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SARAO bursary funded students selected for 2018/19 CSIRO scholarship
SARAO News #02 2018
Two bursary funded students, Emily Wallace and Reikantseone Diretse, have been selected to participate in the 2018/19 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)/South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) Undergraduate Australian Vacation Work Scholarship.
Wallace and Diretse will join the CSIRO headquarters in Sydney, Australia on 26 November 2018 and will be there until 8 February 2019. They were selected by the SARAO Human Capital Development Programme for the exchange. While on the programme, they will each undertake a research project in Australia.
The scholarship also includes a visit to the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) in Narrabri in mid-January where Wallace and Diretse will get hands-on observing experience together with the Australian students participating in this year’s programme.
Wallace (23) will work on a research project titled Tracing Inflows and Outflows of Galaxies with Dr Matthew Whiting from the Australia Telescope National Facility, which is part of the CSIRO.
She is currently studying towards an Honours degree in Physics at the University of the Witwatersrand. She completed a BSc degree in Astronomy/Astrophysics, and her current research interest is Theoretical Astrophysics.
“I am a part-time presenter at the Wits Planetarium since 2015. There, I run children’s shows for the public and I am in training to run some shows for older audiences. I am also employed as a part-time tutor by the University, where I tutor the first year Astrophysics students. I have also spent some time as a tour guide and ride operator at the International Gateway to Space Exhibition in Sandton in 2016,” says Wallace.
She says that she is looking forward to the prospect of working abroad and have no doubt that this will be a character-defining experience for her.
“I am really looking forward to the opportunity to do some research work on real-world astrophysical data. This particular opportunity is very exciting, not only because I will be able to study the dynamical evolution of these galaxies and their environs, but also because I will have the opportunity to do so by compiling multi-wavelength data in both the optical and radio bands.”
“Given that the majority of my astronomical experience has been theoretical up to this point, this is a great opportunity to gain some valuable, practical experience, which is both transferable and involves subject matter which greatly interests me, allowing me to start getting a sense of possible research topics in the future,” she continues.
Diretse (22) will undertake a research project titled Studying pulsars with the ultra-wide-bandwidth receiver at the Parkes telescope with Dr George Hobbs, also from the Australia Telescope National Facility.
He is an Honours student at the University of Cape Town studying Astrophysics and Space Science under the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP) in the Department of Astronomy.
His current research is on accretion and outflow in compact binaries (black holes and neutron stars), using archival radio and x-ray data. This project is one of the MeerKAT Large Survey Projects, ThunderKAT, or The Hunt for Dynamic and Explosive Radio Transients with MeerKAT.
“I completed a BSc degree in Physics and Chemistry at the North West University in Mahikeng. I also worked there as a Physics Student Assistant in the Department of Physics and Electronics as a third year student,” says Diretse.
“I am absolutely looking forward to the knowledge and skills that Dr Hobbs will share as he is an expert pulsar scientist. I hope to learn about radio telescope operations, more radio data reduction techniques, pulsar timing, properties of pulsars, their powerful magnetic fields and high angular momentum, and effects on their environments. Learning more and advanced data reduction skills will be tremendously useful for my Masters and PhD studies, so this scholarship is very important to me,” he concludes.
For more information about the scholarship, contact Dr Bonita de Swardt, Programme Manager: Strategic Partnerships for SARAO Human Capacity Development on firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Data Attendees at the one-day work session which was held on 11 July 2017 at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation in Ghana to kick off the High Performance Computing training programme in Ghana.
Members of the nine SKA African partner countries concluded the Fourth Ministerial Meeting on the SKA in Accra, Ghana by signing a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on radio astronomy.
Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor watches on as the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cuts the ribbon at the launch of the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory.
The launch of the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory was covered 119 times in the media between 23 and 25 August 2017:
In Ghana: 24 times
In South Africa: 36 times
In other African countries: 8 times
Internationally: 51 times
The value of these placements is R6 983 234.17.
Last Updated on November 19, 2018