Professor Nigel Bennett (left) and Professor De Wet Swanepoel (right) with Chancellor Emeritus Justice Sisi Khampepe (centre).

Congratulations to Daniël Christiaan De Wet Swanepoel for being one of the recipients of the University of Pretoria’s 2023 Academic Achievement Awards. Professor De Wet Swanepoel, who is a global ambassador for ENT & Audiology News, was one of several people singled out for praise on 19 October 2023 in this annual celebration of excellence and achievement among the university’s staff. 

He received one of the Chancellor’s Awards in recognition of his work directing audiology research at the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Hearing Loss (Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology). In 2020, the university was formally designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for the prevention of deafness and hearing loss. 

Prof De Wet Swanepoel has served on several working groups, including the WHO’s Make Listening Safe initiative. In 2020, he became the third South African to win the Olusegun Obasanjo Prize for Scientific Breakthrough and/or Technological Innovation for his research into using smartphone technologies to provide equitable access to hearing healthcare services. His team developed a smartphone app, hearZA, to test hearing within three minutes. This led to the hearWHO app. 

“One of the University of Pretoria’s key driving forces is its commitment to delivering quality research outputs,” said Professor Themba Mosia, Interim Vice-Chancellor and Principal. “We are, therefore, extremely proud of our exceptional achievers who not only anchor the University’s reputation as the leading research-intensive university in the country, but also continue to produce research that has a global impact.”