It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to a colleague, friend, and a mentor to the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR), Dr Daniel Adams, who recently passed away.
Dr Adams played a significant role in the establishment of SADiLaR while he was still Chief Director of Emerging Research Areas and Infrastructure at the Department of Science and Innovation. His duties and responsibilities included monitoring and evaluation of new and emerging research areas as well as the establishment of national research and cyberinfrastructure which is about facilities, resources and services used by the research community to conduct research.
He also played a crucial role in the development of the South African Infrastructure Roadmap which focusses on building networks and partnerships nationally and internationally. Since this roadmap was developed in 2016, the department has implemented nine research infrastructures with SADiLaR being one of those.
He viewed research infrastructure as facilities, resources and services used by the research community to conduct research, not only about scientific equipment, but also about knowledge-based resources, collections, archives, and scientific data. He strongly believed that the research infrastructure has an integral role in the so-called knowledge triangle of education, research, and innovation. He fully supported the notion of exploiting emerging technologies such as natural language processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop multilingualism.
Dr Adams was also responsible for the National Research Equipment Programmes, providing financial support for the acquisition of research equipment at traditional universities as well as universities of technology and national research facilities; and the National Nanotechnology Equipment programme, providing financial support for the acquisition of research equipment to implement the National Nanotechnology Strategy. He also managed the roll-out of the national research broadband network, and development of the national high-performance computing centre.
For the period of 1987 to 2007, Adams was a full-time academic at the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Department of Physics, where he held the positions of professor and research scientist. During his tenure at the university, he supervised a number of postgraduate students and established a successful research programme in Bioceramics with emphasis on the development and engineering of artificial bone material. Apart from being an active academic, Adams also served as Head of the Department of Physics at UWC for two terms.
SADiLaR staff and management convey their deepest condolences to his family and all his loved ones. May God grant them comfort and strength during this difficult time, and may his soul rest in eternal peace.
Prof Langa Khumalo
Executive Director: SADiLaR
(Sources consulted: http://www.eresearch.ac.za/daniel-adams & https://www.usaf.ac.za/the-south-african-centre-for-digital-language-resources-has-resources-and-expertise/)