04 November 2014

Young scientists program advances research in Africa

The Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program—a research capacity building program cooperatively offered by IIASA and South African partners—launches its third year at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa.



The Southern African Young Scientists Program (SA-YSSP) this year welcomes 27 PhD students from 17 countries on five continents. Each participant will work with a supervisor team including researchers from IIASA and South Africa, in the three-month academic training program modeled on IIASA’s successful, long-running Young Scientists Summer Program. The SA-YSSP emphasizes independent research and interdisciplinary connections, and connects participants to IIASA’s growing global research network.

The program is organized jointly by the South African National Research Foundation, the Republic of South Africa Department of Science and Technology, the University of the Free State, and IIASA.

The opening ceremony on 3 November included speeches by South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Mrs Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, as well as a video address by IIASA Director and CEO Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat.

Awards for young scientists

During the opening ceremony, Kabat also announced the three recipients of IIASA-NRF Systems Analysis Scholarships, awarded to top participants of the 2013-2014 SA-YSSP, based on internal and external review of the papers resulting from their SA-YSSP investigations.   The three young scholars will be invited to continue their research at IIASA in Laxenburg, Austria.

Nathaniel W. Tindall, Department of Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA: Six-month scholarship for his study, “Agent-Based Modeling of Energy End-Use in the Residential Sector of Developing Economies: A Case Study of South Africa.”

Delin Fang, School of Environment at Beijing Normal University, China: Three-month scholarship for her study, “Assessing the Resilience of Urban Water Metabolic System Using Ecological Network Analysis.”

Seuneu Tchamga, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa: Three month scholarship for her study, “Delay in Stability Switches in Singularly Perturbed Models and its Applications.”

Honorable Mention: Erkka Rinne, Department of Energy Systems at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland: Honorable mention for his study, “Stochastic Power System Simulation with Energy Storages.”

Organizers, supporters, and supervisors of the 2014 SA-YSSP: From left to right, Bottom Row: Prof Ulf Dieckmann, IIASA SA-YSSP Dean, Director, Evolution and Ecology Program, IIASA, and SA-YSSP Supervisor, Dr Lis Lange, DVC Academic (acting), UFS; Dr Priscilla Mensah, SA-YSSP Director, Postgraduate School, UFS; Prof Mary Scholes, Chair of IIASA's Science Advisory Committee and Director of Postgraduate Affairs, Wits; Hon Deputy-Minister Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, DST; Dr Gansen Pillay, Deputy-CEO, RISA, NRF. Top Row: Prof Andre Roodt, SA-YSSP Dean, Department of Chemistry, UFS; Mrs Mmampei Chaba, Chief Director: Multilateral and Africa Cooperation, DST; Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, CEO, NRF; Prof Corli Witthuhn, DVC Research, UFS; Dr Aldo Stroebel, Executive Director, International Relations and Cooperation, NRF

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Last edited: 05 November 2014


Ulf Dieckmann

Principal Research Scholar Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Principal Research Scholar Systemic Risk and Resilience Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Principal Research Scholar Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program


Priscilla Mensah

Deputy Director, Postgraduate School

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