Wednesday, 11 April 2007 | Volume 1, Issue #4
 
In This Issue

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALUMNI NEWS:

Dates to Diarise

 

PRODUCED BY:

Public Affairs and Corporate Communications

 

EDITED BY:

Professor Dasarath Chetty & Smita Maharaj

 

HOW TO SUBMIT AN ARTICLE:

Please submit newsworthy articles to : alumni@ukzn.ac.za

 

WHERE TO FIND THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE:

The full version of selected articles will be published in ukzndaba

 

ENQUIRIES
Corlia Ogle

Extension : +27 (0) 31 260 1238
Email: alumni@ukzn.ac.za

 

FEEDBACK
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
© COPYRIGHT

All information © 2007 University of KwaZulu-Natal. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH - EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING
 

Professor
Hoosen Coovadia
Groundbreaking scientific research findings on exclusive breastfeeding by HIV positive mothers, has led to an immediate review of government policy in ‘nutritional support’ to HIV positive mothers who are breastfeeding their babies.

Leading scientists at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine Professor Hoosen Coovadia (Principal Investigator), Professor Nigel Rollins, Professor Anna Coutsoudis and the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies’ Dr Ruth Bland and Professor Marie-Louise Newell conducted the research over a period of six years. The study has been published in The Lancet.

The Study proves conclusively that when HIV-positive mothers breastfeed exclusively for six months, their babies have a four percent risk of infection. In contrast, babies who were fed both breastmilk and solids were almost 11 times more likely to contract HIV. Babies who had both breast and formula feeds doubled the risk of HIV infection compared with those only on the breast. “This is a major finding showing again that HIV related research at UKZN is in the forefront internationally,” said Professor Willem Sturm, Dean of the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine. The comprehensive study of 2 722 HIV infected and uninfected pregnant women was undertaken at seven rural and two urban sites.

Eminent scientist and academic, Professor Coovadia explains: “This study started with an original observation by Professor Anna Coutsoudis and was made possible by the excellent work of Professors Nigel Rollins, Marie-Louise Newell and Dr Ruth Bland, who equally share in the fruits of this project.

“It is without doubt, one of the most rigorously conducted studies, employing the most stringent criteria of accuracy, into breastfeeding ever done. All my professional life I have worked on problems of the poor, particularly the children of Africa, but this would rank as the one likely to have the most impact on public health throughout the developing world and is likely to lead to a new approach to infant feeding policies.

“Already the World Health Organisation has changed its guideline on infant feeding and HIV, thanks to this and other new findings which have emerged from Africa in the past few months. The Durban results will encourage policy makers in Africa to re-evaluate their policies on formula feeding for babies born to HIV infected women, and hopefully agree that in this case saving money spent unnecessarily on formula is not only saving lives, but using what is natural and comes ‘free’ and improves survival.”

Professor Leana Uys, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences said that “this research illustrates the importance of the Africa Centre as a research site for researchers from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. We are beginning to see exciting research results from this site, and we are inspired by the potential of this research setting.”

 

SMARTCITY ICT CONFERENCE TO BE STREAMED REAL TIME
 

Mr Jasper Cecil

The eThekwini Municipality’s inaugural SmartCity ICT Conference and Expo, to be held from April 19-20 at Durban’s Albert Luthuli International Conference Centre, will break new ground in the use of technology as it beams the proceedings live to UKZN’s five campuses using the Municipality’s extensive fibre-optic network.

The “video streaming” technology is being made possible using the expertise of the University’s Audio Visual Centre. Staff and students will be able to see proceedings as they happen on their desktops. The video stream will also be broadcast to lecture venues on the Howard College, Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses. Ms Jacqui Subban, head of Geographic Information and Policy at the Municipality, said last week, “This is phenomenal. This could become normal for conferences where students have an interest.”

