University of the Witwatersrand Chemistry Department

University of the Witwatersrand Chemistry Department

University of the Witwatersrand Chemistry Department – See Details Below:

School of Chemistry

Known as the central science, Chemistry draws on the language of mathematics and the laws of physics to describe the world around us from a chemical, biological and physical point of view.

Chemistry plays a vital part in our understanding of the structure and the interactions of matter, and it is crucial for a thorough understanding of disciplines as diverse as geology, molecular biology, biotechnology, medicine, materials science and environmental studies. Post-graduate programmes include BSc Honours in Chemistry (a requirement for recognition as a professional chemist), and research degrees by dissertation at the masters (MSc) level and by thesis at the doctoral (PhD) level. The Molecular Sciences Institute, the research arm of the School of Chemistry, is internationally regarded for its graduates and publications.

Chemistry: The Central Science
Chemistry plays a vital part in our understanding of the structure and the interactions of matter, and it is crucial for a thorough understanding of disciplines as diverse as biochemistry, geology, physics, engineering, molecular biology, biotechnology, medicine, materials science and environmental studies. The products of chemistry are all around you. The global Chemical Industry has an estimated turnover of around US$ 3000 billion (about 4% of the world economy). Closer to home, the South African chemicals industry contributes 5% to the national gross domestic product (GDP), representing about a quarter of all local manufacturing, and employs around 200 000 people (Statistics SA, 2012). Chemistry is one of only six categories in which Nobel prizes are awarded. One of the recipients, Sir Aaron Klug (the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), had studied Chemistry at Wits. Another Wits Chemistry graduate, Sir David King, was Chief Scientific Advisor to Her Majesty’s Government between 2000 and 2007. Numerous other Wits PhD graduates and former staff members hold eminent academic posts both in South Africa and abroad.The Wits School of Chemistry consists of over 60 permanent academic and technical staff, as well as a number of honorary staff, and around 100 Post-Graduate students and Post-Doctoral Fellows.

The School of Chemistry offers three undergraduate chemistry majors (Chemistry, Applied Chemistry and Materials Science) in the BSc qualification. Post-graduate programmes include BSc Honours in Chemistry (a requirement for recognition as a professional chemist), and research degrees by dissertation at the masters (MSc) and by thesis at the doctoral (PhD) level. Apart from training chemists, the School also contributes to curricula in Science, Engineering and Health Sciences. The School hosts about 3000 registered students per annum.

The Molecular Sciences Institute (MSI) represents the research activities of the School of Chemistry in conjunction with over 65 national and international collaborators, including colleagues from industry and academia. Recent research awards include those to Professor Neil Coville (South African Chemical Institute (SACI) Merck Medal 2010; and the NRF Champion of Research Capacity Development at South African higher education institutions, 2013), and Dr Nosipho Moloto, winner of the 2014 NRF award for Distinguished Young Woman Scientist in Physical and Engineering Sciences. The School was distinguished in 2013 by the election of Professor Charles de Koning as a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, and the elections of Professors Neil Coville, Helder Marques and Jo Michael as Fellows of the South African Chemical Institute. Professor Manuel Fernandes, Dr Hlanganai Tutu and Dr Andreas Lemmerer received the Raikes Medal from SACI in 2010, 2012 and 2014 respectively. In 2011 Professor Luke Chimuka was named “Chromatographer of the Year” by the Chromatography Society of South Africa (ChromSA), and Professor Mike Scurrell was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Catalysis Society of South Africa (CATSA). In 2012 Professor Manuel Fernandes received the Jan Boeyens Medal from the SA Crystallographic Society.

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