Dr Marais elected representative of nodes on SADiLaR’s steering committee

SADiLaR’s Governance Steering Committee is pleased to announce the nomination of Dr Laurette Marais as representative of the nodes of SADiLaR on the committee.

Marais is a senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and has served as the Speech Node manager since 2022. She has been involved in human language technology research since 2009 and currently leads a SADiLaR-funded project for the development of a wide-coverage computational grammar for isiZulu. Her research also focuses on the application of speech and text processing technology in literacy support and language learning for the South African languages. 

The steering committee comprises a number of stakeholders, including academics and funders who provide oversight of all SADiLaR activities, including setting strategic direction, and approving policies and planning that give effect to the strategy. The committee oversees and monitors implementation and execution of the strategy by management while also ensuring accountability for organisational performance through reporting and disclosure.

Members of the committee serve a term of three years in accordance with continued contractual arrangements between the Department of Science and Innovation and NWU.

Dr Marais comments:

The SADiLaR nodes are committed to making a measurable impact in multilingual South Africa. Delivering on SADiLaR’s multifaceted mandate, namely supporting research and development in the domains of language technologies and language-related studies in the humanities and social sciences, requires a wide variety of skills, techniques, and research foci, which are cultivated at the various nodes. At the same time, the nodes are committed to seeking efficient and effective methods for collaboration to achieve more together. It would be an honour to represent hard working colleagues on the steering committee.