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21 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Ian van Straaten
Dr Thandi Gumede
Dr Thandi Gumede graduated with a PhD in Polymer Science. She is from Intabazwe, Harrismith.

The Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State was a hive of activity on 17 and 18 May 2019, when over 800 degrees, diplomas, and certificates were conferred on deserving achievers. These included six PhDs and 14 master’s degrees across the four faculties.

Congratulating the graduates on both days, was Africa’s youngest PhD and Industrial Psychology lecturer, Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe, and Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Be like heat

Dr Saurombe started her address by relating her school journey that saw her starting Grade 1 at age 5, thus later matriculating at the age of 15, having skipped Grades 3 and 10. She went on to emphasise the importance of building an honourable character.

“As a graduate, you will soon realise that your degree is useless if you do not have character,” she said to an attentive audience that continued to marvel at her remarkable school history. She encouraged graduates to be like heat that cannot be seen but can only be felt. “Noise can often be seen and heard, but it cannot be felt. However, while heat cannot always be seen, it is always felt. Be like heat and may your presence always be felt,” she said.

Do not focus on yourself

Prof Francis Petersen also encouraged graduates to look beyond their degrees by developing a set of critical values.
 
“For us as the university, this ceremony is not just about your degrees. It is about the values that you must live by,” he said. “As a graduate of the UFS, do not just believe what you are told. Ask questions and engage critically. Secondly, do not just focus on yourself. Remember that you are part of a community and it is your responsibility to make our world a better place for others. You need to be socially responsive to the needs of your community. Thirdly, remember that integrity plays a very important role. This will determine how others value you,” he said.

The two ceremonies also saw three current SRC members graduating. They are Lebohang Miya (BEd FET – Accounting and Business Studies), Duduzile Mhlongo (BA – Geography and isiZulu), and Mhlongo Sinemfundo (BA – Geography and isiZulu).

News Archive

Physics researchers at the UFS receive awards from the NSTF
2009-05-28

 
 Dr Martin Ntwaeaborwa and Prof. Hendrik Swart from the Department of Physics at the University of the Free State.
Yesterday evening two researchers from the Department of Physics at the University of the Free State (UFS) received prestigious awards from the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) during its eleventh gala-award ceremony. The event was held at the Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.

Prof. Hendrik Swart, Head of the Department of Physics, was the recipient of the award for research capacity development over the last five to ten years. He received the award for his significant contribution towards the development of students in niche areas of nanophysics. The award, sponsored by Eskom, includes a prize of R100 000 which will be used for research purposes.

Prof. Swart is actively involved in the research of phosphor material, concentrating on the effectiveness of nanophosphor.

Dr Martin Ntwaeaborwa, senior lecturer in the Department of Physics was the recipient of the T.W. Kambule National Research Foundation (NRF) award in Category J as distinguished young black male researcher over the last two to five years. He received the award for his contribution to the understanding and harnessing of light emitting nanomaterials for application in light emitting devices. The awarded includes R100 000 prize money towards Dr Ntwaeaborwa’s research.

Dr Ntwaeaborwa is an expert in luminescent nanomaterials.

A first-year student of Dr Ntwaeaborwa, Thabo Ngobeni also received a Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) bursary at the gala event.

The NSTF awards give recognition to the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to science, engineering and technology. This includes all practicing scientists, engineers and technologists across the system of innovation, including, for example, teachers and students in mathematics, science and technology. The NSTF represents government, science councils, professional bodies, higher education, business and civil society.

Altogether 13 individuals and corporate organisations or institutions were presented with the NSTF Awards trophy by the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
27 May 2009

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