Prof Nic Beukes, Department of Geology
The National Research Foundation’s (NRF) prestigious research accolade, the President’s Award, has been awarded to Prof Nic Beukes from the Department of Geology in 2010.
The President’s Award celebrates excellence in research and honours those researchers that are considered world leaders in their fields by their peers.
As the world leader in geological studies of iron-manganese deposits, Prof Beukes has been regarded as an A-rated scientist by the NRF since 2001. He also received the Draper Medal, the highest award from the Geological Society of South Africa, in 2002 for his scientific contribution in geology. In 2006 he became the first South African geoscientist to be selected by the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) as a Regional Vice-President Lecturer. SEG is the leading professional body internationally, representing the interests of Economic Geologists in academia and industry.
Prof Beukes is an honorary fellow of the Centre of the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life and, in 2004, was elected as an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of America being only the second non-USA citizen ever to be awarded this honour. The number of publications to his credit reflects the significant contribution he has made to science and geology in particular. He has authored and co-authored 280 research-related articles and 115 technical reports, aside from personally presenting 140 oral presentations at scientific meetings.
Prof Beukes serves on various national and international geological research committees. Prof Beukes has contributed significantly to South Africa’s mining and exploration industry through his applied economic geology research, as well as his training and supervision of students who were subsequently employed in this sector.
Prof Beukes is regarded by his international counterparts as in the top 1 or 2 percent of all earth scientists.
Prof Basie Von Solms, Academy for Information Technology
1. Professor Basie von Solms, a Research Professor in the Academy for Information Technology, received the Computer Society of South Africa (CSSA) Distinguished Service in ICT Award in 2010.
Prof Von Solms, who is immediate Past President of IFIP, joined the CSSA in 1975 and is a Fellow of the CSSA. A candidate receiving the CSSA Distinguished Service in ICT Award must have been a member of the professional body of the CSSA for at least 10 years; has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the objectives of the Computer Society of SA; has been a role model and mentor showing dedication to the advancement of the ICT industry in SA and has made an exceptional career-length contribution to the ICT industry.
Prof Von Solms nomination for the CSSA Distinguished Service in ICT award was supported by several past President’s of the Society.
2. The South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT) awarded the recently founded Pioneers in Computer Science and Information Technology Award to Prof Von Solms in 2010 for his contribution to Information Technology, and specific Information Security, over the last 40 years. He was also honoured for his international role as President of IFIP, the International Federation for Information Processing.
3. The 2010 IFIP TC-11 Kristian Beckman Award was also awarded to Prof Von Solms to honour him for his never tiring work towards broadening the meaning of Information Security in various aspects, eg by adding management aspects to the academic perception of information security and by creating the field of Security Governance. The Award was also to honour his work as Chair of TC-11, where he strongly demonstrated the importance of information security within IFIP and the whole field of information processing, and his various achievements in the area of IT Security Education on all levels.
In 2006 Prof Von Solms received the South African Academy for Science and Arts MT Steyn Medal for Scientific and Technical Achievement. The medal is one of the most important awards made by the Academy for leadership on the highest level in an area of science and technology. The award is the crown on a life time career, and can only be awarded to a person once in his/her life time. The award reflects the candidate's creative contributions towards the development, organization and continuous expansion of a branch or branches of scientific or technology, where such contribution has played a significant part in the advancement of science and technology, and had also been to the benefit of the country.
He has written more than 100 papers regarding this field - most of which have been published internationally. In addition, he has, to date, supervised 15 PhD students and more than 70 Master students. He has given numerous papers, related to Information Security, at international conferences and is regularly invited to be a member of the Program Committee for international subject conferences.
In 2005 he was awarded the ICT Leadership Award by the South African IT industry and the Computer Society of South Africa for exceptional thought leadership qualities and sustainable contribution to the development and growth of the South African IT Industry.
Prof Von Solms obtained his PhD in Computer Science at University of Johannesburg (formerly the Rand Afrikaans University) and has been lecturing Computer Science and IT at this University since 1 October 1970. He specializes in research and consultancy in the area of Information Security, Information Security Governance, Cyber Security and Critical Information Infrastructure Protection.
Dr Hassina Mouri, Department of Geology
Dr Hassina Mouri from the Department of Geology has been awarded the African Union Regional Scientific Award for Women Scientist 2010. The award ceremony was on 9 September 2010, and was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Dr Hassina Mouri has an internationally recognised educational background. She studied and worked in different institutions on three continents (Africa, Europe and America). She graduated in 1990 from the University of Algiers (cum Laude). As an outstanding student of the year, she was awarded a fellowship to continue her studies in France (Paris 7) where she obtained her Master in June 1991 then a PhD degrees (cum Laude) in January 1995. Soon after that she was recruited as a research associate by the University of Helsinki and the Geological Survey of Finland (1995-1999). After spending another year as a research associate at the University of Minnesota, she joined the University of Pretoria in October 2000. In August 2008 she joined the Department of Geology of the University of Johannesburg.
Her research work focuses on the Archaean (3.8 to 2.5 billion years ago) crustal evolution using different instrumental techniques and disciplines (essentially mineralogy, petrology, radiogenic isotope geology). Dr Mouri’s core interest focuses on Ultra-high temperature granulites rare rocks that record still unexplained events when regions of the Earth’s crust reached temperatures approaching, even excess 1000°C. These rocks preserve in their textures and minerals, “snapshots” of the Earth’s past geological history, which are necessary to understand how mountain belts form and how the Earth’s crust evolved during early times.
Dr Mouri’s work was presented at several international conferences and published in several international journals. Dr Mouri has been invited to co-organise and chair scientific sessions at a number of International Conferences. In November 2008, she was elected Secretary General of the Geological Society of Africa and Chair of the organising committee of the 23rd Colloquium of African Geology, to be held for the first time in South Africa (University of Johannesburg) in January 2011.
She is the recipient of a number of recognitions that include an award for the best presentation at an IGCP meeting in Australia in 1993; a one month research grant at the University of Pavia -Italy 2007 and was invited in February 2008 as studio guest for the Women in Science television program of the South African national broadcaster (SABC). Dr Mouri has proven that, although geology is a “male-dominated field”, females can gain knowledge and skills in this field and perform as well.