Dr Heinrich Badenhorst

Dr Heinrich Badenhorst

South Africa

University of Pretoria

Chemical Engineering

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Work and Research

Following the completion of my PhD I effectively split my time between working for the USbased company GrafTech International and as a senior researcher at the University of Pretoria. Even before doing my PhD I spent five years working in industry which shaped my output driven attitude. I strongly believe that only through maintaining a clear link with industrial partners can research deliver results that are relevant and beneficial to growing the country’s economy, especially in the field of engineering. At the start of 2014 I joined UP as a full time lecturer and was placed in charge of the Bulk Carbon research group in the SARChI Chair for Carbon Materials and Technology.

Fields Of Expertise

Chemical Engineering

Research Profiles

My vision for the future of research at UP and how I will contribute to this development

The University recently launched the institution wide research theme on Energy, a topic which is undeniably of local and global concern. Whilst the project has definitely delivered excellent outputs by individuals, very few multi?disciplinary, industrially linked, research groups were established. In order to address issues as broad and complex as energy, a focused and coordinated effort is required. It is especially important to address challenges which are locally relevant and structure workflow to solve specific problems. In addition, energy is a long term challenge, thus establishing persistent work groups which continually evolve whilst maintaining a core focus will be critical for success. In the long term if South Africa is to transition into a knowledge or skill based economy, some vital changes have to occur. Of these bridging the gap between research institutions and small businesses is probably the most important. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset in graduates will be the key driving force for this transition. Ultimately the future of research in South Africa rests heavily on engaging young learners to pursue a postgraduate degree. To achieve this a clear career pathmust be established which will attract students and motivate them to create jobs rather than expect them.