Congratulations to CST Co-Director Prof Mark Swilling and research fellow Dr. Julia van Velden who were honoured for their outstanding contributions at Stellenbosch University (SU)’s Research Excellence Award ceremony held at the SU Museum recently.

Mark Swilling, co-director of the CST.

Prof Mark Swilling was presented with a Research Excellence Award. This award recognises SU researchers who made the biggest contribution in terms of accredited publications during a specific period and doctoral graduates.

For the purpose of the recognition with regards to accredited publications, two categories were considered, namely (i) researchers making the biggest contributions in terms of the publication subsidy units (PUs) of the DHET (cut-off this year was 3,82) and (ii) researchers who produced the highest number of accredited research publications in collaboration with their national and international research partners and students (cut-off this year was 13). In this round, researchers who delivered three or more doctorates as primary supervisor for the period mentioned were also honoured.

Julia van Velden, Postdoctoral researcher at the CST.

Dr. Julia van Velden was a recipient of the DVCs Top 20 Postdoctoral Research Fellows 2022 award. This award recognises postdoctoral research fellows who have contributed to research, scholarship, and community through publications, grants awarded, participation in supervision and teaching, engagements with community, government, and industry.

Outgoing Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies Prof Eugene Cloete presented the awards and said that research publications and doctoral graduates are among the most important products our researchers deliver. He added that these activities help to expand SU’s international reputation as an excellent research university and also contribute significantly to the institution’s annual income.

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

“Researchers delivering these types of outputs of high quality are regarded as some of the most important assets at any university. I consider it a privilege to be able to give recognition to the outstanding performance of this group of researchers”.

Prof Wim De Villiers, Rector, and Vice-Chancellor, congratulated the awardees who, through their publication outputs, supervision of PhD students and mentorship, 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.”