Extraordinary Professor Priscilla Baker has taken over as director of the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC). Prof Baker stepped into the post on 1 November, taking over the reins from Professor Thandi Mgwebi, who had managed the portfolio in her capacity as director of research at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Prof Mgwebi has since joined the Tshwane University of Technology as deputy vice-chancellor for postgraduate studies, research, innovation & engagement. Prof Baker, who in 2014 was named as a Distinguished Woman in Science by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), is co-leader of SensorLab, an electrochemistry research platform in UWC’s Department of Chemistry. As SASAC director, she will oversee the closing of the programme’s first three-year cycle from 2016 to 2018. Over this period, UWC had managed SASAC’s administrative arm, forming part of a consortium alongside the University of Limpopo, Stellenbosch University, and Wits University. “Over the first two years, the SASAC consortium has developed and managed a programme that has laid the foundation for the study and application of systems analysis in South Africa,” Prof Baker said. “Over 2018, we will continue to do so by building on what we’ve learned over 2016 and 2017, and lay the groundwork for SASAC beyond 2018, in whichever way it manifests itself. The National Research Foundation (NRF), which funds the SASAC programme, will put out a call for a new SASAC consortium in 2018.
Priscilla Baker takes over reins at SASAC