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Kirsty Carden, Acting Director
Dr Kirsty Carden has over 30 years of experience working in academia, for government and the private sector in the field of urban water management. She is a Senior Research Officer in the Department of Civil Engineering at UCT and is currently the interim Director for Future Water.
Her research interests include: urban water management and service provision in a South African context, sustainability assessment in water management, and integrated approaches geared towards sustainable urban development and water sensitive cities (including social learning related to water sensitive design).
Tel: 021 650 5317 · Email: FutureWater@uct.ac.za
Website: Civil Engineering
YouTube: 2017 Future Water Symposium
Neil Armitage, Deputy Director
Originally from Zimbabwe, Professor Neil Armitage is a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) with more than 30 years’ experience – both as a consultant and an academic – in a wide range of water-related work. He graduated BSc(Eng) in Civil Engineering from the University of Natal; GDE and MSc(Eng) in water engineering from the University of Cape Town, and PhD in river hydraulics from the University of Stellenbosch. Currently, Neil is Professor and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Cape Town, Director of the interdisciplinary Urban Water Management research unit and Deputy Director of the Future Water Institute. He mainly teaches courses in urban water services and integrated urban water management. He was the project leader for the development of the South African Guidelines on Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) – and has been involved extensively in research into the problems of the provision of sanitation in informal settlements.
Sue Harrison, Director (until August 2019)
Professor Sue Harrison is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation at UCT, and the former director of the Future Water Institute and the Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research. Sue has some 30 years’ experience in research in bioprocess and environmental engineering, gained in the industrial and academic arenas.
She joined the academic staff of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town in 1991. Since then 102 Masters and PhD students have been awarded research degrees under her supervision. She regularly authors peer reviewed scientific papers (60 peer-reviewed journal papers over the period since 2011) and presents research at international and national conferences (62 at international conferences from 2011 to 2016). Her research focuses on growing the knowledge base for bioprocesses and bio-based products generated through integrated sustainable process approaches. This builds on resource efficiency principles with a strong focus on valorizing waste resources and bioremediating degraded resources. In biohydrometallurgy, her research centres on metal extraction from sulphidic minerals through tank and heap bioleaching of low grade and complex ores and electronic waste. In mine site and mine water remediation, she focuses on biological sulphate reduction for AMD treatment, SCN bioremediation, metal removal through phycoremediation, AMD prevention and re-purposing mine waste. In both mineral and organic applications, her research seeks value from waste through the circular economy, industrial ecology and maximizing of resource productivity approaches. She and her team have been lead proponents of the wastewater (and more recently, waste) biorefinery concept. She collaborates actively with researchers at the University of Mumbai, Cambridge University, Berkeley, Exeter and Imperial College London and with companies in South Africa and abroad.
Sue has taught actively into the chemical engineering, sustainable mineral resource development and biotechnology programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the Universities of Cape Town and Cambridge. She was awarded the South African DST Research Chair in Bioprocess Engineering, with effect from 2008. She received the national South African award as “Distinguished Woman Scientist” in 2008 and the national NSTF-South32 award for Research and Engineering capacity development in 2016. She is a fellow of the University of Cape Town and the South African Academy of Engineers.
Amber Abrams, Postdoctoral Fellow
As a postdoctoral fellow focused on social sciences and human health around water, Dr Amber Abrams works on numerous projects. Her background is both in public health and anthropology (with specializations in environmental and medical anthropology). She is currently supervising an MPH student to develop a health vulnerability index focused on drought, and an honours student who just completed their thesis exploring people’s relationships with stormwater infrastructures.
Amber is also leading a project that aims to create A Museum of Watery Relations and Values; this interactive hub for the Future Water Institute brings together our various skills, projects and data, and provides a place for citizens to contribute their own perspectives on water, its values and their interactions with it. This site will be interactive to provide an easily accessible interface that can become a one-stop-shop for all southern African water related research, and resources.
Amber also engages with young people in discussions around valuations of water. Borrowing from the concept of a Water Museum this project aims to develop, and collaboratively create, with citizens of South Africa, an engaged water museum and interactive online map of water user and water stories.
Amber is interested in working to inform citizens to enable them to feel confident in their expertise as people who value water. She does this through workshops, public engagements, and inviting people to voice their own forms of knowledge and expertise. Amber works in a participatory fashion to understand different ways in which people make use of, value and innovate around water in light of Cape Town’s water ‘crisis.’ This focus, including interviews and time spent at water sources neatly combines with the above two other projects to understand how water access points foster relationships and connections across space and time.
