WRC mourns loss of water sector stalwart
The Water Research Commission (WRC) has expressed its sympathy to the family of Dr Phillip Kempster, who passed away at his home in Pretoria on 1 March following a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 65.
Dr Kempster worked at the Department of Water Affairs from 1975 to his early retirement in 2009. He was based at the department’s research institute at Roodeplaat Dam. He had a unique combination of skills and qualifications: Dr Kempster completed a Masters in chemistry and qualified as a medical doctor before joining the department, and subsequently obtained a PhD in science.
Among other, Dr Kempster developed new ways of automating the measurement of trace metals in water samples, and he advised on many aspects of water and health, including radioactivity, fluoridation, pesticides, microbial contamination and the setting of water quality guidelines. His work appeared in several scientific journals and technical reports, including those funded by the WRC. He also served as a member of many WRC project steering committees through the years, providing valuable expert input.
Dr Kempster will be sorely missed by colleagues and friends.