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Batmanathan Dayanand Reddy (1953 - )

The Order of Mapungubwe in

Batmanathan Dayanand Reddy (1953 - ) Awarded for:
Outstanding contributions to and achievements in, the fields of mathematics and science.

Profile of Batmanathan Dayanand Reddy

Batmanathan Dayanand Reddy was born on 10 March 1953 in South End in Port Elizabeth where he spent his childhood and early teenage years. Reddy attended primary schools in Schauderville and South End, and the South End High School.

When South End was declared a white area in terms of the Group Areas Act in 1965, his family, together with thousands of residents of this diverse and vibrant community, were uprooted and forcibly removed to racially designated group areas. With the extended-family general dealer business, established by his grandfather over thirty years before, now in ruins, Reddy’s parents settled in Cape Town in 1968 after an aborted decision to immigrate to the United Kingdom.

Daya, as he is popularly called, and his younger brother were sent to live with family members in Vrededorp (Pageview), an area that was ironically to suffer the same fate as South End soon after. After Reddy matriculated from Lenasia Indian High School at the end of 1969, he enrolled for a degree in civil engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT) for which he had to obtain special ministerial permission.

After he was awarded his degree in 1973 (with first-class honours), Reddy took up a scholarship to Cambridge University where he graduated with a Ph.D. in 1977. After a year spent doing research at the University College, London, Reddy returned to Cape Town to take up a joint lectureship in the Departments of Applied Mathematics and Civil Engineering at the University of Cape Town, a reflection of his established multi-disciplinary interests and work. Reddy was appointed senior lecturer in 1982 and associate professor in 1985. In 1989 he was appointed Professor in Applied Mathematics and in 1999, Dean of the Faculty of Science, a position he still holds.

Reddy’s teaching, research and professional interests lie at the interface of applied mathematics and engineering. He has written or co-written more than 85 articles mostly in international academic journals, and is also the author or co-author of three texts or monographs and three edited works. He is a member of numerous editorial boards of scientific journals, and regularly serves on the scientific committees of international conferences in his areas of expertise. Reddy was awarded an A rating by the National Research Foundation in 1996 and every subsequent year since then. He holds fellowships of the Third World Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of South Africa, the South African Academy of Engineering, and the University of Cape Town. He is also an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.

From humble origins, Professor Reddy has risen to reach the pinnacle of his profession, extending the boundaries of knowledge from the vantage point of the imperatives of development of his society, at the tip of Africa. His academic work has spanned a wide spectrum, from abstract studies of a highly theoretical nature to resolving fundamental problems of a practical and industrial nature. Professor Reddy is a mathematician for whom any problem represents a challenge to scientific research and application. His achievements redound to the credit of our nation.

Daya Reddy is married to Shaada (née Pillay), a librarian at the University of Cape Town. They have a son, Jordi who is a first-year engineering student.