Amber's aim for the future is to continue to grow and develop a cohort of social scientists at the Future Water Institute that challenge, collaborate and push technical water scientists to consider the social, political and emotional aspects related to their work.
Jennifer Broadhurst, Associate Professor
Dr Jennifer Broadhurst has 30 years research and development experience in the field of mineral’s beneficiation within various industry and academic organisations. Since joining the Department of Chemical Engineering at UCT in July 2001, she has been involved in a number of research and capacity development activities relating to the environmental and other sustainability issues of relevance to the coal-based power generation and primary metal production industry sectors. Such activities include project management of the Minerals to Metals Signature Theme, and co-supervision of undergraduate, postgraduate and contractual research projects. Jennifer is also involved in the development and presentation of undergraduate (4th year) and postgraduate (MSc) courses pertaining to acid rock drainage and environmental issues in hydrometallurgy.
Jennifer is currently actively involved in developing inter- and transdisciplinary research capacity and has been actively involved in the establishment and application of a new transdisciplinary and multi-institutional masters course in the Management of Mineral Resources for Sustainable Development in Africa, as part of the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa initiative under the auspices of the United Nations University.
Horman Chitonge, Professor
Professor Horman Chitonge's research interests include agrarian political economy, hydro-politics, and alternative strategies for economic growth in Africa. He has conducted research on behalf of several African governments and international organisations, including the International Growth Centre, Human Sciences Research Council, Energia and the United Nations, and published extensively on these and related themes.
Horman's most recent books include:
Aqiel Dalvie, Professor
Professor Aqiel Dalvie is the South African Swiss Bilateral SARChi Chair in Global Environmental Health and the Director of the Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health and Family Medicine. His main research interest concerns environmental health effects due to endocrine disrupting compounds, especially pesticides. Aqiel also has a keen interest in air pollution, water pollution, climate change, asthma, toxic metals and exposure assessment. He teaches environmental and occupational health.
David Ikumi, Senior Lecturer
Dr David Ikumi is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering at UCT and teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of wastewater and environmental systems engineering..His main research interests include the development, refinement, and application of water and resource recovery facility (WRRF) mathematical models towards promoting future systems that are more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
Amanda Mkhonza, Lecturer
Amanda joined the Institute of Marine and Environmental Law in 2018 as a Lecturer. She holds an LLB from the University of the Free State, and an LLM (Environmental Law) from the University of the Witwatersrand. Having completed her articles at Norton Rose Fulbright, she was admitted as an Attorney and immediately began her lecturing career at the University of the Free State in 2013.
Before joining the Institute, Amanda also worked as a Water Lawyer and Campaigner at the Centre for Environmental Rights, a Cape Town-based NGO and environmental law firm which strives to realise the right to a healthy environment through advocacy and litigation. Together with various national government departments, Amanda’s work focussed on developing legal protection for South Africa’s strategic water source areas – the 8% of our land that provides 50% of our water.
John Okedi, Senior Lecturer
Dr John Okedi is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering at UCT and teaches engineering hydrology and Uuban water services. He was awarded an MSc(Eng) degree in Water Resources Engineering from Leuven University, Belgium in 2012 , and a PhD in Civil Engineering from UCT in 2019. His research interests include urban drainage, stormwater harvesting, and water resources.
Dyllon Randall, Senior Lecturer
Dr Dyllon Randall is a registered Professional Engineer and has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from UCT (2010). He joined the Civil Engineering Department in 2017 as a Senior Lecturer in Water Quality Engineering. He worked previously for the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) where his research focused on the stabilization and treatment of source-separated urine (2015 – 2016). He has also worked for Aurecon, in both their Cape Town and Tshwane offices (2013-2014). His research interests include sustainable sanitation; urine stabilization and treatment; resource recovery from wastewater; mine water treatment; freeze crystallization and crystallization & precipitation.
In this video, Dyllon describes some innovative ways to collect urine while also making fertilizer from it. He also demonstrates how bio-solids can be “grown” from the urea present in urine.
Tom Sanya, Senior Lecturer
Dr Tom Sanya is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics. His teaching and research activities are framed by ecosystem perspectives to focus on the sustainable design of the built environment. His academic pursuits are in low-energy design, water sensitive design, and ecological urbanism for human wellbeing, social justice and ecosystem vitality. In these endeavours, interdisciplinary collaboration with academic, professional and community constituencies are important. His current major research is the design of a low-cost Cape Town house that optimises health and sustainability goals. The project, which is funded by the UK Wellcome Trust, is in partnership with researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University College London (UCL), and others in Mexico City and New Delhi. Tom is also an affiliate of the African Climate and Development Initiative at UCT.
