July 2019

NWU – taking research to new heights!

Welcome to 2019's fourth edition of the North-West University's research and innovation newsletter, Research@NWU. The aim of the newsletter is to showcase research projects, researchers and related events. This newsletter is one of seven, distributed to academic staff and researchers during the year.


Uncharted waters await two NWU researchers

Two NWU researchers will navigate uncharted waters with their research, using fourth-generation cultural-historical activity theories (CHAT) to find solutions to the complex educational problems confronting South Africa.

Prof Elsa Mentz and Prof Josef de Beer from the research focus area Self-directed Learning are working on a project, Teachers Without Borders, that focuses on the professional development of natural science teachers.

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Tracing operational research back to World War II

Operational research (OR) is modern and highly sophisticated but its origins can be traced back to 1939 when the Royal Air Force began expanding the range of radar. Prof Philip Pretorius recently gave the audience a bit of a history lesson on OR during his inaugural lecture on the NWU's campus in Vanderbijlpark.

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Global warming is fuelling global inequality

Poor countries are becoming poorer as a result of global warming and more intense heat waves in the future will widen the inequality gap. These are some of the research findings of Namhla Mkiva from the subject group Geography and Environmental Studies at the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

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Xena and a fish parasite have much in common

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Xena the warrior princess dominated television screens all over the world. She was known for her strong personality and loved for her feistiness and fighting ability. So when master's student Serita van der Wal named a fish parasitic cymothoid isopod after the television character, we just had to find out why.

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Get to know the NWU's research chairs

The NWU has a number of dedicated and knowledgeable research chairs that help steer the university into realising its ideal of producing research and innovation with a notable international impact. In this edition we meet Prof John R Bunt, the Department of Science and Technology / National Research Foundation's Research Chair in Coal Research.

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Please share your comments and input by sending an email to the newsletter editor, willie.duplessis@nwu.ac.za