I wish to comment on Dr Eric Maluta’s talk at the NITheCS colloquim of 16 August 2021. I was in attendance and listened with much joy and upliftment as he made an excellent presentation. He delivered the 1-hour talk using very clear and exquisite slides with just enough text lines but ample illustrative diagrams and pictures showing, inter alia, the TiO2 and dye structures as well as Material Studio plots etc.
The presentation underscored and buttressed the rich history of the UNIVEN- NITheP partnership that has spanned one and a half decades. We do hope that the successor, NITheCS, will continue to work with UNIVEN for the benefit of our students and staff. Indeed, we expect that as NITheCS expand in scope to accommodate other Computational Sciences at all South African universities in general and UNIVEN in particular, the long-established partnership with the Physics Department at UNIVEN will grow in tandem and set Dr Maluta’s department apart as the first among equals. His talk has shown that he aims to make this possible and indeed has started our university on the right footing with NITheCS. The partnership is being strengthened and entrenched.
Dr Maluta’s talk should also be an encouragement to all debutant departments nationwide who are in the process of joining growing NITheCS family. They all have a role to play in fostering the joint effort of bringing computational skills and equipment closer to all University students in the country. How I wish that the talk had received better viewership at UNIVEN and indeed at sister universities. Example is better that precept and what he has done is to show that all computational work at our universities count for much and have a platform that welcomes and embraces all.
One silver lining of the current pandemic is undoubtedly the growth of NITheCS beyond the wildest dreams of the Expert Working Group that helped to bring forth NITheCS and the parent government organs – the DSI and NRF. In fact, the transmutation of NITheP into NITheCS could not have come at a better time!! Online platforms are propelling the nascent NITheCS to levels that could not have been thought possible. And that is not all, the scope for expansion across the borders into the continent is clear to all of us. The bold new age of online webinars is with us and we at UNIVEN do not want to be left behind. Dr Maluta has demonstrated our resolve in word and deed over the years and now with his excellent presentation which holds special significance at UNIVEN as it comes at this time when NITheCS is taking off to lofty heights.
We are very proud of Dr Maluta’s exceptional presentation coming as only one of a very few NITheCS inaugural presentations. It is an encouragement to all of us at UNIVEN since our departmental research niche area is renewable energy where both theoreticians and experimentalists converge to investigate the properties of energy materials.
Dr JK Kirui, Department of Physics, University of Venda.