Professor Ahmed Bawa, UKZN’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Knowledge Production and Partnerships is thrilled at the prospect of video streaming the conference to a wider audience. “This isn’t the only project on which we are collaborating with the Municipality. We are working together on about four other projects at present. The partnership of UKZN and the eThekwini Municipality affords much more than just the ability to share in the goings-on at the Conference. It is an example of optimum use of digital technology and affords the access to UKZN’s broader community which will allow us to do even more powerful projects in the future and redefine the manner in which the City relates to its people,” said Professor Bawa.

One of the objectives of the Conference is to explore SmartCity concepts and strategies, and to discuss and explore the role of affordable telecommunications in producing new and innovative ways of doing business for both the private and public sector.

“Audio Visual has worked on similar initiatives before, using its mobile video production facility to stream live video from an operating theatre in Wentworth Hospital directly to a Cardiology conference in Tunisia. Last year, the series of AIDS debates, chaired by John Perlman, was streamed live to University students and staff. This SmartCity Conference offers a unique opportunity for collaboration with the University’s Audio Visual and ICT Divisions, SmartXchange and the eThekwini Municipality. We are happy to partner in this initiative in order to share the knowledge showcased at the Conference and Expo with a wider audience,” said Mr Jasper Cecil, UKZN’s AV Director.

 

NEW CLINICAL TRIALS UNIT ESTABLISHED AT UKZN
 

Professor
Salim Abdool Karim

A consortium of researchers from CAPRISA, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Aurum Health were recently awarded a core grant of over $10million for seven years by the NIH to establish a new clinical trials unit (CTU) for HIV prevention and treatment research.

The Unit is known as the "University of KwaZulu-Natal—CAPRISA Clinical Trials Unit" and the application to establish this CTU obtained the best score from the NIH peer-review panel in the competitive process which involved several hundred applications from throughout the world.
The Principal Investigator and Director of the CTU is Professor Salim Abdool Karim. Scientific leadership will also be provided by the CTU's two co-Principal Investigators – Professors Jerry Coovadia and Quarraisha Abdool Karim.

The CTU will be conducting research on AIDS treatment (Head: Kogie Naidoo) and HIV vaccines (Head in Aurum: Gavin Churchyard and Head in CAPRISA: Koleka Mlisana), microbicides (Head: Ayesha Kharsany), prevention of mother-to-child transmission (Head: Daya Moodley) and other forms of HIV prevention (Head: Janet Frohlich). Immediate involvement of the CTU in existing NIH clinical trials will be ongoing contributions in HVTN 204 (Aurum Health), HVTN 503 (eThekwini & Aurum Health), HPTN 046 (Umlazi) and HPTN 035 (Leadership only). A new AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) clinical trial is being set up at the eThekwini and new HIV Vaccine Trials Network sites are being established at the Umbilo and Vulindlela Sites. Over the next few years, it is anticipated that the CTU will become involved in several new studies as part of these NIH networks.

This new grant gives UKZN a major boost for AIDS research and strengthens existing relationships between CAPRISA and several academics in UKZN, especially in Statistics, Genetics, Psychology, Medical Therapeutics, Nursing, Community Health, Medicine - Infectious diseases, Women's Health Unit, Molecular Biology and Medical Microbiology.

 

SCIFEST: EXCELLENCE AWARD
 

Mr Clement Adjorlolo,
a Masters student in Geography,
explains the concept of soil
erosion to a group of high school
learners at Scifest

A team of 11 UKZN staff members and students participated in the annual Scifest in Grahamstown where they made a significant contribution to the festival theme of “Make Science Count.” In an effort to inculcate a passion and excitement for science and technology, the UKZN team created an attractive and interactive display that focused on several topical issues such as climate change, soil erosion and alternate energy sources. To complement the exhibit, UKZN members also ran educational and entertaining workshops for children of all ages. UKZN’s Scifest team comprised: Mr Mark Horan, Professor Heinz Beckedahl, Professor Jeff Bindon, Mr Tony Bruton, Dr Greg Watson, Dr Tanja Reinhardt, Ms Vicky Crookes, Mr Mpilenhle Zungu, Mr Simon Cowling, Mr Clement Adjorlolo and Mr Adushan Pillay.

