DST-NRF CIMERA 5th Birthday Function held on the 24th April 2019

Time flies, and DST-NRF CIMERA reached a significant milestone on the 24thApril 2019, exactly 5 years since its official launching in 2014. To celebrate the occasion, our Centre of Excellence organized a function for all our collaborators and students in the Reading Room of the Department of Geology at the University of Johannesburg.

Prof Nikki Wagner (Director) acted as MC, and welcomed all to , especially our honoured guests: Mr Nathan Sassman of the NRF, Dr Carol Nonkwelo (UJ Executive Director: Research and Innovation) who attended on behalf of Prof Saurabh Sinha (UJ Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation) and Prof Ina Wagenaar (UJ Vice-Dean of Science) who attended on behalf of Prof Debra Meyer (UJ Executive Dean of Science). Prof Nikki then called upon our honoured guests to say a few words about DST-NRF CIMERA and its passage through the past five years. They were all very supportive, and congratulated Prof Nic Beukes, our Founding Director, for making our CoE such a success. Prof Judith Kinnaird, Co-Director of DST-NRF CIMERA at Wits, gave an informative summary about the conception of the CoE, and how the final proposal submitted to the NRF by Prof Nic and Prof Judith came to be accepted. Prof Nic then modestly added a few words about the achievement and the way forward for our CoE. Prof Jason Ogola of the University of Venda congratulated Prof Nic, and noted that we are progressing well with the important aspect of human capital development.

Prof Nikki then thanked Dr Markus Schaefer, a member of the Steering Committee for attending, as well as the rest of the Committee members for their continued support; our Scientific Advisory Committee members; Advocate Corlia van der Walt for seeing to our legal needs; Hester Roets for our graphics support; and Kevin Reddell for looking after our website. Deborah Letseka, our Finance Partner at UJ, is especially thanked here for looking after our money so well! Prof Nikki then expressed thanks to Ms Viwe Koti (UJ), Mrs Danielle Duarte (Wits) and Dr George Henry (UJ) for administrative support. Prof Ogala and students from the University of Venda were thanked for taking the time to join us. And her biggest thanks went to Prof Nic, who was presented with a gift as a token of our appreciation, following his  stepping-down as the Director of DST-NRF CIMERA.

With the informal formalities over, the guests partook of the refreshments provided, and networked with their DST-NRF CIMERA colleagues.

Prof Nikki welcoming guests

Mr Nathan Sassman of the NRF imparting his words of congratulations to DST-NRF CIMERA on its 5thBirthday.

Prof Nic saying a few words to the guests.

Prof Nikki presenting a gift to Prof Nic on his stepping down as Director of DST-NRF CIMERA

Final words from Prof Nikki before the partying began!

Prof Jason, Prof Ina Wagenaar and Prof Judith

Profs Jason and Nikki with the our Univen colleagues