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2014/15 Winners

The NSTF and its seven distinct partners and sponsors take pride in congratulating the 2014/2015 NSTF Award winners!

Winners in the news

These are awards for outstanding contributions to science, engineering, technology and innovation: 

Category Winners'names and details
For a contribution  over a lifetime: by an individual

Professor Helen Rees
Executive Director, Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and UNAIDS Collaborating Centre and Personal Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Wits and Honorary Professor, Department of Clinical Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

For her contributions in the field of HIV prevention, reproductive health and vaccines, where she enjoys global recognition and as a public health strategist with a unique ability to translate research into policy and practice


Professor Robert Scholes
Research Group Leader, The Council for Scientific and Industrial  Research (CSIR) until December 2014 and Distinguished Professor of System Ecology, Wits from 2015

For his contribution in the realms of environmental science, systems ecology, savannah ecology and global change, where he enjoys worldwide recognition as an extraordinary scientist

Special Photonics Award: by an individual in celebration
of UNESCO’s ‘International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies’

Professor Andrew Forbes
Professor,  School of Physics, Wits as of March 2015; previously Chief Researcher, CSIR National Laser Centre (2005–2015)

For significant contributions to photonics in South Africa through basic research and innovations that have led to commercialisation

TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: for research and its outputs over the last 5–10 years by an individual

Professor Zander Myburg
Professor in Forest Genomics and Biotechnology, Department of Genetics and Forestry and Agricultural  Biotechnology Institute  and Genomics Research Institute,  University  of Pretoria

For research which has uncovered the genomic control of wood formation in fast-growing Eucalyptus trees which is significant for fuel production


Professor Dan Stein
Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health and Director, Brain-Behaviour Initiative, University of Cape Town and Director, Stellenbosch University/University of Cape Town/Medical Research Council Unit on Anxiety and Stress Disorders

For a major contribution to advancing basic and clinical neuroscience, with research ranging from laboratory research on animal models through to clinical investigations on the neurobiology and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders
and epidemiological and public mental health research

For research capacity development over the last
5–10 years: by an individual
(sponsored by Eskom)

Professor Jennifer Jelsma
Professor, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University  of Cape Town

For her achievement as one of the first physiotherapists in South Africa to obtain her PhD and, as such, has been in the forefront of developing a culture of research in the rehabilitation sciences

Professor Nigel Bennett
Austin Roberts Chair of Mammology and SARChi, Mammal Behavioural Ecology and Physiology, University of Pretoria

For his outstanding contribution to research in the field of mammalogy, including the students he mentored in the process

TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: to an emerging researcher (post-doctoral in a period of
up to six years after the award of a PhD or equivalent in research)

Dr Thulani Makhalanyane
Lecturer, Department of Genetics and Researcher, Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics, University of Pretoria

For his exceptional performance and contributions in the field of microbial ecology of hot and cold deserts as an emerging researcher and specialist

Dr Grant Theron
Senior Research Officer, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town

For his contribution to the advancement of TB diagnosis through, among other things, the invention of a device to measure patients’ infectiousness

NSTF-GreenMatter Award: by an individual or an organisation towards achieving biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability  and a Greener Economy)

Biological Control Research Group – Professor Martin Hill
Head of Entomology and Director, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University

For running a project in biological control of invasive aquatic weeds that helps to return invaded aquatic ecosystems to functioning states and includes community engagement

For communication for outreach and creating awareness by a team or individual

Ms Marina Joubert
Researcher and Lecturer, Centre for Evaluation, Science and Technology, Stellenbosch University

For her pioneering contribution to promoting and developing science communication as a field of practice and research in South Africa

For research leading to innovation by a team or individual through a corporate organisation


Professor Deon de Beer
Department of Innovation Support and Technology Transfer, North-West University

For playing a leading role in the establishment of additive manufacturing in South Africa.

For research leading to innovation by a team or individual in an SMME (sponsored by THRIP, an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry)


Antrum Biotech
Ms Khilona  Radia,  CEO and Team Leader

For the promotion and development of an accurate rapid test for extra pulmonary TB that will save lives and reduce healthcare-related costs

To a non-governmental organisation (including non-profit companies and community-based organisations) through technology transfer and education and training activities

Western Cape Primary  Science Programme
Ms Zorina Dharsey, Director

For supporting and promoting quality primary science and mathematics teaching and learning as the basic building blocks for children to succeed and pursue further education and employment opportunities

Last updated: 9 November, 2015