As has become customary at Scifest, the UKZN exhibit received widespread attention and praise and received one of six excellence awards. This year, in order to reward diversity and be more inclusive, the Scifest management awarded six excellence awards as opposed to first, second and third prizes. Over fifty exhibits from educational institutions and commercial organisations were judged on their relevance to current scientific issues, interactivity, aesthetic appeal, accessibility and creativity.

 

ASPEN PARTNERS WITH UKZN TO ADVANCE RESEARCH
 


Aspen Pharmaceuticals has sponsored six postgraduate students in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology as part of its commitment to develop research capacity in South Africa.

Three of the students are doctoral candidates and another three are studying for their Master of Science degrees. Each doctoral candidate receives a sponsorship of R60 000, while a masters student receives R30 000. The doctoral candidates are Mr Grant Boyle (Method Development for Drug Design) and Ms Elizabeth Ojewole (Novel Drug Delivery System for Anti-Retroviral Drugs). Master of Science students are Ms Karen Muthusamy (Type 2 Diabetes Drug Design) and Mr Oluseye Onajole (TB Drug Development) and Ms Nombuso Ndlovu (HIV Drug Design).

Acknowledging the contribution made by Aspen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and head of the College of Health Sciences, Professor Leana Uys, said that she hoped the relationship with Aspen will be sustained to support students in the Health Sciences in the future.

Dean of Health Sciences Professor Sabiha Essack, said that "we are grateful to Aspen for enabling us to meet our research goals detailed in UKZN's 10-year Strategic Plan and we look forward to extending the partnership from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology to the Faculty of Health Sciences by inviting Aspen to assist us in launching the Faculty of Health Sciences Endowment Fund."

Aspen’s Executive for Strategic Business Development, Ms Lorraine Hill, said: "We want to restate our commitment to developing resources and skills in South Africa. We have done this through donation of laboratory equipment. We would like to see this as an ongoing partnership and commitment to research."

 

THE STRINI MOODLEY MEMORIAL LECTURE  


The University of KwaZulu-Natal in association with the Umtapo Centre will host the Strini Moodley Memorial Lecture on the 26 April. Acclaimed author and activist, Professor Mbulelo Mzamane, Director of the Centre for African Literary Studies (CALS) at UKZN will deliver the keynote address titled: ‘Durban-Westville and the Genesis of Black Consciousness - 1967-1972’.

Professor Mzamane notes that "Strini Moodley belonged to a small coterie of feisty fighters at University College on Salisbury Island (later the University of Durban-Westville) who must be credited, at least in part, with rescuing Black Consciousness from sinking into the narrow but treacherous pithole of African chauvinism. Most remarkably, throughout his life he stayed true to his principles cultivated in those early years. Never atrophying but always self-propelling, he attained his spiritual nirvana-on-earth in the service of the downtrodden and oppressed, with whom he identified completely."

The well-known journalist and tireless political activist was born in Durban on 29 October 1946 and ironically died on Freedom Day, 12 years into our democracy. Eloquent and dedicated, Strini Moodley attended Sastri College and then University College where he studied English and Drama, only to be expelled because of his role as a militant student leader. His prominence in the Black Consciousness Movement led to a five-year banning order, which denied him any political or social life and confined him to the Durban area. In 1976, after a two-year trial, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment on Robben Island where he occupied a cell in the same section as Nelson Mandela. Steve Biko, the leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, was a witness for the defence. Strini Moodley was released in 1981.

Together with a few other concerned individuals, Strini Moodley founded the Umtapo Centre, against the background of rising internecine violence amongst black political organisations. The founding objectives of Umtapo were to: provide a platform for the different liberation forces to engage in critical dialogue; make relevant information accessible to young people in particular; and promote, through training, the principles of anti-racism, anti-sexism, self-reliance and nation-building. The adage, ‘Free the Mind, Free the Land’, coined by Strini Moodley, encapsulated Umtapo’s ultimate goal.

