18 June 2018 Photo Elfrieda Lotter
Flash Facts Competition reveals best of the best
At the NAS Flash Facts Students Competition, are from left: Christopher Rothmann; Prof Danie Vermeulen; Vuyisa Sigwela; Prof Francis Petersen, and Lisa Rothmann.

The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences hosted a two-day Flash Facts Competition that was a huge success. According to Prof Danie Vermeulen, dean of the faculty, the Flash Facts Competition is part of the faculty’s Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP).  The Integrated Transformation Plan is one of the strategies that outlines the university’s commitment towards radical transformation.

The aim of this competition is to promote research debate by allowing postgraduate students (Masters, PhD and Postdocs) and staff in the different departments of the faculty to present and share their research. This competition started in each department in the faculty and winners in the departments faced each other in the final round at faculty-level. At the final stage of the competition, eighteen postgraduate students and twenty-five staff members from different departments participated.

The participants each had three minutes to present their research and thereafter answer questions from a panel of adjudicators as well as from the audience. The competitors covered a wide range of different interesting areas of research, from consumer science related research, plant sciences, quantity surveying and biochemistry, to name a few. 

In his closing remarks, Prof Petersen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor complemented the dean of the faculty and his team for the initiative, emphasising that this faculty produces the most research outputs at the university. “I would like to see this flowing across to other faculties to enhance close collaboration and inter-engagement within departments and faculties,” he said. The rector also encouraged students to have similar sessions where they discuss and share their research.
 
In the students’ category, the prizes were as follows:
First prize – Christopher Rothmann of the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology (R8000.00 in the Student Account)

Second Prize – Vuyisa Sigwela of the Department of Consumer Science (R5000.00 in the Student Account)

Third prize – Lisa Rothmann of the Department of Plant Sciences (R3000.00 in the Student Account)

In the staff category, the prizes were as follows:
First Prize – Dr Richard Harris of Department of Physics (Trip to an International Conference)

Second Prize – Dr Falko Buschke of the Centre for Environmental Management (R10 000.00 into Research Entity)

Third Prize – Lize Joubert of Department of Plant Sciences (R5000.00 into Research Entity)