As a chemical engineer, David Glasser is closely involved in the design of energy-efficient oil-from-coal plants in China and Australia. With reduced carbon dioxide emissions, the new generation of plants will contribute less to the problem of global warming, which is currently threatening the world’s weather patterns. “It is practically unprecedented for a South African university academic to be invited to lead major industrial projects costing billions of US dollars,” said Glasser’s close colleague Professor Diane Hildebrandt, herself the first woman chemical engineer to be awarded the coveted A rating by South Africa’s National Research Foundation. “David has built bridges and created links between academia and industry without compromising his meticulous research.” She also noted that his Wits team is working with microbiologists to devise appropriate African solutions for making bio-fuels from waste materials, with positive spinoffs for job creation, poverty alleviation and the environment.
Walter Marasas is a world authority in his area of interest, which encompasses both the study of fungi and diseases associated with the toxins that some of them produce. He has focused his interest on the taxonomy and biology of the fungal genus Fusarium, particularly on the human and animal diseases caused by Fusarium toxins in foods and feeds. His achievements as a scientist have been remarkable and he has been recognised with prestigious awards from numerous important organisations. Over and above his scientific achievements, Wally Marasas has been one of the most outspoken supporters of South African science, and by association, has brought a great deal of credit to our community.