SU appoints NRF A-Rated Professor in Mechanical Engineering

[Article by the Faculty of Engineering]

Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Faculty of Engineering is proud to announce the appointment of Prof Josua Meyer as a research professor in the Department of Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering. Prof Meyer is a premier National Research Foundation (NRF) A-rated engineering researcher; we are excited to welcome him to our faculty and look forward to benefitting from his many years of expertise.

Prof Meyer’s impressive CV attests to his extensive research, teaching and leadership accomplishments over the last four decades. He has received numerous institutional, national, and international awards for both his research and teaching, and has (co)supervised more than 150 research masters and PhD students. He is on the editorial board of 13 journals and is editor of seven journals in his research field. He has (co)authored more than 800 articles, conference papers, book chapters, and patents and is a “highly cited researcher” according to the ISI, ranked among the top 0.1% in Engineering.

Prof Meyer is a specialist in thermal sciences and fluid flow, focusing on heat exchangers where he concentrates on the fundamentals of flow in a transitional-flow regime, nanofluids, boiling, and condensation. Practical applications of his research are in thermal-solar-, wind-, and nuclear energy.

This highly acclaimed academic comes to Stellenbosch from the University of Pretoria (UP), where he has headed the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering for the last 20 years, and was the Chair of their School of Engineering for 16 years. He founded and led the Clean Energy Research Unit, growing this research group from 2002 to approximately 30 full-time postgraduate students and 10 staff members. He also established multiple laboratories with state-of-the-art instrumentation, which enabled him and his team to design and construct twelve unique experimental set-ups. It’s not surprising that Meyer has won UP’s Exceptional Achiever Award five times, the Vice Chancellor’s Exceptional Supervisor Award recognising his high-quality input as an advisor of graduate students, and in 2019, the Chancellor’s Award for Research acknowledging his sustained excellent research performance and the resulting promotion of the University of Pretoria.

Prof Meyer takes up his new position at Stellenbosch on 1 April 2022, and will focus on fundamental and applied research, supervising postgraduate students, and mentoring young researchers in the Faculty of Engineering. “I am grateful for the excellent opportunity that was offered to me and I am very enthusiastic to make a positive contribution to the Faculty of Engineering at Stellenbosch University,” said Meyer. “I have been in management and leadership positions for more than 25 years at three different universities, and over the years I have started to find it more and more challenging to find time to conduct meaningful research. Hopefully, I’ll have more time for that at Stellenbosch, and I’m looking to significantly increase the impact of my research outcomes.”

Prof Wikus van Niekerk, Dean of SU’s Faculty of Engineering, said: “This valuable appointment is very much in line with the Faculty’s strategic theme and growth pillars for 2022. And as there are fewer than ten NRF A-rated engineering researchers in South Africa, it’s not often that Stellenbosch University is able to appoint one of these distinguished individuals. This is therefore a rare opportunity for SU to make such an placement and it will significantly increase the stature and visibility of our research in support of our core strategic theme, Research for Impact.”

“Prof Meyer’s recognition as a leading international researcher confirms the ongoing impact he has made in his fields of expertise. In addition, he has an extensive international network that will also contribute to establish Purposeful Partnerships and Inclusive Networks. As his main activities at Stellenbosch will be research and postgraduate supervision, he will also contribute to establishing Stellenbosch University as a Thriving University.

Josua is going to relocate to Stellenbosch within the next few months. We wish him well as he settles in, and are eager to collaborate with and learn from him for many years to come.

Photograph: Prof Josua Meyer