Prof Wieland Gevers: Institution builder of note

    Prof Wieland Gevers: Institution builder of note   In 1970, a 32-year-old Wieland Gevers faced a big decision: To stay in North America, taking up a prestigious tenured Associate Professorship at the leading Canadian university, or to return to his native South Africa. The Canadian job involved setting up a research laboratory in…

George Ellis: the down-to-earth cosmologist

For somebody who has spent much of his time thinking about the structure of the universe, Professor George Ellis is remarkably down-to-earth. Over the past half-century his work has not only probed the nature of space-time, but his knowledge of mathematics has helped solve crises facing South Africa, such as providing housing for the poor.…

Eugene Cloete: the solution seeker

Few academics can claim being natural entrepreneurs, but Professor Eugene Cloete is one of them. His curriculum vitae features not just his publications in academic journals, but also almost a dozen patents. He considers his “best idea ever” was using an empty teabag, replacing the tea with activated carbon and using antimicrobial nanofibres for microfiltration…