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Russ Taylor is the Director of the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy.
He is a professor and SKA Research Chair at the University of Cape Town and the University of Western Cape.
Russ is the founding Executive Secretary of the International Square Kilometre Array Steering Committee, the founding chair of the International SKA Science Advisory Committee, the vice-chair of the International SKA Science & Engineering Committee, the co-chair of the SKA Cosmic Magnetism Science Working Group and a member of the International Board of the Preparatory Phase Program for the SKA and of the International Board of the SKA Organization.
He has published over 200 professional scientific articles and has edited five books.
His work through IDIA focuses on the development of techniques and data science solutions for major SKA programs.
Rob Simmonds is the Associate Director of New Technologies at IDIA. He is a professor at the UCT Department of Computer Science.
Before moving to South Africa, he spent more than ten years as Chief Technology Officer of WestGrid, which is part of the Compute Canada organization.
He was an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science and the Research Manager for the Grid Research Centre at the University of Calgary. His PhD is in Mathematical Sciences and was obtained from the University of Bath in the UK. Rob leads IDIA technology initiatives including collaborations with ASTRON, CADC and SAP.
He also leads the Data Delivery Design for the SKA Science Data Processor collaboration.
Dr. Cluver is a NRF RCA Fellow at the University of the Western Cape. She obtained her PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cape Town in 2009. She researches the effect of the group environment on galaxy evolution, specifically its influence on the distribution of HI and star forming properties of the group galaxies. Aside from using MeerKAT to study intragroup HI, she is involved in several large surveys requiring innovative methods to exploit multiwavelength datasets. She hopes to expand visualisation techniques within IDIA by exploiting the 8K rendering capabilities of the upgraded digital dome of the Iziko Planetarium.
Alan Christoffels is the director of the South African National Bioinformatics Institute and director of the Medical Research Council Bioinformatics Capacity Development Research Unit. In 2009, he became the NRF Research Chair in Bioinformatics and Public Health Genomics.
His bioinformatics laboratory studies host-pathogen interactions with a view to understand the regulatory networks that control immune responses to pathogen challenge. Machine learning approaches are being implemented in an attempt to identify novel protein-protein interactions that can be tested experimentally. These studies are complemented by next generation sequencing data that allows us to get a glimpse of the host and pathogenic genes that are triggered during an infection. In this regard, he has been developing methods to analyze this rich source of genomic and transcriptomic data.
Jan Eloff is the Deputy Dean of Research & Postgraduate studies: Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and IT (EBIT) and a full professor in computer science at the University of Pretoria.
His research interest is in cyber-security and applied aspects of Big Data Science. He is an associate-editor of the Computers & Security journal and an editorial member for the international Computer Fraud & Security bulletin published by Elsevier.
He is an internationally recognised researcher and holds a B rating at the NRF.
Michelle Kuttel is an associate professor at the UCT Department of Computer Science. Her cross-disciplinary research is in the area of Computational Science: primarily in the areas of Computational Astronomy (development of software and computational approaches to support research in Astronomy) and Computational Chemistry (specifically computational glycochemistry, with a current focus on modelling of vaccines). She uses a combination of highly compute-intensive algorithms accelerated with high-performance computing to analyze large volumes of data and innovative visualization methods to explore large and complex data sets.
Prof. Maartens is the SKA Research Chair at the University of Western Cape. He is a cosmologist who analyzes the large-scale structure of the universe to extract information about the universe and to develop tests of Dark Energy and of Einstein's General Relativity. MeerKAT and the SKA will allow Prof. Maartens and his fellow researchers to apply these ideas for the first time in the radio waveband. He was chair of the international SKA Cosmology Science Working Group (2013-2015) and a member of the SKA Science Review Panel (2014).
Dr. van Sittert is a senior lecturer in the School of Physics and Chemical Sciences at North-West University. Her research interests are molecular modelling, organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis.
Prof. Spanier is a researcher at the Centre for Space Research in the Faculty of Natural Sciences at North-West University. His research focusses on high-energy astropyhsics, kinetic plasma physics and numerical simulation.
Prof. Theron is the Head of Department of Physics at the University of Pretoria. His research focusses on solid state physics and nuclear materials with specialisation in RBS and surface interactions.