On hearing of Strini Moodley’s death, President Thabo Mbeki expressed his admiration for him in his address to the nation, “As South Africa celebrates Freedom Day, we pay tribute to a committed freedom fighter who dedicated his life to the liberation of the South African people,” he said.

At his funeral Aubrey Mokoape, co-founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, described his passion for achieving a democratic South Africa. "Strini spent 40 years in the struggle, dedicating his entire adult life to the Black Consciousness Movement, co-founding it and shaping its philosophy. He taught us to free the mind so we could free the land," he said.

‘I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees’ is an aphorism by which Strinivasa Rajoo Moodley lived his life.

 

FULBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIPS FOR TWO GREAT MINDS
 

Mr Rogier Courau
Mr Zunaid Mansoor

Mr Rogier Courau and Mr Zunaid Mansoor in the College of Humanities have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships to undertake further research at universities of their choice.

Mr Courau is a doctoral student in English Studies, specialising in African diaspora studies and is being supervised by Dr Catherine Woeber. His research is interdisciplinary, cutting across historical, gender, anthropology and performance studies. The project focuses on travel writing by black South African and African-American intellectuals between South Africa and the US in the period 1913-1936.

As part of his study he has undertaken archival research on the writings of such individuals as Davidson Don Tengo Jabavu, a South African who visited Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in the United States as a young man in 1913 and Eslanda Goode Robeson, whose African Journey (1946) is an account of her travels across Africa. A research fellow at the Centre for African Literary Studies (CALS) on the Pietermaritzburg campus, Mr Courau is also interested in the work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Africa in the period, and especially the writings of several bishops’ wives. His research is also funded by the National Research Foundation.

Mr Mansoor is keen to study at New York University, Columbia University and the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) in the United States of America. He says that this is not a conventional postgraduate research field, adding that an MFA degree builds on a student’s existing body of knowledge and skills and advances their creative expertise. “I want to be able to compose filmic and television story concepts which adhere to rules of format, structure and style. These are constructed on the Classic Hollywood 3-Act Structure,” explains Mr Mansoor.

As a student of film directing, he wishes to acquire practical vocational skills in all facets of the profession. He is the recipient of numerous awards including a National Research Fund Free-Standing Scholarship in 2004, a UKZN Special Honours Award, and the Brightest Young Mind status, which he earned at a Brightest Young Mind Conference and Workshop in 2004.

He received a Bachelor of Social Science Degree and a Bachelor of Law Degree (LLB) cum laude from UKZN’s Howard College campus.


THE DESCENT OF MADNESS: EVOLUTIONARY ORIGINS OF PSYCHOSIS AND THE SOCIAL BRAIN
 

Dr Jonathan Burns

The Descent of Madness, written by Dr Jonathan Burns was published by Routledge Press, UK in January this year. Dr Burns who is a Chief Specialist and deputy head in the department of Psychiatry at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine is the co-author of The Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry, published by Oxford University Press in 2004.

Drawing on evidence from across the behavioural and natural sciences, The Decent of Madness advances a radical new hypothesis: that madness exists as a costly consequence of the evolution of a sophisticated social brain in Homo sapiens.

Having explained the rationale for an evolutionary approach to psychosis, the author makes a case for psychotic illness in our living ape relatives, as well as in human ancestors. He then reviews existing evolutionary theories of psychosis, before introducing his own thesis: that the same genes causing madness are responsible for the evolution of our highly social brain.

Jonathan Burns’ novel Darwinian analysis of the importance of psychosis for human survival provides some meaning for this form of suffering. It also spurs us to a renewed commitment to changing our societies in a way that allows the mentally ill the opportunity of living.

The Descent of Madness will be of interest to those in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, sociology and anthropology, and is also accessible to the general reader.

 

BLONDE ON A BIKE
 

Ms Bridget Ringdahl

UKZN alumnus, Ms Bridget Ringdahl, has published her book entitled Blonde on a Bike, which highlights her adventurous cycling journey through India, China, Tibet and Laos in 2000 and South America in 2004.

