Dr Hendrik Ewerts is currently a project manager with Rand Water, which is the biggest water board in the southern hemisphere. In his honours year, he received a scholarship from them to investigate the removal of microscopic algae and cyanobacteria during water purification.


Hendrik is also a postdoctoral student at the IHE Delft UNESCO Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands.

Please write and tell us where you are in the world and how your careers are progressing, or just write about anything that is close to your heart.


Email your letters to nelia.engelbrecht@nwu.ac.za, fax them to 086 614 3222 or mail them to Nelia Engelbrecht, Corporate Communication, North-West University, Private Bag X1290, Potchefstroom, 2520.



Water and culture are close to his heart

Dear fellow alumni,


I still see my choice of university as the best I could have made, as I was able to enjoy so many successes – not only academically but also personally – as a result.


I therefore see my arrival at the NWU’s Potchefstroom Campus in January 2005 as remarkable, as I was the first in my family, out of so many generations, to have the opportunity to study.


Compared to many of my university friends, I chose a field of study that was not very traditional. I started out studying zoology and later botany and biochemistry, as plants and animals were sure not to hold any surprises for a farmworker’s child.


Discovering a new world


Although I could enjoy this kind of familiarity, the university and the life here were very unfamiliar. This was because of years of isolation in the farming environment where I did not really come into contact with other people from different languages and cultures. It was therefore necessary to find a place where I could integrate and form part of a group of people with the same or similar interests.


I soon became part of a student culture group on campus called the Diverse Action Cultural Organisation (DIVACO). Here I could participate in activities such as dancing, singing, drama, poetry and leadership.


Taking the lead


I was especially interested in leadership activities. Through my participation in the group, I was elected vice-chairperson in 2006, and later chairperson of the group. Then came the opportunity to be elected to the Campus Student Council for 2008/09 in the Societies Council portfolio.


In this capacity, I could really utilise the leadership experience that I had acquired during my DIVACO exposure to the benefit of the broader student community on the campus. One of the main contributions during my term was preparing and facilitating campus students to enable them to take part in the national election that took place in South Africa during that time.


As an alumnus, I therefore encourage students to become part of groups like DIVACO. Such involvement not only helps them to enjoy a balanced student life, but also prepares them for making a meaningful contribution in South Africa and in the world.


The existence of student organisations like DIVACO also presents a platform for the NWU to promote diversity, transformation, social integration and leadership.




Dr Hendrik Ewerts




The NWU & U


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Since he started his studies in 2005, Dr Hendrik Ewerts has received a master’s degree and a doctorate in environmental sciences.


In 2017 he also received a postgraduate diploma from the NWU Business School and became the associate editor of the African Journal of Aquatic Science.


Over the years he has taken part in various national and international conferences and published many articles in local and international journals.

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