UFS appoints Prof Paul Oberholster as dean of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The University of the Free State (UFS) has appointed Prof Paul Oberholster as dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences as of 1 January 2024.

Prof Oberholster is currently the director of the Centre for Environmental Management at the UFS. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the UFS before obtaining a doctoral degree in water resource management at the University of Pretoria.

After several years in secondary education, Prof Oberholster started his scientific research career as a senior scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 2007. In 2017, he became a chief scientist (the highest scientific position at the CSIR, and senior management) managing large multidisciplinary projects on the African continent related to integrated water resource management and natural treatment solutions/ecological engineering.

During his time at the CSIR, he proved himself to be an extraordinary professor and lecturer in several academic departments at different institutions, including Stellenbosch University, the University of Pretoria, and the University of the Western Cape. During this time, he received several prestigious awards for research, innovation and leadership.

In 2019, Prof Oberholster joined the UFS as director of the Centre for Environmental Management and received the National Science and Technology Foundation (NSTF) award in the Water Research Commission category. The commission focussed on natural passive phyco-remediation and phytoremediation treatment technology. In 2022, he was elected as a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in recognition of his academic achievements in South Africa, and in 2023 he was appointed as the managing director of the Ecological Engineering Institute of Africa (EEIA).

Top rated researcher

Currently, Prof Oberholster is rated among the top 2% in the world in the scientific category of engineering/technology, ecological engineering, and environmental engineering. “Prof Oberholster has an extensive and impressive international research standing and has established extensive networks and partnerships. He can lead and manage the faculty in support of the UFS Vision 130’s ultimate intent for the coming years to be a research-led, student-centred and regionally engaged university,” says Prof Francis Petersen, UFS vice-chancellor and principal.

“It is a privilege to be part of the leadership team in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. We will ensure that the faculty is known nationally and internationally as an excellent faculty that is serving our community. We aim to consolidate and build on the strengths of the university in order to extend its excellence in research and teaching and learning, which is embedded in the UFS Vision 130,” says Prof Oberholster.

Prof Oberholster will succeed the current dean, Prof Danie Vermeulen, who will be retiring at the end of 2023. – Press release, University of the Free State 

Verminder speenskok by jou melkkalwers

Estimated reading time: 1 minute Speenskok is die spanning wat kalwers ervaar wanneer hulle...

Die gebruik van soja-oesreste in skaapboerdery

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes Soja-oesreste is ’n waardevolle bron van voeding weens die...

Niks is jollie aan hierdie jeuk nie

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes Skaapbrandsiekte is ’n aanmeldbare siekte en volgens wet moet...

Onbetaalde skorsing as ‘n alternatief tot ontslag

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes Die Wet op Arbeidsverhoudinge,1995 (Wet 66 van 1995) (die...