In 2012, the prize in Life and Earth Sciences was awarded to Professor Alta Schutte from the North-West University, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of Pretoria received the prize for Basic Science, Technology and Innovation.
Alta Schutte is Professor of Physiology and Director of the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) of the North-West University. The research focus of HART is the identification of early markers for the development of hypertension, and ultimately the prevention of cardiovascular disease in the black South African population. Schutte is regarded as a future leader in the field of hypertension research and has been the recipient of various awards, such as an award from the Minister of Science and Technology as Distinguished Young Woman Scientist in Life Sciences in 2010, the British Association Medal from the Southern Africa Association for the Advancement in Science (S2A3) in 2011, and the Meiring Naudé Medal from the Royal Society of South Africa in 2012 as a promising young scientist under the age of 35 years.
Thokozani Majozi is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Pretoria. His main research interest is batch process integration. His major contributions to research to date are the development of a continuous-time framework for the synthesis of batch plants and a novel technique for near zero-effluent batch chemical facilities. Both these contributions have been adopted by industry. He was appointed as an Associate Professor at the University of Pretoria in 2004 and became a Full Professor at the end of 2008. He was also an Associate Professor in computer science at the University of Pannonia in Hungary from 2005 to 2009. He is a member of various scientific committees and organisations, including the European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering the international Process Systems Engineering conference, a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, a Research Fellow of the CSIR and a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering. His research awards include the NRF President’s Award (Transformation of the Scientific Cohort, 2008) and the University of Pretoria Leading Minds Award (2008). Recently he won the prestigious S2A3 British Association Medal, the South African Institution of Chemical Engineers Bill Neal-May Gold Medal and the NSTF-BHP Billiton Award – Individual through Research and Its Outputs.