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October 2014
In this issue
Honorary degree awarded
Good-bye Dr Mike Gaylard
MeerKAT update
First digitiser installed
Young professional development programme
Shared Sky, shared wisdom
Building capacity in Africa
Newton Fund signed
New Research Chair
Schools' bursary programme
Meet SKA SA people
National Science Week
SKA SA art competition

The success of the nation lies with all of us
Dr Bernie Fanaroff was recently awarded an honorary degree from the University of Cape Town in recognition of his scientific reputation, diplomatic skills and his enormous commitment and efforts in bringing a major part of the SKA project to South Africa. Read on

Good-bye to an old friend
The global radio astronomy community was recently saddened by the premature death of a true stalwart of experimental science and education, Dr Mike Gaylard. Read on

MeerKAT programme update
On 27 March, in the presence of dignitaries from around the world, South Africa's then Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom, unveiled the first of 64 antennas that will make up South Africa's new radio telescope – MeerKAT. Read on

First MeerKAT digitiser installed
MeerKAT engineers have fitted the telescope's first digitiser that converts incoming sky data – in the form of analogue radio waves – to a format that can be processed by computers. A special component known as an analogue to digital converter (ADC) is responsible for the conversion. Read on

Young professional development programme will build capacity
Since 2005, SKA SA has been growing competencies in astronomy and engineering through awarding study grants at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Close to 600 study grants over the last nine years have been awarded. Read on

Shared Sky, shared wisdom
The Shared Sky project brings together indigenous artists from South Africa and Australia in a joint exhibition celebrating humanity's most ancient cultural wisdom alongside the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope project. Read on

Africa is the next big business destination
SKA SA was featured at a number of high-level meetings over the last three months. Among these were the presentations made by the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, at science-related engagements in Washington DC. Read on

Newton Fund lends gravity to developing people, programmes and innovation
On 9 September, the British and South African governments announced a commitment of R500 million over the next four years to support various local projects and institutions, including the Square Kilometre Array. Read on

The big deal about Big Data
Professor Russ Taylor is a leading radio astronomer with a long association with the SKA project. He has taken up a joint University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape Research Chair, focusing on radio astronomy, in particular widefield polarization, cosmic magnetism and Big Data. Read on

SKA schools' bursary programme
The SKA SA schools programme has been working with schools in Carnarvon, Van Wyksvlei and Williston (the towns around the SKA site) since 2008, to enhance their mathematics and physical science performance. Read on

SKA SA people & profiles
Meet Gcobisa Fadana (project controller on MeerKAT), Anele Nzama (junior radio telescope operator at SKA SA), and Marisa Geyer (SKA Scholarship recipient). Read on

Astronomy "a priority science"
The SKA featured prominently in National Science Week activities across the country with several of our staff members motivating young and old alike to take an interest in astronomy. Read on

SKA SA art competition
For the past three years, SKA SA has been running an annual competition with communities from the towns around the SKA site. These competitions are aimed to promote the SKA and astronomy among these communities. Read on