Research and teaching at UWC’s Faculty of Dentistry received a significant boost when Professor Christoffel Nortjé donated R75 000 towards the purchase of an Instron testing machine.
The machine is worth around R150 000 and is used to assist with research in the testing of dental materials. Prof. Nortjé is an Emeritus Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology at the faculty’s Department of Diagnostics and Radiology, and donated the money from his Author's fund.
Nortjé, a diplomat of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology since 1981, said he decided to make the contribution because he has a high regard for the research done at the department over many years, and had been told that the machinery was out-dated and that they could purchase a demonstration model at a much cheaper price if funds were available.
“The importance of research at a university cannot be ignored because research discovers, elucidates, and evaluates new knowledge, ideas, and the technologies essential for the future,” he said. “Without research, a relevant and modern curriculum does not exist. Research fosters professional excellence in the faculty, important for delivering outstanding student education and training.”
“When our next generation of practitioners and leaders (students) engage in research, with its deliberate process and requirements for critical thinking skills, they become better students and are best prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future.”
Nortjé has a long and successful career in the dentistry sector throughout the world. He is a past President of the International Association of Dento-Maxillofacial Radiology, the South African division of the International Association for Dental Research, the South African Society of Maxillofacial Radiology and the South African Society for Forensic Odontology. He has also contributed to more than 200 scientific publications and 50 research abstracts, co-authored three textbooks, contributed to four textbooks and was an invited author in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinics of America in 1992, 2002, and 2003.