Dr Christine Steenkamp is hailed asa pioneer in her field.(Image: SAASTA) Stellenbosch University’s Laser ResearchInstitute is renowned for its world-class scientific work.(Image: Stellenbosch University)MEDIA CONTACTS • Dr Christine SteenkampLaser Research Institute+27 21 808 3374 or +27 83 709 6482RELATED ARTICLES• SA scientist lauded for polar work• SA hosts world science meet• SA scientists win AU awards• Unesco fellowship for SA scientisJanine ErasmusLaser physicist Dr Christine Steenkamp is one of three African women scientists, out of a group of 12, who recently received international recognition for excellence in research.Steenkamp and her colleagues, from the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Africa, were honoured at the fourth General Assembly and international conference of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSDW), formerly the Third World Organisation for Women in Science.This year’s OWSDW conference took place in June 2010 under the theme Women Scientists in a Changing World. The conference and General Assembly had a number of joint aims, among them to promote interaction and exchange between women scientists in the South; to boost awareness of OWSDW activities; and to increase assistance from national and international organisations for research projects carried out by women scientists.The awards were presented by funding organisation The Elsevier Foundation, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World and OWSDW, and are each worth US$5 000 (about R38 000).The 12 laureates are Zeng Fanyi, Ilkay Orhan and Priya Mahadevan from Asia; Uchechi Ekweny, Ndidiamaka Ezejiofor and Christine Steenkamp from Africa; Ghada Abdel-Salam, Lilyan Alsaka and Sakina Adam Ali from the Arab bloc; and Myriam Amezcua-Allieri, Aramis Rivera and Aimé Pelaíz-Barranco from Latin America and the Caribbean.Through a grant made as part of The Elsevier Foundation New Scholar’s programme, three disciplines in each region – biology, chemistry, and mathematics/physics – were recognised. The winners received their prizes from Chinese vice president Xi Jinping at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Tianenmen Square, Beijing.“Encouraging the work of promising scientists in the developing world helps to promote wider participation and excellence in science. This is a key objective of The Elsevier Foundation’s New Scholars programme,” said the foundation’s executive director David Ruth.Submissions were reviewed by the relevant regional OWSDW committee, and shortlisted candidates went under rigorous scrutiny from OWSDW regional vice-presidents as well as the current president Kaiser Jamil, before receiving a grading.“The recognition that this provides will undoubtedly provide an invaluable boost to the promising careers of these young women scientists,” said Jamil.Innovation in physicsSteenkamp took the mathematics/physics prize for Africa for her excellent contribution to science, particularly her pioneering work in the field of vacuum ultraviolet laser spectroscopy. She delivered a lecture at the conference on this highly specialised field of research.Steenkamp obtained her BSc in physics and chemistry from Stellenbosch in 1996 and completed her MSc and PhD in laser physics at the same institution.She is now a senior physics lecturer at her alma mater, and conducts her research at the university’s Laser Research Institute, where the small academic staff complement and postgraduate students carry out fundamental and applied research in laser science and technology, and related applications.She attributes her choice of career to her father, also a physicist, who specialised in wood science. She has worked at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany, and spent time doing research at the University of Colorado in the US – at the personal invitation of distinguished Nobel physics laureate Prof Carl Wieman.Her research interests range from laser cooling and trapping of atoms, to chlorophyll fluorescence and nonlinear optics.Steenkamp’s consistently high-quality output is all the more remarkable, said her OWSDW citation, because when she started her career in experimental physics there was very little research infrastructure available. Since then she herself has developed much of the equipment used in her work, and most of it is still not commercially available.For instance, her design of a vacuum ultraviolet laser source is scientifically important, because the device is not only used to investigate the properties of super-cooled carbon monoxide (CO) molecules, but can also be used to measure spectra of CO isotopomers in a lab – something which has not been possible before.Laser sources that provide light in the vacuum ultraviolet region of the spectrum are very limited, said Steenkamp in her TWOWS lecture, with only a few in existence worldwide.Isotopomers are isomers – molecules with the same chemical formula, but different structural formula – that contain isotopic atoms. The latter are atoms of the same chemical element but with differing numbers of neutrons – they are found in the same numbers but in different positions on the molecule.CO isotopomers are important because their spectra are implicated in the interpretation of results of interstellar space scans obtained by space stations. The astrophysics community, therefore, is keenly interested in Steenkamp’s innovation. She has published two papers on this work, one in the Astrophysical Journal and the other in the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy.This is not Steenkamp’s first award. In 1997 she received the Stellenbosch University Chancellor’s Award, given to the top final year student at the university. In 2003 she was one of three recipients of the Department of Science and Technology’s Women in Science fellowships, and in 2009 she took the Silver Jubilee Medal of the South African Institute of Physics.Steenkamp has also published in well-established peer-reviewd journals, and has presented papers at a number of local and international conferences.
