University of the Western Cape

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University of the Western Cape academics nominated for prestigious ‘Science Oscars’

Two female academics have been nominated for recognition in the esteemed 22nd National Science and Technology Forum-South32 (NSTF-South32) Awards.

University of the Western Cape

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South Africa’s academic excellence continues to break boundaries as two academics from UWC have been nominated in the renowned “Science Oscars” of South Africa’.

The awards are formally known as the National Science and Technology Forum-South32 (NSTF-South32) Awards. Beginning in 1998, the award aims to celebrate a high calibre of innovation and excellence in the fields of science, technology and engineering.

Both nominees, Dr Natasha Ross and Associated Professor Carolina Ödman are in the running to be recognised for their excellent standard of work and innovation in their fields.

The nominees

With a background in physics and cosmology, Professor Ödman has made a sizeable contribution to the world of astrology in South Africa ash she is the Associate Director for Development and Outreach for the Inter-University Institute for Data-Intensive Astronomy in the country. This is a partnership between the University of Cape Town, the University of Pretoria and UWC.

Professor Ödman has been nominated for the Communication Award in recognition for her work and efforts in astronomy outreach, development and education.

“The Communication Award recognises a communicator who has made an outstanding contribution to science, engineering and technology (SET) through public awareness,” said a statement by UWC.

Professor Ödman attributes her nomination to the open and encouraging learning environment provided by UWC.

“But this nomination would also not have been possible without the innovation-friendly environment at UWC. I have found such fertile ground for my ideas and such strong support at all levels and across campus that this is really also the story of the openness to innovation and the value of community engagement at UWC,” she explains.

Starting her academic career at UWC straight out of high school, Dr Ross has established herself as a young and dynamic female scientist, completing her PhD in 2012.

With over seven years of teaching and research experience, Dr Ross currently works as a supervisor for PhD, Master’s and Honour’s students who are studying in the field of renewable energy storage and conversion systems at UWC.

As a renowned leader in sustainable energy research, Dr Ross is in the running for the TW Kambule-NSTF Awards for Emerging Researchers.

Dr Ross expressed her joy in receiving the reputable nomination.

“Being recognised for my contribution made in science alongside such established and skilled scientists gives me reassurance and a motivational boost that my research is making a meaningful contribution to South Africa’s research environment,” said Dr Ross.

Due to the current pandemic, the annual awards ceremony is scheduled to take place online. A date is yet to be confirmed.

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