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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) continues to be at the forefront of research capacity development, which is in line with its Strategic Plan’s Strategic Focus Area 2:  Building research and innovation for development.

This was affirmed as DUT received the National Research Foundation (NRF) Excelleration Award. Derived from the words “excellence” and “acceleration”, the Excelleration Award acknowledges South African research institutions for achieving the most improved research performance over recent years as evaluated by independent parties, and measured against a selection of critical indicators.

This was announced at the NRF Awards gala event held on Wednesday, 26 September 2018 in Port Elizabeth. The NRF Awards were held under the theme – Advancing Science for Societal Benefit.

In the same event the multi-award winning and internationally acclaimed Director of DUT’s Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology (IWWT), Professor Faizal Bux was announced as the winner of the NRF Award under the category, Champion of Research Capacity Development and Transformation at South African Higher Education Institutions.

According to the NRF this award acknowledges an individual for their contributions to the transformation of South Africa’s science community and landscape. The aim of this award is to encourage and promote this activity across the South African research community.

Prof Bux said he feels honoured to be recognised for his contribution in research, training and capacity development over the past 20 years. “This should serve as a source of inspiration for other researchers within DUT to build their research profiles and compete nationally and internationally. It is also very important that we should benchmark our research to international standards,” said Prof Bux.

The NRF B-rated researcher believes the quality and calibre of post-graduate students that he has produced gave him the edge to win this coveted award.  “Most of our PhD students have published in high impact journals, which are highly cited. The quality is measured through the number papers that they have published, and also the fact that their papers are highly cited by fellow researchers. The number of citations reflects the value of their papers, and several of our PhD students have comparatively high H-indexes, which is reflective of their recognition in science research,” explained Prof Bux.

This is another remarkable addition to the long list of accolades and recognition that have been received by Prof Bux for his sterling contribution in research and academia. He was recently appointed as the Chairperson of the BRICS Network University International Thematic Group on Water Resource and Pollution Treatment.

Meanwhile, earlier this month (September 2018), Prof Bux was also confirmed as the fellow for the prestigious International Water Association (IWA).

Commenting on this esteemed recognition bestowed on Prof Bux, IWA Executive Director, Dr Kala Vairavamoorthy said this recognition to Prof Bux is based on his significant contributions to the industry, to IWA and on his commitment to professional contributions in the future. “I would like to personally take this opportunity to thank you for all your dedication and outstanding contributions to IWA and the water sector. I look forward to your continuous excellent contributions to IWA and to the international community as an IWA Fellow,” said Dr Vairavamoorthy.

The IWA Fellow designation recognizes sustained outstanding contribution to the profession. IWA Fellows are nominated based on their significant contributions as an engineer, educator, utility manager, regulator, research engineer, scientist, or as a technical leader.

DUT is proud of this exceptional achievement by Prof Bux and fellow DUT researchers, and this is a remarkable recognition for their tireless contribution towards research output and capacity development within DUT.

Appreciating the two NRF Excelleration awards, DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu said, “The institutional award was a great and very pleasant surprise, indeed. Congratulations to each and everyone who made this possible.”

Pictured: Proud winners, Director of DUT’s Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology (IWWT), Prof Faizal Bux, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Professor Sibusiso Moyo and Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu.

Nduduzo Ndlovu


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