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Related Posts curt hopkins Tags:#E-Books#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… The definitive dictionary of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, may well never see the light of day again, only the light of a monitor. Nigel Portwood, chief executive of Oxford University Press, which publishes the OED, told the London Sunday Times that dictionaries sales have been falling off at a rate greater than 10% a year for the last few years. So the next edition may be online only. Such a move might be financially reasonable. After all, the current online edition gets two million hits monthly at $400 per user, and more people are favoring compact, universally-retrievable sources of information. But is finance all we should consider? Over at GigaOm, Matthew Ingram asks if we should care. His response, if I’m reading him right, is yes. I yearned for an opportunity to disagree, dramatically, just pro forma. But I can’t. I’ll go into a bit more detail on why a “hardcopy” of the dictionary (I favor the neo-logism, “book”) is still desirable. The idea of small, lightweight, online, retrievable sources of reference materials is fantastic. I use Dictionary.com more than I use my Websters. (Though Websters gets money either way.) So why not the OED? After all, the twenty-volume mega-book is, at almost $1,600 hellishly expensive and, if you’re sub-Ferrigno, immovable. Because while some books are repositories of information, others are experiences. Although the OED is not a narrative, not scripture, not poetry, it is, nonetheless, transportive. The idea of flipping from one entry to another, following a line of inquiry (especially etymological inquiry) from one page to another, even one volume to another, is a sensual experience. I don’t mean it’s sexy (it is), but rather that it’s an experience that encompasses sight, sound and touch and even hearing (the rustle of pages, the thump of the volume hitting the desk) to create the context for comprehension. I agree with Matthew that it doesn’t need to be a commercial production, with loads of books run out and sent by plane and truck to book stores. It may become something of a bespoke tradition – created at user request. Although the Oxford University Press said it hadn’t made a hard-and-fast decision as to whether they’d print again (the next edition probably won’t be ready for a decade), they should make a hard-and-fast decision never to stop printing, even if they have to change the way they print. If scifi has been in some way a guide to our future, let’s remember that Picard read manifests on a PADD but Shakespeare in a book; and further, each new technology does not push all previous technologies out. Nor should it. So come on, Nigel. Make a commitment. Give us that sweet must of a real book when we need the experience of language, not just the data. What do you think? Does the Book matter, or is it only a vehicle for the experience of reading? For more discussion of the online reading experience, read Richard MacManus’s posts where he examines the pros and cons; and mine, where I ask whether e-books are the new paperbacks.
‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Early theme to NBA season: You score, I score, we all score Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDe La Salle is headed to the Final Four after brushing off University of the East, 99-78, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.The defending champions Green Archers streaked to their fourth straight win to improve to 9- while the Red Warriors slipped to 3-8, but remained mathematically in contention for a semifinals spot.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. View comments “Actually our team is a strong unit as long as we follow our system, and we should move as one.”Reigning MVP Ben Mbala led all scorers with 25 points to go along 14 rebounds to lead La Salle while Santi Santillan added a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double.Rivero and Justine Baltazar came off the bench and had 26 points apiece to help La Salle’s cause.Alvin Pasaol, who put up a career-high 49 points in the first round against La Salle, managed 23 points and nine boards to lead UE while Mark Olayon had 18 points and seven assists.ADVERTISEMENT La Salle started to command respect as early as midway through the second quarter when it mounted a 22-6 run with Justine Baltazar capping it off with an off-balanced jumper that gave the Green Archers a 40-24 lead.That then ballooned to 27 points with 2:25 left in the third when Baltazar hit a triple that punctuated the Green Archers’ 11-3 run that put La Salle up 74-47.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingAnd even though La Salle’s remaining games became mere formalities, Ricci Rivero said they shouldn’t think ahead and that they should remain focused on the eliminations.“We shouldn’t think ahead, and we should focus on just one game at a time,” said Rivero in Filipino who filled in for the post-game press conference as La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo snubbed it for the sixth time.