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15 November 2022
In Loving Memory Of Professor Carolina Ödman
The Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Department of Physics and Astronomy are heartbroken at the passing of our dear colleague, Professor Carolina Ödman. 

Carolina joined the University of the Western Cape in 2018 as the Associate Director for Development and Outreach at the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA). This research institute tackles the challenges of Big Data in science. In this position, she played an enormous role in science communication and engagement. The impact of her work included engaging with the media, inspiring and mentoring physics and astronomy students, community outreach and offering leadership in public forums on science issues that affect the public.

She won one of the prestigious 2020/2021 NSTF Awards (dubbed the ‘Science Oscars’) for her work in science communication and outreach. She was passionate about the role of science in addressing societal and global challenges, and in 2020 won the International Science Council award for her concept of developing a ‘Science for Development’ course to equip science graduates with a broad science perspective on development challenges.

Besides her inspiring and impactful work, she was quite simply an extraordinary human being. Her kind and generous spirit and positivity were infectious; with her radiant energy and broad smile, she lit up every meeting room or lecture venue she entered - even online Zoom meetings.

Her courage, optimism and sheer joy for life during her long cancer journey were inspirational. Her UWC Physics and Astronomy family adored her. Carolina touched many people's lives so profoundly across our campus and the world.

We send our heartfelt condolences to her husband, Kevin Govender, and their two boys, Xavier and Cyprian.

Prof Burtram Fielding
Dean: Faculty of Natural Sciences