February 2022

NWU produces research that matters

Welcome to 2022's first edition of the North-West University's 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.

New and familiar avenues for NWU research in 2022

Prof Jeffrey Mphahlele, the NWU's deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation, shares his thoughts on what lies ahead for research and innovation at the NWU in 2022. This entails new opportunities and fields that the university's researchers could venture into. He also highlights the ongoing research project in the Centre of Excellence in Carbon-based Fuels and the new research partnership between the NWU and Waternet.


bible streetfood

Crime and punishment, but what about rehabilitation?

The South African penal system has failed and as a result crime remains out of control. This is the harsh and uncomfortable reality that is plaguing society, and the country's haunting crime statistics attest to that.
One reason for this is the lack of rehabilitation opportunities available to offenders. The allure of falling back in old ways can be too appealing, but there is also a fundamental misunderstanding of the systematised obstacles criminal offenders face when reintroduced into society.


#theArtofResearch – making health science more accessible

It is no secret that the NWU's Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) is at the forefront of in-depth research. Over the past year they have demonstrated yet again that their mission is to conduct research that could solve many health-related problems that affect young and old. HART recently took part in a programme, #theArtofResearch, as an initiative to activate African knowledge. They showcased their research by means of posters to make African science more accessible.


immagine3 immagine4 immagine5

Top service award for NWU astronomer

The United Kingdom's Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) has awarded Prof Don Kurtz its 2022 Service Award for Astronomy. In a statement, the RAS said: "Prof Donald Kurtz has combined a life-time commitment to public outreach with an illustrious research career. "According to the RAS, he has given public presentations on every continent except Antarctica, and has a long-standing commitment to teaching in African schools. Prof Kurtz says he is delighted.


The road ahead may be accident-free

Have you ever imagined a society that is free of road accidents? A road environ-ment where cars can con-nect and communicate to aid in your decision-making abilities on the road? Well, this is, among other things, what Dr Thulani Phakathi, a recent NWU PhD graduate, is envisaging through his doctoral research. His PhD study focused on using cybersecurity technology to improve telecommunications network performance and the design of efficient routing protocols.


Blood parasites in African wild dogs

Blood parasites were recently shown to be highly prevalent in African wild dog populations, according to Dr Edward Netherlands and colleagues from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Their study on blood parasites of species of Hepatozoon indicates that these parasites are common in African wild dog or painted wolf (Lycaon pictus) populations. The study was conducted as part of a general health survey of African wild dogs in the Kruger National Park.


bible streetfood

Newly B-rated researcher pursues new problems on ancient culture

Prof Jaco Gericke does not take an orthodox approach to research in his field, ancient culture, and in a sense that has sometimes counted against him. However, the tide has turned, and the fact that his work is not in the mainstream of scholarship may have proved to be an advantage.


Waiting times in healthcare are under the microscope

Waiting for medical treatment can be a life-or-death matter. "Waiting times in healthcare are a significant problem that occurs across the world and often has catastrophic effects – as we have seen during the Covid-19 pandemic," says Maria van Zyl, a lecturer in the NWU's School of Industrial Engineering.


More research news

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