The African Neutron and Synchrotron Data Analysis Competency (ANSDAC) project aims to develop expertise amongst emerging Africa-based faculty researchers to engage with and make use of large scale international institutions such as neutron and synchrotron light sources. Although their use is generally free of charge for academic research and the South African National Research Foundation has even become an associate member of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), a lack of expertise in successfully designing an experiment for this environment and effectively analysing the vast amounts of data still limits the number of local researchers making use of the opportunity. This further disadvantages African researchers in comparison to their peers.
While the establishment of a synchrotron light source on the African continent continues to be discussed, initiatives get stalled based on the large amount of funding required as well as the lack of a critical mass of quality users.
The ANSDAC project want to play a small part in addressing the latter. With funding by the Newton Fund administered by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Catalysis c*change as well as in kind contributions by the Universities of Glasgow, the Western Cape and SASOL, two workshops on synchrotron and neutron data analysis will be offered in 2018 and 2019. Lectures will be held by researchers from the Diamond Light Source and the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source in the UK as well as South African experts. The first workshop takes place from the 28th of November to the 7th of December 2018 in Cape Town (click here for the draft programme).
To register, submit this form together with your CV and a letter of motivation. The workshop as well as accommodation is free of charge but the number of attendees is limited to 15 per workshop. Registration closes on the 31st of October 2018. In 2019, ten of the workshop attendees of 2018 and 2019 will travel to the Diamond Light Source in the UK to experience synchrotron beamtime first hand. This is possible through a collaboration with the UK Catalysis Hub.
The ANSDAC team consists of Dr Emma Gibson (University of Glasgow), Dr Esna du Plessis (SASOL), Prof Masikana Mdleleni (University of the Western Cape) and Associate Prof Nico Fischer (c*change and University of Cape Town).
For more information see FAQ or contact us.
The ANSDAC project aims to train emerging African-based faculty researchers in the art of analysing data collected at synchrotron and/or neutron facilities. We believe that a lack of expertise in this field is the main hurdle for local researchers to engage with these international large-scale facilities. While the focus is on data analysis, international lecturers will also share insights on how to write successful beamline applications.
Beyond the workshops the project aims to provide an online platform for researchers in (South) Africa to share experiences, news and find support. The ANSDAC project is specifically designed for faculty researchers with the clear expectation that the knowledge provided will be shared with colleagues and students at the
respective home institutions.
c*change is a DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Catalysis and is hosted within the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Cape Town. One of the first six centres established by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) in 2005/06, c*change was devised as a virtual centre. While hosted at the University of Cape Town, 25-30 researchers at 14 research groups and 11 national Higher Education Institutions collaborate in three research programmes, namely synthesis gas conversion, paraffin activation, and olefin functionalization, with a strong focus on the South African chemical industry.
The main mandate of c*change is to train highly qualified MSc and PhD graduates by conducting fundamental research of an international standard. Currently c*change supports approximately 50-55 postgraduate students and 15 post-doctoral fellows, of which 50% are female, over 80% are South African (over 90% are African) and approximately 80% are black, through bursaries and running cost contributions.
We are indebted to our partner institutions ensuring the success of the ANDSAC project. Besides the home institutions of the team members, namely SASOL and the Universities of Glasgow, the Western Cape and Cape Town, especially the Diamond Light Source, the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, the University of Pretoria and XRD Analytical Consulting need to be highlighted for allowing their scientists to participate as lecturers in the workshops. The support of BRUKER South Africa supplying software packages for the duration of the workshops is also greatly appreciated.
The main source of funding of the ANSDAC project are the Newton Fund’s Industry Academia Partnership Program administered by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Additional funding is provided by SASOL and c*change. The project further benefits through in kind contributions by the University of Glasgow, Diamond Light Source, the ISIS Neutron an Muon Source, the University of Pretoria, XRD Analytical Consulting and BRUKER South Africa.