At the 64th Annual Conference of the South African Institute of Physics in Polokwane (8-12 July 2019), Prof Whitelock was awarded the 2018 SAIP Gold Medal for her outstanding research career in astronomy and astrophysics, and for her distinguished and extensive contributions to leadership, education and human capacity development of the Physics and Astronomy community.
Last April, 5 PhD students in the Astronomy Department at UCT obtained their PhDs: Dr Sam Legodi, Dr Marie Korsaga, Dr Brenda Namumba, Dr Elizabeth Naluminsa and Dr Kerry Paterson. Read about their PhD journeys in this wonderful article for the Science Faculty newsletter.
The Department of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) have an opening for a joint position in observational astronomy at Lecturer or Senior Lecturer level. Applications are sought from scientists whose research interests lie in stellar astrophysics or extragalactic astronomy, and who could make intensive use of the telescopes at SAAO, including SALT and MeerLICHT.
Within the context of the NRF Funded SARChI project: “Gravitational Wave Counterparts and Fast Transients” the following positions are available. All positions will be based at the University of Cape Town (UCT), in close collaboration with SAAO, IDIA/Ilifu and SARAO. Candidates will be requested to spend extended periods of time abroad, specifically in the Netherlands and Chile.
Through the National Research Foundation Research Chair Initiative, University of Cape Town (UCT) is offering a Postdoctoral Fellowship that is focused on using the recently upgraded Iziko Planetarium for research in astrophysics and related fields that require immersive visualisation. The candidate will work and liaise closely with the Iziko Planetarium University Consortium, led by Professor Thomas Jarrett (UCT), comprised of the University of Western Cape (UWC), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), and UCT in partnership with Iziko Museums, the NRF and DST. The mandate of the Consortium is to manage and drive the research side, exploit the facility for carrying out research in the physical, biological and medical field sciences, as well as engage with other interested groups (e.g., humanities and arts) associated with the universities.
In January 2019, the Astronomy department will upgrade the domes of the Tony Fairall Teaching Observatory on UCT upper campus. This will include the replacement of the old domes on the roof of the RW James building, and the installation of a new Celestron 14-inch telescope in the west dome, dedicated for optical spectroscopy.
On Tuesday 20 November, UCT Astronomy hosted a MeerKAT Science Busy Day where researchers from the Astronomy department shared and discussed early science results from the MeerKAT radio telescope array.
Prof Paul Groot started his new job as the SALT South African Research Chair in Fast Transients and Gravitational Wave Counterparts on 1 November 2018. This is a joint position with the SAAO, hosted at UCT, whilst on secondment from Radboud University Nijmegen.
The Astronomy Department at UCT is ranked number 1 in Africa and number 149 in the world in 2017/2018 according to the University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) metric in Astronomy and Astrophysics, based on five years of data (2012-2016).