The book was launched at the Howard College Theatre on 24 March. Motivating a group of local cyclists Ms Ringdahl said she wrote a book about her two trips in South America and Asia on a bicycle as a woman. Mr Russell Sobey, who also loves cycling, facilitated the presentation by this popular cyclist. An alumnus of UKZN, Mr Sobbey is an attorney by profession.

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology, Environmental and Geographical Sciences from UKZN’s Howard College campus in 1994, Ms Ringdahl is the National Co-ordinator for the South African Eco-Schools Programme. She also holds an Honours degree in Environmental and Geographical Sciences from the University of Cape Town, and an International Masters degree in Environmental Sciences from Lund University in Sweden.

“I have always loved things that are physically challenging. While at the University I used to swim and run a lot and got around on my bike. I then realised that after my studies there was more to life than spending an entire lifetime bound to working. Apart from my lust for adventure, travelling by bicycle affords complete independence and gives freedom from reliance on anyone,” explained Ms Ringdahl.

Since doing these two major cycling trips - (Asia – 6000km in 2000 and then South America 13 100km in 2004, Ms Ringdahl has written articles for a number of newspapers and magazines.

She pointed out that the book is written for anyone with an adventurous heart or for those who need inspiration and confidence to do similar things. “You can do anything you want to as long as you put your mind to it and that this adventure is not such a scary and difficult thing to undertake alone and as a female,” is the message contained in the book.

 

UNDRESSING DURBAN RELAUNCHED
 

The School of Sociology and Social Studies on the Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses has started a writing initiative support group (WISA) to help academics to write, publish, become research active and produce local resources for teaching. The group was formed in April 2006 and since then one of its major milestones is publishing a book titled Undressing Durban edited by Dr Rob Pattman and Dr Sultan Khan. Undressing Durban was first published to provide insight and a critical orientation to Durban for the international delegates attending the World Congress of Sociology in July 2006.

This version of Undressing Durban comprises articles from 54 contributors, most of whom are junior academics and postgraduate students in the Social Sciences (though there are also senior academics and undergraduate students among the contributors). The contributors were encouraged to write about topics with a Durban connection which ‘excited’ them, and the articles engage with readers as intelligent and critical laypeople (not as academic specialists) employing a variety of evocative styles. Some papers are more conventionally academic, some impassioned and rhetorical, some are self reflective and autobiographical, some focus on the ‘voices’ of ‘minorities’ and one deals with ‘racial’, gender and global inequalities in the form of a play set in Durban.

Rather than ‘dressing up’ Durban, as in familiar tourist images, Undressing Durban investigates how the city is experienced by very different and unequally divided groups of people living there. Undressing Durban not only highlights the vast material inequalities between various groups in Durban, but also investigates the cultures and identities they construct in their everyday lives.

It looks at street children and street traders and the problems they experience and the cultures they produce, unequal service provision in housing and transport, deteriorating residential spaces in the city centre, the living conditions, resistances and policing of shack dwellers, moral panics and ‘race’, student identities in the newly merged University and in mixed ‘race’ schools, mixed ‘race’ couples, ‘outsiders’’ experiences of Durban, loving and hating Jacob Zuma, entertainment, sport, beaches, nightlife and the cultural meanings attached to all of these, crime and paranoia about crime, prisons, corporal punishment in schools, coloured ‘gangs’ from the viewpoints of their ‘members’, Indian culture, Indian cinema and Indian heterogeneity, black African identities and culture in Durban, the vulnerabilities and agency of women sex workers, HIV positive young mothers, HIV/AIDS support groups, academic freedom and the problems of being junior academics and support workers at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Undressing Durban is available at Adams Campus Bookstore at a special rate for students.

 

DECLARATION ON REFRACTIVE ERRORS SIGNED
 

Professor
Kovin Naidoo

Approximately 650 international delegates attended the World Congress on Refractive Error from 14-16 March at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. A highlight of the Congress was the signing of the Durban Declaration on Refractive Errors (short sighted or far sightedness) to advocate public health strategies to end blindness and visual impairment resulting from uncorrected refractive errors that affect more than 300million people world wide.

