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Hlengiwe Cele  
WRC Knowledge Tree Awards for research excellence  

The Water Research Commission (WRC) congratulates all the 2015 Knowledge Tree Awards recipients for displaying excellence in research and innovation that impacts and uplifts the water and sanitation sector. The awards were presented during a ceremony held at Birchwood Hotel on 17 September 2015.

The Knowledge Tree Awards are named after the WRC’s strategic planning approach to research impact. The tree metaphor reflects strength in foundation (i.e., ‘roots’ firmly embedded in sound knowledge) and strong growth (i.e., ‘branches and leaves’ growing vigorously from this knowledge). It also acts as a yardstick with which to measure the WRC’s impact in key domains.

Within the exceptional cohort of researchers funded every year, a few individuals and project teams go a long way beyond the call of duty in their efforts to make their research real and relevant to others.

“The WRC requires researchers to consider the potential scientific and socioeconomic impact of their research and show in their proposals who could potentially benefit from the project, and to explain how they can increase the chances of potential beneficiaries benefiting from their proposed work,” explained the WRC CEO, Mr Dhesigen Naidoo.

The recipients were awarded as per the categories listed below.

Transformation and Redress:  Prof Leslie Petrik, University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Dr Barbara Nompumelelo Tapela, a senior researcher at the Institute for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), also at the University of the Western Cape.

Sustainable Development Solutions: Prof Geoff Pegram of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Professor Wim van Averbeke of Tshwane University of Technology.

Empowerment of Communities:  Prof Ulrike Rivett, University of Cape Town (UCT) and Ms Rowena Hay of Umvoto.

Informing Policy and Decision-Making: Professor Olaf Weyl of the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) and Ms Unathi Jack and the Emanti team.

Human Capital Development in the Water and Science Sector:  Professor Albert Modi,University of KwaZulu- Natal and Prof Chris Buckley also from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

New Products and Services for Economic Development: Mr Marco van Dijk,

University of Pretoria (UP) and Prof Alison Lewis, University of Cape Town (UCT).

Contact: Hlengiwe Cele, email: hlengiwec@wrc.org.za

From left:  Ms Dora Ndaba , WRC Board Member , Award winner Dr Barbara Tapela, PLAAS , UWC and Mr  Dhesigen Naidoo, WRC CEO. 

Knowledge Tree Awards winners 2015


From left:  Dr Stephanie Rinck-Pfeiffer, Managing Director of the Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC), Award Winner Prof Geoff Pegram, UKZN and WRC CEO Mr Dhesigen Naidoo
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