South African scientist gets wine biotechnology acclaim

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- Following his groundbreaking work in wine biotechnology, South Africa's National Research Institute (NRI) has recognised a Stellenbosch scientist as one of the country's top researchers.
Dr Marius Lambrechts, 35, a research manager with Distell (South Africa's leading wine and spirits producer), obtained the NRI's top accolade, the President's Award.
Sakkie Pretorius of the University of Stellenbosch said the award was the highest possible recognition for young researchers in South Africa.
"Dr Lambrechts' research on the influence of yeast on wine aroma is regarded as critical to the development of world quality wines," Pretorius said Thursday when he announced Lambrechts's achievement.
The NRI was established almost two decades ago to benchmark local research according to international standards.
Pretorius said every year researchers voluntarily submit their work to the NRI "to measure their competencies by local and international peers.
" He said the first submission could only be done five years after completion of a doctorate, and then every five years thereafter.
International adjudication is done by 6-12 recognised scientific experts in the same field of research, with at least half of the panel coming from overseas.
"Only first-time entrants of 35 years or younger are eligible for the Presidents Award.
The winner is regarded as having the potential to become a world leader in his or her field of study," said Pretorius.
Lambrechts is on a short visit to Spain, where he is lecturing at the summer school of the University of Castilla la Mancha.

06 july 2001 10:20:00

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