “Martin realized the value of the unique scientific collections which have been built up over many years. He was proactive in safeguarding the collections and making sure they are well looked after. He also used his contacts worldwide to further expand existing collections. He understood the value of the garden for tertiary training in botany, and went out of his way to ensure that practical material from diverse and unique plant families in the garden was made available for several modules in Botany."</p><p>Dr Paul Hill from the Institute for Plant Biotechnology said researchers and postgraduate students benefited from several unique and news species that Martin added to the garden's collections. Martin was also instrumental in a research project to ensure the survival of the critically endangered powder brush lily, <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5011"><em>Haemanthus pumilio</em></a>, in the Duthie Reserve in Stellenbosch.</p><p>A friend of the garden, Dave Pepler, said the garden today is the product of Martin's vision and unbelievable capacity for hard work.<br></p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/1.png" alt="1.png" style="margin:5px;width:595px;" /><br></p><p><em>On the photo: At the back, from left to right, Marga Rai (shop manager), Bonakele Mpecheni (horticultural assistant), Dywilisi Motshokovu (horticultural assistant), Martin Smit (curator). In front, Mbali Mkhize (horticultural assistant) and Viola Calitz (administrative officer).</em> Photo: Stefan Els​<br></p>
Barter market part of Faculty of AgriSciences' centenary celebrations market part of Faculty of AgriSciences' centenary celebrationsEngela Duvenage<p>​A lively barter market during which the ingenuity of staff and students of the Faculty AgriScience were on full display was held last week in front of the Conservatorium. It formed part of the Faculty's centenary celebrations. It felt very much like a fête – but with no money exchanging hands.<br></p><p>In the spirit of bartering an aubergine was exchanged for a bottle of plant feed, a piece of chocolate cake for a bag full of green peppers, and decorated gift bags for seedlings grown in empty eggshells. The Aquaculture Division brought fresh tilapia, while keen gardeners in the faculty were able to show off products from their own vegetable gardens. </p><p>The Department of Agronomy made the best of a crate of books they were donated, while the Plant Breeding Laboratory offered seasoned popcorn in exchange. The “Vlei Vinke" team of the Department of Agricultural Economics bartered bottled water. Their piece de resistance was the craftily made labels of little birds around the neck of each bottle. </p><p>The market was officially opened with the ringing of a bell by Prof Danie Brink, dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences. He congratulated faculty members on their creativity and thanked them for their contribution towards delivering outstanding teaching and research at the University. He informed attendees about future plans for the Faculty, which include increasing student numbers. </p><p>Market organiser Carin Bruce was pleasantly surprised by the creative ideas and the vibrant atmosphere in the market place. “There were even a few staff members from different departments who had the opportunity of meeting each other face to face for the first time, after having communicated via email and the telephone for many years," said Bruce. </p><p>The Dassie vineyard robot was put through its paces during the event. It also saw the handing over of a cheque of more than R1650 donated by faculty members to Dr Rhoda Malgas' Small Things Fund. The fund is used to provide small amounts of money to students in need to buy anything from a calculator to a handbook or an overall. </p><p>The judges had a difficult task to choose between the best wares on display. The prize for the most creative idea went to the Good Luck Tin of Anchen Lombard and the Department of Food Science. Each tin was decorated with a distinctly Stellenbosch label, and contained small fun items. The best marketing idea was that of the Department of Plant Pathology. They offered two fruit cocktails named after well-known tropical diseases: “Pineapple Powdery Mildew" and “Watermelon Antracnose". (As far as we know no-one suffered any side effects!). The prize for the best team spirit was shared between the Department of Soil Science and Monika Basson. </p><p>The concept of a barter market was started a few years ago in the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology. According to department chair Prof Karen Esler it started off as a social experiment, and also an opportunity for staff members to show off their gardening skills and craftmanship. </p><p><strong>Further centenary celebrations</strong></p><p><strong></strong>The centenary celebrations of the Faculty of AgriSciences coincide with that of Stellenbosch University – and also the 100 year celebrations of the Departments of Plant Pathology, Genetics, Soil Science and Horticulture. </p><p>In celebration, 100 trees have already been planted at Welgevallen Experimental Farm.</p><ul><li>The celebrations culminate with a series of memorial lectures, a wine tasting and a gala dinner on Friday 4 May.</li><li>Memorial lectures are being planned by the four departments celebrating their centenary. These will take place in parallel in different buildings on campus on Friday 4 May at 15:30. Entrance is free. Among the speakers are Willem Botes (Department of Genetics), Prof Leopoldt van Huyssteen (Department of Soil Science) and Dr Cheryl Lennox (Department of Plant Pathology). </li><li>Afterwards, a tasting of Die Laan wines from the SU's own Welgevallen wine cellar will be held. </li><li>The Centenary Gala Dinner takes place at 18:30 at Spier. The popular song writer and television personality Coenie de Villiers will be the guest artist. A limited number of tickets are still available.</li><li>Paintings of some of the faculty's historic buildings by artist Diane Johnson-Ackerman will be on display. </li><li>For more information about the celebrations, contact Carin Bruce at .</li></ul><p> </p><p><br> </p>
