This year’s UWC Science Faculty Research Open Day (ROD2012) held on the 31st October 2012, although a single-day event, was another big success with 279 registered attendees. ROD usually showcases the kind of research happening at UWC, and ROD2012 was no different.
Opening with an engaging talk on a complex and sometimes-obscure field, our keynote speaker, A-rated scientist, Prof Roy Maartens demystified the significance of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) as well as the role the Astrophysics group at UWC plays in this monumental endeavour.
One of our winners this year, a PhD student from SANBI, successfully tackled the use of graphical processing units (effectively, computer graphics cards) to investigate the reasons for HIV anti-retroviral resistance. An in silico process that used to take hours or even days before, now takes mere seconds or minutes. Research done by a PhD student from the Statistics department may provide invaluable information to policy makers in Burkina Faso on how to deal with maternal mortality (during childbirth or postnatal).
An MSc student from the MBS department showed that treated effluent and reclaimed water may be safe enough to drink and thus help us deal with the looming global water shortage. Another MSc student from IMBM presented promising research in which biofuel can be produced from agricultural plant waste instead of precious foodcrop. Pictures of some of our winners can be viewed here.
The research presented at ROD2012, whether it be oral or poster presentation, displays the huge impact that science at UWC continues to make.
The organisers wish to thank each presenter and evaluator for their contribution that made ROD2012 the success that it was. Without the invaluable support of our administrators and the presence of all the exhibitors, ROD2012 may have been a very bland affair.
Thank you to you all.