In memory of Hans Merensky

Last week marked 68 years since the death of Hans Merensky, founder of the Hans Merensky Foundation – the organisation which supports the EucXylo research programme.

Bust of Hans Merensky at the entrance to the main lecture hall in the Department of Forestry and Wood Science in Stellenbosch University

He was a talented geologist, passionate advocate for technological progress, and generous benefactor to the country of his birth: his legacy includes educational facilities and generations of trained researchers, and the Foundation which bears his name continues to support scientific research and sustainable industry in South Africa.

He was instrumental in the establishment of Stellenbosch University’s Department of Forestry in 1932 (Wicht 1958), and bequeathed much of his fortune in establishing the Hans Merensky Trust (the forerunner to the Foundation that exists today). His support for forestry and scientific research in South Africa continues to this day, over half a century after his death, through the Hans Merensky Chair in Advanced Modelling of Eucalypt Wood Formation and the funding necessary for the ambitious EucXylo programme of research.

Plaque marking the entrance of the Hans Merensky wing in the Department of Forestry and Wood Science

Wicht, C. L. “TRAINING IN FORESTRY AND WOOD TECHNOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF STELLENBOSCH: Union of South Africa.” Empire Forestry Review, vol. 37, no. 3 (93), 1958, pp. 311–315. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/42600506.

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