Young South Africans: Science

A chapter of the Mail & Guardian‘s 200 Young South Africans You Must Take to Lunch

Fulufhelo Vincent Nelwamondo
Fulufhelo holds a BSc and PhD from Wits University. He is the recipient of numerous research awards from various institutions. He has held several leadership roles both nationally and internationally, including being co-organiser and session chairperson of the 12th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics held in the United States.

His research and practical experience is in the field of emerging areas of computational intelligence, including data mining and modelling of complex systems such as HIV. Fulufhelo has published 24 papers in accredited international journals and proceedings and presented his work in Africa, Europe, Asia and the US. Already an internationally respected academic and practitioner, he is the youngest recipient of the Harvard South Africa post-doctoral fellowship and over the next year will be placed at Harvard University.

Lunch spot: Lekgotla, Sandton Square

Mamokgethi Setati
Mamokgethi has a PhD in mathematics and her work in the field as a mathematics education researcher and teacher educator is highly respected both nationally and internationally. An NRF-rated scientist she holds three professorships: full professor and executive dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at the University of South Africa; honorary professor of mathematics and education at Wits; and professor extraordinaire at the Tshwane University of Technology. She has been invited as speaker and visiting professor at notable international conferences and academic institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, Africa, New Zealand, Denmark and Australia. She has more than 35 reviewed articles published in various local and international journals, conference proceedings and book chapters. Mamokgethi is also a trustee of Telkom and FirstRand Foundations and a member of the South African Board for the International Council for Science.

Lunch spot: Orient, Melrose Arch

Andrew Nathaniel
Andrew is a medical doctor turned forensic scientist who was born with a genetic blood disorder for which he receives regular blood transfusions. He has completed three university degrees: a BSc (Laboratory Medicine), for which he won the top graduate award in the Faculty of Medicine; a medical degree, for which won best graduate of all universities in South Africa; and a two-year diploma in Forensic Medicine. He has patented a groundbreaking product called Drug Detective, which has vast application for both law enforcement and private use in that it can detect illegal drugs on any surface. This year Andrew is set to distribute the product globally.

Lunch spot: Villamoura, Sandton City

Tshilidzi Marwala
Tshilidzi is the South Africa Research Chairperson of Systems Engineering at the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is the youngest recipient of the Order of Mapungubwe and was awarded the President Award by the National Research Foundation. He has a master’s of engineering (Magna Cum Laude) and a PhD in engineering from Cambridge. He also completed a programme for leadership development from Harvard and in 2006 and 2007 returned as a visiting fellow. His research interests include theory and application of computational intelligence, engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine. He has more than 150 published papers and his own book, Computational Intelligence for Modelling Complex Systems, and has supervised 30 master’s and PhD theses. Tshilidzi sits on various boards and is a trustee of the Bradlow and the Carl and Emily Fuchs foundations.

Lunch spot: Bukhara, Sandton City

Leonie Joubert
Leonie has navigated her career from writing about fine Cape wines to science journalism. She has published widely for various reputable newspapers and journals. In 2005 she assisted Stellenbosch University to co-author the new Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the Prince Edward Islands Special Nature Reserve. In 2006 and 2007 she was the recipient of the SAB Environmental Journalists of the Year award in print media. In 2007 she was the chosen Ruth First Fellow. Her most recent success is her book Scorched: South Africa’s Changing Climate, which won an Honorary 2007 Sunday Times Alan Paton Non-Fiction Award.

Leonie has other books in production, Invaded: the Biological Invasion of South Africa, Boiling Point and two school resource books. On the steering committee for Project 90x2030, a climate change-related initiative, Leonie’s next mission is to start hunting down pseudoscience in South African media.

Lunch spot: The Restaurant, Greenpoint

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