The University of Pretoria (UP) has partnered with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), in Russia, in order to strengthen the University’s research efforts into nuclear sciences and related disciplines.
The relationship between UP and the JINR was formalised at a ceremony held for the signing of a memorandum of understanding at the JINR’s offices in Dubna on 27 February 2020. UP has, as a result, become the first South African institution to sign such an agreement with a global research infrastructure facility such as JINR.
Commenting on the partnership, UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe said he is excited about the kind of research that will come from this partnership. “As an institution, we are continuously looking for ways to improve the lives of the people of our country, continent and world through producing groundbreaking research. I am excited about this new partnership and I believe that through it we will be able to demonstrate that we are leaders in producing research that matters.
“We look forward to strengthening our research efforts in thematic areas of mutual interest with JINR through the Science Organisation and International Cooperation Office lead by Dr Dmitry Kamanin,” he said.
The UP delegation of academics led by Professor Kupe, which included Professor Chris Theron, Professor Sergei Rakitianski and Professor Thulani Hlatshwayo from the Department of Physics and Setsipane Mokoduwe and Dr Rakeshnie Ramoutar-Prieschl from the Department of Research and Innovation, went on a week-long visit to JINR where they were presented with the JINR Expertise for Member States and Partner Countries (JEMS) training programme.
JEMS is a training programme run by the JINR and targeted at administrators and managers of international projects in science and research in nuclear sciences and related disciplines.
The main objective of JEMS is to present JINR operating principles, research and educational programmes, user policies, as well as means and formats of participating in JINR activities.
During the programme, participants from all over the world, including the UP delegation, were offered an exciting tour of JINR research infrastructure; attended presentations and review lectures delivered by top laboratory management and leading scientists, meetings and round-table discussions with the JINR Directorate; and went on excursions around Dubna.
Key features of the JEMS Programme included: heavy ion physics and accelerator technologies; neutron applications and nanoworld theory, information and education; nuclear medicine; life sciences on Earth and in space; and neutrino.