National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Professional Bodies (proSET)

What is proSET?

proSET is a membership sector of the NSTF consisting of professional bodies and learned societies in science, engineering, technology (SET) and SET education.

Download the proSET members’ booklet, a useful resource on the SET professional landscape.

What does proSET do?

  • Promotes cooperation among professional organisations in SET and education
  • Strives for improved SET education
  • Promotes the image of all SET practitioners

The STEMulator is an interactive learning and exploration platform to ignite curiosity in young minds, developed by proSET. Explore >  discover > learn how the world works. Explore the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with advice on many exciting STEM careers and university study courses.  

WATCH the video that was entered for 2023 International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS) Competition by the South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE):

proSET General Meetings are held once a year to update proSET members on the activities carried out by the proSET Committee on behalf of the membership, as well as other business as set out on the agenda.

Delegate registration information:

  • Date: 22 September 2023 (Friday)
  • Time: 10:00-11:15
  • Registration: Register your attendance here. You will receive an email to confirm your registration. Ensure that you click the ‘Confirm’ button to be diverted to the web page containing the Zoom link.

Supporting documents:

proSET was previously known as SETAG (Scientific, Engineering, Technological Societies and Allied Professions Group of South Africa). SETAG resulted from a merger between the memberships of NSTF and the AS&TS Trust (Associated Scientific and Technical Societies of South Africa) in 2003. SETAG was active from 2003 to 2010, during which time it was renamed as proSET. The proSET sector of the NSTF was revived in 2012. A new proSET Committee was elected, after a dormant period of about two years. proSET is not a separate legal entity. It is governed by the founding documents of the NSTF.

As a sector of the NSTF, proSET hosts one Discussion Forum (previously called proSET Presidents’ Forum) focusing of issues of cross-cutting interest to the proSET member organisations. See Discussion Forums, where proSET forums are listed as part of NSTF events.

The proSET Committee meets three times a year. Following is a list of the current Committee members:


Committee Member

Member Credentials and Contribution

Mr Dawie Botha

Co-chair and main proSET representative on NSTF Exco South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE)

Representing engineering

Prof Bertus Smith

Co-chair and alternative representative to Prof Tobias Barnard on NSTF Exco Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA)

Representing science

Mr Johan Maartens

Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control (SAIMC)

Representing engineering

Dr Christiaan Oosthuizen

Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control (SAIMC)

Representing engineering

Prof Tobias Barnard

Water Institute of Southern Africa – WISA

Representing science

Prof Khathutshelo Nephawe

South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions – SACNASP

Representing science

Mr Tony Parry

Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa - IITPSA

Representing technology

Prof Eunice Nyamupangedengu

Southern African Association for Research of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education -SAARMSTE

Representing education

Mr Richard Gundersen

Main rep: STEMulator

Dr Gerda Botha

Alternate rep: STEMulator

Ms Jansie Niehaus

NSTF Executive Director, ex officio


During 2011, the NSTF worked with the former AS&TS Trustees and Directors to transfer the AS&TS Trust funds to the NSTF. (Previously the funds had been dormant for many years.) This money is ring fenced for proSET use for projects consistent with the NSTF’s and the old AS&TS Trust’s mandates. (Both these mandates are very similar).

The proSET Committee decides on how funds will be used, depending on the trustees/directors’ approval. The AS&TS Trust fund is managed by the NSTF Secretariat and audited yearly.

Organisations that are NSTF members under the proSET sector can apply annually for project grants. There are specific criteria for these project grants.

The member organisation must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a paid-up member of NSTF in the proSET sector
  • Not be primarily funded by government or government agencies
  • Be solvent and have other sources of income besides proSET funding

The projects must meet the following requirements:

  • Related to sciences, engineering, technology (SET), SET education (including maths education), SET awareness raising, or training
  • Regarded by many proSET organisations as having common or cross-cutting interest to the SET community.
  • Already well established or be linked to existing projects

The following factors are also considered:

  • Projects that will have a multiplier effect, eg training trainers
  • Projects that will have measurable outcomes, and that include plans to evaluate processes and outcomes
  • Projects that promote ongoing professional development of individual members of proSET member organisations

Read the latest news about proSET member organisations.

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proSET is a membership sector of the NSTF consisting of professional bodies and learned societies in science, engineering, technology (SET) and SET education

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