The Declaration states that refractive error is a major public health issue impacting on individuals, their families and communities which is a contributing cause of poverty in the world. Avoidable blindness and impaired vision, half of which is due to refractive error, has an estimated global economic impact of $US42 billion annually.

Congress Chairperson, Professor Kovin Naidoo, said that, “the discussions leading up to the Declaration will have a monumental impact on how we view the current eye-care crisis in so many countries in the world. In most developing countries, there are no Optometrists, no schools of Optometry and no one to provide the appropriate refractive error services for the population. It is crucial that these services are established.”

Chair of the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE), Professor Brien Holden said, “at this very historic congress we have identified that while the magnitude of the problem is beyond our original estimations, the need is urgent and the solution is achievable.”

Professor Naidoo said that this was an “important occasion for South Africa and Durban in particular. To be able to host a conference that results in the development of a global agenda as well as promote a much needed service is a great honour.” A series of workshops will be held globally to now convert the Declaration into a comprehensive strategy. Throughout this process, Durban will be featured prominently as the Declaration carries the City’s name.

The Congress was hosted by the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE) and attended by representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO), International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (the peak body on avoidable blindness), World Council of Optometry, International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), International NGO planners, professional associations and leading clinical and public health scientists. The university was represented by Professor Dasarath Chetty who spoke on the link between social needs and the role of universities and commended the delegates for addressing an important public health issue. He also indicated that the university was proud to be associated with the International Center for Eye Care Education (ICEE) which is providing global leadership on this issue.

 

COLLABORATION WITH DRAKE UNIVERSITY
 

(L-R) Professors John Rovers
Rahul Parsa, Ms Olsen,
Professors Leana Uys,
Sabiha Essack, Dr Fatima
Suleman, and Professor
John Ojewole

Professor John Rovers (College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), Professor Rahul Parsa (College of Public and Business Administration), and Ms Gretchen Olsen (Director of International Programs and Services) of Drake University met with staff in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology and Deans of the Faculties of Management Studies, Humanities, Development and Social Sciences and the Health Sciences on 23 March.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Drake University and UKZN that will facilitate student exchange programmes and staff collaboration in research and academic programmes. Undergraduate student exchanges between both universities are also expected to commence shortly and Professors Rovers, and Parsa, and Dr Fatima Suleman (School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, UKZN) are to begin collaboration on online teaching modules in pharmacy practice and biostatistics.
Site visits to CAPRISA, King Edward V111 Hospital, McCord Hospital and St Augustines Hospital gave the visitors a glimpse into the academic and clinical work undertaken at these centres.

In addition, Professor Rovers conducted a Continuing Professional Development evening hosted by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology and the KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Branch of the South African Association of Hospitals and Institutional Pharmacists at the Senate Chambers on the Westville campus. Guests at the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding included representatives from the US Consulate and the Department of Health.

 

GOLD AND SILVER MEDALS FOR UKZN ATHLETES
 


Two UKZN athletes scooped Gold and Silver medals during the South African Students Sports Union (SASSU) Athletics Championships in which 29 institutions of higher learning participated at Kings Spark Stadium.

Mr Jason Sewanyana, an attorney who is studying for his Masters in International Law, attained a brilliant first position in the Triple Jump Category and received a gold medal. He qualifies for the World Students Games in Thailand in August this year. Mr Sewanyana is a member of the University’s Athletics Club.

In the 400 metre hurdles, Mr Pieter Koekemoer a Bachelor of Education student, was placed in second position and received a silver medal. He qualified for the World Students Games in Thailand and World championships in Japan. Apart from competing under the banner of the University for the students’ championships, he is also a member of the Fast Feet Athletics Club in Durban. He has been a professional athlete for the past three years.

Ms Portia Ndlovu was also a finalist in the 100 and 200 metre Distance Category and 100 metre hurdles in the SASSU championships. A lecturer in Law, Ms Ndlovu is currently undertaking her PhD studies at UKZN.