Sheona Shackleton, Professor
UCT Faculty: Science · Department: African Climate and Development Initiative
Designation: Deputy Director: African Climate & Development Initiative
Expertise: Rural development, livelihoods and natural resource use and management
Sheona Shackleton joined the ACDI as Deputy Director in January 2018. She also holds an Honorary Professorship with the Department of Environmental Science at Rhodes University. Sheona has worked at the interface between rural development, livelihoods and natural resource use and management for the past 35 years. Her research and postgraduate supervision has covered a diversity of areas within this broad theme such as community conservation, rural livelihoods and vulnerability, ecosystem services and human well-being, forest product use and commercialisation, natural resource governance and climate change adaptation. Her current research focusses on livelihood and landscape (social-ecological) change, with a particular interest in climate change as a driver and how it interacts with other shocks and stressors to influence adaptation, transformation and future livelihood trajectories. Sheona has been engaged in interdisciplinary, participatory and transdisciplinary research for most of her career after being part of the startup team for a University of the Witwatersrand interdisciplinary unit in the late 1980s (Wits Rural Facility). Her interest in engaged scholarship and knowledge co-production arises from both a practical research and ethical perspective (where she has experiences of social learning approaches to knowledge co-production), but also an academic one in terms of how best to integrate knowledge co-production processes into our teaching and learning and to support such an approach in our postgraduate research. Sheona and her project team were awarded the VC’s Distinguished Community Engagement Award for their social leaning work on climate change, HIV/AIDs and vulnerability in 2015. Sheona is on the board of the journals World Development and Land, is a member of ASSAF and has reviewed proposals for a wide range of organisations including NRF, VW Foundation, DFID, Belmont Foundation, SPACES and others. She has served on several national government and non-government committees in areas related to her expertise. She has experience coordinating large projects and a well-established network of international partners and collaborators. She has published her work extensively both in academic books and journals, but also the more popular media, and has reviewed papers for some 30 different journal titles.
Nikiwe Solomon, Lecturer
Nikiwe Solomon is a lecturer in the Social Anthropology Department at UCT and is currently pursuing a PhD in Environmental Humanities. Her PhD research focuses on the Kuils River in Cape Town, and its entanglement with social and political worlds. Nikiwe’s research interests lie in exploring and understanding the relationship between humans and the environment in cultural production, and broadly how human and ecological well-being and issues of sustainability are entangled with politics, economics and technology. Nikiwe teaches various topics at the Honours level and Environmental Anthropology at the Master’s Level.
Kevin Winter, Senior Lecturer
Dr Kevin Winter is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at UCT with considerable teaching experience in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. He has over 25 years experience as an academic and is a strong advocate for civil society in the fields of urban water management, water quality monitoring and sustainable urban drainage. Kevin chaired the UCT Water Task team and is a member of the Water Resilience Advisory Committee, which provides advice to the City of Cape Town’s Water Resilience Task Team that was set up in response to the Cape Town water crisis (2016-2018). He is also the research director for the Water Hub – a demonstration and research facility in Franschhoek.
UCT Faculty: Engineering and the Built Environment · Department: Chemical Engineering
Expertise: Mining policy, Economic diversification, Economic complexity of natural resource industries; Political economy of mining
Experience relevant to Future Water:
Name: Dr Charles Teta
Role/position at FWI: Post-doctoral fellow
Dr Charles Teta joined Future Water Institute as a Postdoctoral Fellow in April 2020. Before joining the University of Cape Town, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Rhodes University in the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Sciences. He has a PhD in Environmental Toxicology and a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology and Biochemistry. Charles’s research interest is centred on the global challenge of legacy and emerging environmental pollutants, including their effects on water quality, ecosystems health, and public health. He is also involved in research and innovations on water and wastewater treatment and waste management to mitigate pollutants of concern. Some of his past research focused on heavy metal pollution from urban areas, landfills, and mine tailings, as well as the effects of pollutants of emerging concern, including endocrine-disrupting chemicals and pharmaceuticals. He also researched on aquaculture by focusing on aquatic health and developing reliable biochemical methods for aquatic health assessment. He also carried out consultancy for the NGO sector on an integrated aquaculture-agriculture rural livelihoods project.
UCT Faculty: Engineering and the Built Environment · Department: Chemical Engineering
Tel: +27 21 650 5317