Professor Sunil Maharaj of UKZN’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science received an Honorary Fellowship Award for his contributions in the field of Mathematical Sciences from Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) at the institution’s graduation ceremony for the Faculty of Natural Sciences.
In his address, Maharaj highlighted the importance of Mathematical Sciences and the opportunities it offers to young scientists and technologists.
Maharaj holds the South African Research Chair in Gravitating Systems funded by the National Research Foundation and the Department of Science and Technology. He has been the Director of the Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit (ACRU) at UKZN since 2005 and has made significant contributions in the fields of relativistic kinetic theory, stellar models, radiating stars, inhomogeneous cosmologies, symmetries on manifolds and modified gravity theories.
Through his collaborations, Maharaj has derived important new solutions in general relativity and other theories of gravity using various methods. He has published more than 200 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, chapters in books and papers in refereed conference proceedings and has been editor or co-editor of the proceedings of national and international conferences.
Maharaj has supervised a number of postdoctoral fellows as well as and doctoral and master’s students from South Africa and abroad. He is also founder member of the Southern African Relativity Society and the South African Gravity Society.
Maharaj was made a lifetime Fellow of UKZN for contributions to science, and was appointed Honorary Research Professor at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, India. He has served as Secretary and Treasurer of the South African Mathematical Society, serves on the Council of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and completed two terms on the Board of the National Research Foundation.
Acting Dean of the Faculty of Science at MUT, Professor Alfred Msomi, said: ‘We are proud to have honoured Professor Sunil Maharaj for his contribution in the area of Mathematics both locally and internationally.’
Discipline Leader at the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Professor Paranjothi Pillay observed that the award was most fitting for someone who has contributed enormously to the development of science research and training. ‘Professor Sunil Maharaj’s contributions extend from Mathematics to Physics. He serves as a role model for both staff and students in Mathematics. We are truly honoured to have him in our midst.’
Words: Leena Rajpal