 

INFORMATION SESSION: EUROPEAN UNION’S SEVENTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME (FP7)
 

The Research Office is hosting a meeting at which representatives from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) will provide information on the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the European-South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme (ESASTAP).

All staff members involved in research and innovation in the selected priority areas indicated below, are invited to an information session on FP7 and the European-South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme (ESASTAP) on 18 April, 10h30-11h30, Conference Room 3, Govan Mbeki Centre, Westville Campus.

FP 7 is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe and it will run from 2007 to 2013. The EC budget for the next seven years is € 50.5 billion. FP7 supports research in selected priority areas - the aim being to make, or keep, the EU as a world leader in those sectors. The priority areas are:

  • Health
  • Food, agriculture and biotechnology
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies
  • Energy
  • Environment (including climate change)
  • Transport (including aeronautics)
  • Socio-economic sciences and the humanities
  • Security and space

ESASTAP is a dedicated platform for the advancement of European - South African scientific and technological co-operation. ESASTAP [www.esastap.org] was implemented by the DST and is funded by the EC.

Kindly confirm your attendance with Prem Mohun, Research Office
( Tel Ext 4557, e-mail: mohunp@ukzn.ac.za ) by 12 April.

 

SUNKEN CITIES OF ANCIENT EGYPT
 

Mr Jonathan Cole
Prize Winners: (L-R) Ms Lydia
Matthews (Petrie Prize),
Ms Tamryn van Dyk (Whiteley
Prize) and Mrs Anne Gosling
(Honorary Research Associate)
who presented the Whiteley Prize

Visiting scholar, Mr Jonathan Cole, delivered a fascinating presentation on: "Sunken Cities of Ancient Egypt: Underwater Excavations at Herakleion and Alexandria", on the Howard College campus on 28 March.

Mr Cole, Research Co-ordinator of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology was a guest of the Classics Programme, as part of their initiative to introduce Egyptology to the University of Kwazulu-Natal. This initiative has already seen the inclusion of a new course 'Ancient Egypt' to the Classics Programme curriculum.

Two Classics Prizes for 2006 were also awarded at the event. Ms Lydia Matthews won the Petrie Prize. The Petrie Prize is awarded annually by the Heads of the Classics Departments on the Durban and Pietermaritzburg campuses to the best candidate overall for the degree of Bachelor of Arts who passes a third-level course in Latin or Greek. This year the prize has been awarded to three candidates of whom Ms Matthews is one. She is also a recipient of the Emma Smith Overseas Scholarship and will be leaving for Oxford in September where she will pursue a PhD in Classics.

Ms Tamryn van Dyk won the Whiteley Prize. This prize is awarded to the best student in a first-year course in Classics, on the Howard College campus who proceeds on to a further course in Classics.

Mr Cole established the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology in 2003. The Centre collaborates with Franck Goddio of the European Institute of Maritime Archaeology on excavations in Egypt, the sunken city of Heracleion, the submerged ancient port of Alexandria and the sunken Ptolemaic and Byzantine sites in Aboukir Bay.

As well as participating in the excavations, Oxford is responsible for the academic study and publication of the sites and the incredible finds from the excavations. Five hundred of the finds are currently on an international exhibition tour, and has already been viewed by over a million people.

Mr Cole is an outstanding alumnus of the Classics Programme of UKZN having obtained a summa cum laude pass in his undergraduate degree and a first class pass in his Honours. A Rhodes scholar, Mr Cole obtained his MST in Classical Archeology at Oxford University, and expects to complete his PhD there soon.

 

5 000 BOOKS EXHIBITED
 

Five thousand books were on display at a book exhibition held at the Library from 3-5 April on the Westville campus.

Seven exhibitors exhibited their books in a wide range of disciplines that included: management sciences, physical and environmental sciences, medical sciences, social and development sciences, engineering, sport and research methodology techniques.

The exhibitors were Adams and Griggs, Best Books, Hargraves Library Service, New Age Library Service, Sherwood Books and The Complete Bookshop.