BSc students' field trip in April 1918 students' field trip in April 1918Wiida Fourie-Basson<p><em> Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Science is also celebrating its centenary in 2018. Here is the first of many fascinating anecdotes from our history​​</em></p><p><em>On foot and, for the luggage, a donkey cart. This is how a group of 19 Victoria College students and their lecturers, all from geology and botany, undertook a “hike between Prince Albert Station and George" in April 1918.</em></p><p>The aim was not only to enjoy a “pleasant holiday" but also “as we went along, [to] discover more about the natural sciences; and so observe the various phenomena about which we have learned in the classroom in their natural environment", explained an article that appeared after the excursion in the <em>Stellenbosch Universiteitsblad</em> of June 1918.</p><p>The idea for this “big party of people" was that of the Australian biologist and palaeontologist <a href=""><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Prof Ernest James Goddard</span></a> (1883−1948), who succeeded Prof Robert Broom at Victoria College in 1910. Dr Goddard returned to Australia in 1922, where he became greatly respected; the Goddard Biological Sciences Building on the campus of Queensland University in Australia, among others, was named after him.</p><p>The other two lecturers were Miss Gardiner, a geologist, and Dr <a href=""><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Augusta Vera Duthie</span></a> (1881−1963), a botanist. Dr Duthie was appointed in 1902 to establish the Department of Botany at Victoria College. In 1912, the degree Doctor of Science (DSc)  was awarded to her by the University of South Africa for her dissertation <em>The vegetation and flora of the Stellenbosch flats</em>.</p><p>According to the article in the <em>Universiteitsblad</em>, the tour group set off with great “scientific gusto", Prof Goddard with “his usual brisk stride". The botanists and one “Gentleman" were not far behind, either. Arriving in Prins Albert, the party apparently “caused [a] sensation" − the residents there thought it was the “Circus" come to town.</p><p>After Prins Albert, the group went up and over the Swartberg Pass, made its way through Oudtshoorn over the Montagu Pass and so walked into George – having covered a distance, all in all, of 130 kilometres on foot. By the end of the trip, the scientific gusto had apparently lost some of its steam and “the only stones of interest were the mile stones".</p><p>According to the Stellenbosch 1866−1966 commemorative publication, this excursion into the Karoo was the first of many and it ultimately led to the establishment of the 'Berg en Toer Klub' on 4 June 1928.</p><p><strong>Sources</strong></p><p><em>Stellenbosch 1866</em><em>−</em><em>1966. Honderd Jaar Hoër Onderwys.</em> 1966. Cape Town: Nasionale Boekhandel Beperk. 343−345.</p><p>Van Prince Albert naar George. <em>Stellenbosch University Magazine</em>, June 1918:17−18.</p><p><a href="/english/entities/archives/Pages/default.aspx"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Stellenbosch University Archive</span></a>.</p>
SU computer science students hack their way to the top computer science students hack their way to the topMedia and communication, Faculty of Science<p>The BitPhase team from Stellenbosch University won the main challenge of the first <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Cybersecurity Challenge</span></a> that took place during the annual conference of the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) in Pretoria from 3 to 6 December 2017.</p><p>First year computer science students Luke Joshua, Joseph Rautenbach, Jonathan Botha and MSc student Nicolaas Weideman outwitted seven other teams during the gruelling four day main challenge. Other challenges included password cracking and attacking the system.</p><p>The competition was organised by the <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;">South African National Research Network</span></a> (SANReN) as part of its aim to stimulate interest in information and cyber security within computer networks by presenting students with challenges that replicate real world scenarios.</p><p>During the first round of the competition in October 2017, over a hundred students from all over South Africa competed in solving network security problems such as decrypting passwords, geo-locating pictures, securing web sites, finding information from TCP traffic and extracting weak security keys. Only eight teams of four members each were then placed to compete in the final round in December.</p><p>The main challenge consisted of multiple cyber security scenarios and teams had to attack a system in order to exploit its vulnerabilities: “The idea of the competition is that in order to defend a system, one must know how to attack it first," Botha explains.