Johannesburg, South Africa – Sasol Ltd and the National Research Foundation (NRF) are pleased to announce the award and establishment of four jointly funded South African Research Chairs.
A competitive call was launched during 2022 for two Chairs that considered the critical areas of research investment necessary in the areas of Energy and Power Systems Modelling; and Green Hydrogen. Informed by the excellence of the proposals submitted, it was agreed that two additional Chairs will be funded. This total joint investment of more than R40 mill during the next five years will significantly increase the capacity and capability of South Africa in just energy transition.
In addition, and considering the specialist areas of skills necessary, six Fellowships have been awarded as part of the bespoke joint Postdoctoral Innovation Fellowships Programme. These awards will stimulate and accelerate joint academia-industry research in clean and sustainable energy research and contribute to enabling South Africa’s transition towards sustainable clean energy.
Awards are as follow:
Two Sasol-NRF Research Chairs in Energy and Power Systems Modelling: Professor Ramesh Bansal, University of Pretoria, and Professor Sunetra Chowdhury, University of Cape Town.
Two Sasol-NRF Research Chairs in Green Hydrogen: Professor Tien-Chien Jen, University of Johannesburg, and Professor Prathieka Naidoo Stellenbosch University.
Six Postdoctoral Innovation Programme Fellowships: The focus of research include the specifically-identified areas of Green Hydrogen, Energy Storage, Waste Utilisation Towards a Circular Economy, In-Situ Characterisation of Catalysts, and Fischer-Tropsch Catalysis for Power-to-Liquids Applications. The successful applicants are from the Universities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, the Witwatersrand, Durban University of Technology and North-West University. The two-year Fellowship will include dedicated research time at Sasol’s research facilities in Sasolburg.
The growing partnership between Sasol and the NRF is not only playing a key role in accelerating the co-creation of knowledge for impact and skills development, but especially addressing the critical energy challenges, showcasing the value of effective partnership within the innovation ecosystem.
These programmes further advance the strong partnership between Sasol, the Sasol Foundation and the NRF that has supported 400 students and researchers from academic and research performing institutions in South Africa. To date, Sasol Ltd and the NRF have collectively committed more than R150 million on industry-linked research and innovation projects in the next five years to support clean energy programmes. Working with key stakeholders, both organisations intend to expand the scope and investment of this initiative.