George Ekama: saving SA precious water

Clean water is a basic human requirement, but in an arid country like South Africa keeping it flowing, can be a challenge. Professor George Ekama has made it his life’s work to keep the country’s taps running and clean. From tackling algal blooms in dams and rivers by preventing pollution from municipal and industrial wastewater…

[LISTEN] The Science Inside’s Water Crisis episode

The water crisis in the Western Cape continues to worsen, as dam levels are at around 30%. The Science Inside radio show recently looked at ways that can alleviate the crisis. As part of the show, Professor John Nditiru explained what hydrological techniques are, and how they can be used to manage water resources. The…

Robin Crewe: the complete beekeeper

Robin Michael Crewe was born in Johannesburg on 18 February 1946. Growing up on a farm in Mpumalanga, his secondary and tertiary education was undertaken in Natal. He matriculated from Kearsney College in 1963 going on to enrol at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg where he completed his undergraduate and Masters studies. Majoring in chemistry…

Water-dwelling organisms show new ways to harvest light for solar tech

What can single-celled diatoms living in water teach us about harvesting light? Alot, says Prof Tjaart Kruger of the University of Pretoria, in this article from The Conversation Africa. Photosynthesis is a great source of inspiration for solar technology. By studying the minutiae of how plants convert light into useful forms of energy, scientists can better mimic…

Anna Coutsoudis: a researcher guided by needs

Anna Coutsoudis was born in Durban on 21 September 1952. Upon completion of her schooling, Coutsoudis enrolled for a BSc degree at the University of Natal, majoring in biological science and chemistry. This was followed by an Honours degree in 1974, where she researched leukocyte antigens in vervet monkeys. Coutsoudis went on to complete qualifications…

How to make a telescope’s control room a happy place

When building a optical telescope, there’s more to consider than just lenses and high-end processors. The human element – the people that will actually work with it – also needs to be considered, for instance when designing the telescope’s control room. Christopher Justin Hendrickse, a lecturer in Product/Industrial Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology…

Hoosen Coovadia: Taking up the crusade for children

Hoosen Mahomed Coovadia, known as “Jerry” to those close to him, was born in Durban on 2 August, 1940. Raised in a Muslim family, Coovadia first attended St Anthony’s, a Catholic school in Durban, and completed his secondary schooling at Sastri College. He credits his mother as having been a great influence in his development.…