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Six Members of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) scooped awards at the prestigious National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)-South32 Awardsfor 2016/2017 announced on 29 June. Two of the six winners are ASSAf Council members.

The highly-acclaimed NSTF Awards recognise outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation for researchers and other SET-related professionals. This includes experienced scientists, engineers, innovators, science communicators, research and engineering capacity builders, organisational managers/leaders, and research managers.

The ASSAf Members who won awards were:

Prof Colleen Thelma Downs
Professor and DST/NRF South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) Chair in Ecosystem Health and Biodiversity in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Award Categories: Capacity Development Awards

Prof George Ekama
Professor of Water Quality Engineering, University of Cape Town
Award Categories:ยท GreenMatter Award

Prof Nancy (Refilwe) Phaswana-Mafuya
Research Director, Human Sciences Research Council; and Honorary Professor, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and ASSAf Council member.
Award Categories:
TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Researchers

Prof Diane Hildebrandt
Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Director: Material and Process Synthesis Research Unit, University of South Africa; and Director: JMDD Energy (Pty) Ltd
Award Categories: Capacity Development Awards

Prof Eugene Cloete - for Water2Africa, BiODX and other projects
Team leader: Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies, Stellenbosch University and ASSAf Council member.
Award Categories:
Water Research Commission Awards
Corporate organisations

Prof Bhekie Mamba
Executive Dean and Director Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Unit, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, University of South Africa
Award Categories: Water Research Commission Awards

ASSAf was inaugurated in May 1996. It was formed in response to the need for an Academy of Science consonant with the dawn of democracy in South Africa: activist in its mission of using science and scholarship for the benefit of society, with a mandate encompassing all scholarly disciplines that use an open-minded and evidence-based approach to build knowledge.ASSAf thus adopted in its name the term 'science' in the singular as reflecting a common way of enquiring rather than an aggregation of different disciplines. Its Members are elected on the basis of a combination of two principal criteria, academic excellence and significant contributions to society. The Parliament of South Africa passed the Academy of Science of South Africa Act (Act 67 of 2001), which came into force on 15 May 2002. This made ASSAf the only academy of science in South Africa officially recognised by government and representing the country in the international community of science academies and elsewhere.

The process of reconstituting the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions has been completed. View the new Council.
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