Casper Jan Hendrik Schutte, former Professor of Physical Chemistry and Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of South Africa, award-winning chemist and enthusiastic supporter and member of the ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN Steering Committee since the conference’s initiation, passed away on July 30th, 2013.
Professor Schutte was born in Steytlerville, South Africa, in 1934 and studied Chemistry at the University of North-west before obtaining his PhD in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Amsterdam in 1960.
Professor Schutte’s main research interest in Chemistry centred on quantum theory and the structure of matter. In the span of his impressive career, he published over 75 research papers in international scientific journals and participated in numerous scientific conferences, whilst also championing scientific education by acting as promoter and co-promoter of more than 30 Ph.D. and 20 M.Sc. students. He authored three textbooks which were prescribed at universities around the world.
Later in his career his interest shifted to telematics and education, especially to education using a confluence of techniques on the Internet, with special emphasis on the teaching of mathematical subjects via distance education. He delivered papers at many South African and international conferences on informatics and telematics. He also acted as IT consultant for the South African Department of Education, contributing to the very important TELI (Technology Enhanced Learning Initiative) Report in 1996.
In 1995, Professor Schutte attended the very first ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN and has made an invaluable contribution to the conference ever since, always on hand to offer a new perspective and fresh thinking, eventually joining the conference Steering Committee in 1999. His kindness and enthusiasm for learning motivated his selfless commitment to the conference and he will be greatly missed by everyone who had the privilege to work alongside him.
Professor Schutte retired as Chief Executive Director of Science, Technology and Informatics at UNISA in 1998. In January 2005 he was appointed as Honorary Professor and later, in January 2008, as Extraordinary Professor in Chemistry at the University of Pretoria.
He was one of the founding members of the prestigious Academy of Science of South Africa and was awarded the Havenga Prize for Chemistry of the SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, as well as the James Moir Memorial Medal and the Raikes Medal of the SA Chemical Institute.
He is survived by his wife, Roswitha, three children and eight grandchildren.