</p><p>Examples of scenarios for the main challenge included finding a way to break through a password-protected android app, reverse engineering of an application to get a valid license key in order to get access to the application, analysing the workings of a fake bank app with the goal of transferring money from other fake accounts into their own; using forensic techniques on retrieved data that was designed to appear damaged; and cracking RSA encryption from a partial key.</p><p>They also had to find information hidden in files using a variety of steganographic techniques. Traditionally steganography includes a vast array of secret communication methods that conceal the message's very existence, such as invisible ink. But in the world of computer technology it includes obfuscation and embedding files in text and images</p><p>For their efforts, the members of Team BitPhase each received a gold medal and a complete Raspberry Pi set with a camera module.</p><p>Team Blitzkrieg, also from Stellenbosch University, was placed fourth in the major challenge.</p><p>Dr Steve Kroon, a lecturer in the Computer Science Division in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at SU, says they are extremely proud of the students.</p><p><em>On the photo above, from left to right, Nicolaas Weideman, Joseph Rautenbach, Jonathan Botha and Luke Joshua.</em></p>
Science Café Stellenbosch by Woordfees Café Stellenbosch by WoordfeesWiida Fourie-Basson<p>We are on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution. Our modern Western lifestyle leads to an alarming increase in diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. But maybe revolutionary advances in the medical sciences will enable us to create designer babies and a disease free future?  With <strong>Dave Pepler</strong> as moderator Science Café Stellenbosch at Woordfees 2018 is looking at what the next one hundred years hold in store for us.</p><h3>Here comes the fourth industrial revolution<br></h3><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Accent2" style="text-decoration:underline;">Monday 5 March, 18:30-19:30, Plataan, SU Museum, 37 Ryneveld Street</span></p><p>Tonight we go high tech with computers, artificial intelligence and whether universities as we know them today are still going to exist in the future? <strong>Dave Pepler</strong> talks to computer scientist <strong>Willem Visser</strong>, a specialist in artificial intelligence, <strong>Bruce Watson</strong>, and SU's vice-rector for research, innovation and postgraduate studies, <strong>Eugene Cloete</strong>.</p><h3>Sugar and stress: here comes trouble</h3><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Accent2" style="text-decoration:underline;">Tuesday 6 March, 18:30-19:30, Plataan, SU Museum, 37 Ryneveld Street</span></p><p>What is the relationship between high sugar intake, stress and the increase in diseases such as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers' and Parkinsons?  <strong>Dave Pepler</strong> finds out from endocrinologist <strong>Dr Graham Ellis</strong> (Synexus), and from SU's Department of Physiological Sciences: <strong>Anna-Mart Engelbrecht</strong>, <strong>Resia Pretorius</strong> and <strong>Theo Nell</strong>.</p><h3>Genetic manipulation of human embryos </h3><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Accent2" style="text-decoration:underline;">Wednesday 7 March 2018, 18:30-19:30, Plataan, SU Museum, 37 Ryneveld Street</span></p><p>New technologies enable us to create better life forms and even manipulate human evolution on the level of embryos. Do these new advancements in the medical sciences offer new hope, or are we playing with fire? <strong>Dave Pepler</strong> tackles this controversial topic with geneticist <strong>Louise Warnich</strong> and a specialist in bio-ethics, <strong>Anton van Niekerk</strong>.</p><h3>Lessons out of Africa</h3><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Accent2" style="text-decoration:underline;">Thursday 8 March 2018, 18:30 I SU Botanical Garden</span></p><p>We take time to appreciate the present. <strong>Dave Pepler</strong> reflects on his experiences in Africa, and shares a few stories about the extraordinary plants in the SU Botanical Garden's collection.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong><em>Science Café Stellenbosch</em></strong><em> is an initiative of SU's Faculty of Science to promote the public discussion of science in a language that everyone can understand. </em></p><p><em>For more information, contact </em><a href=""><em></em></a><em> or follow us on </em><a href=""><em>Facebook</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Science as Art as ArtE Els<p style="text-align:justify;">​Prof Lydia-Marie Joubert, manager of the Electron Microscopy unit at the Central Analytical Facilities, received the first prize for her photo 'Microscopic Escher' in a competition of the NRF South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement in the category 'Science as Art 2017'. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img class="ms-rtePosition-4" src="/english/faculty/science/CAF/Documents/Microscopic-Escher.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:375px;height:273px;" /> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <em>'Microscopic Escher' </em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The photo shows the cellular patterns of rose petals. Floral petals were imaged live, and treated with Ionic Liquid to make them conductive for electron microscopic imaging. The photograph was taken with a scanning electron microscope. Closer inspection reveals an abundance of microscopic life on the rose petal.</p>