Prof Aurona Gerber

Contact image

At-Large Director

After finishing an electronic engineering degree at the University of Pretoria (1987), I started working as a bursar at CSIR developing firmware for speech encoding/decoding devices. I completed a Masters in electronic engineering at WITS developing switching algorithms and programs for MC2, a massively parallel computer with up to 64 TMS32020 processors.

After CSIR I went to industry, for instance working at DiData and an own company (Tech Control), primarily developing software for various systems such as radar control and multiplexer switches. We developed our own multitasking OS before Windows was able to multitask.

I developed one of the first database/internet applications as consultant at the CSIR. This initiative grew to the MWeb of today whilst I went back full-time to CSIR to do mainly technical project development and management of database and internet applications.  We used Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, DB2 and Sybase, and any possible web programming language that one can think of at that time.

When this work became boring, I went to Unisa as senior lecturer in several subjects and completed a PhD in Semantic Web technologies (2007). I am now back at CSIR as principal researcher in knowledge representation and reasoning. I do research in the development and use of models, specifically formal ontologies using DLs. In addition, my years as system developer and technical project leader, as well as my research colleagues lead to an interest in software and systems architectures and software engineering. This interest grew to a additional research focus area in enterprise architectures.

Research Profile

Knowledge Engineering / Knowledge Representation and Reasoning:
Models and model building, specifically using ontologies (OWL / DL-based, formal ontologies). This includes ontology engineering and the use of ontologies to create intelligent information systems.

Enterprise Engineering and Enterprise Knowledge:
Specifically with regards to enterprise knowledge and models / ontologies.  The nature of my 20 years technical development experience lead to interest in this area.

Biodiversity Informatics: 
Biodiversity Informatics is an interesting and valuable application area for the research focus areas mentioned above, and my personal interest and love of nature supports this area.



Digital Libraries