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Celebrating research excellence: Four UJ finalists in NSTF-South32 Awards

The finalists in the 2022/2023 National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF-South32 Awards) – the premier research awards in South Africa – have recently been announced in May 2023. Among the exceptional cohort of finalists, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) proudly claims four accomplished researchers.

Known as the ‘Science Oscars’ of South Africa, the NSTF Awards are now in their 25th year of celebrating and recognising outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa.

UJ takes immense pride in the recognition bestowed upon its researchers, who have demonstrated excellence and dedication in their respective domains. Their inclusion among the finalists underscores UJ’s unwavering commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and scientific discovery.

This year’s NSTF-South32 Awards revolve around the theme of ‘ocean science for sustainable development,’ an apt tribute to the United Nations (UN) decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. In commemoration of this special silver jubilee, a distinguished annual theme award will be granted to a finalist who has exhibited an extraordinary commitment to advancing knowledge and progress in this vital field.

The UJ finalists and their respective categories are as follows:

TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher

  • Prof Samuel O Oluwafemi – Project Leader: Nanomaterials Synthesis and Applications Laboratory, Department of Chemical Sciences (formerly Applied Chemistry)

Engineering Research Capacity Development Award

  • Prof Soraya P Malinga – Associate Professor and Co–Director: Joint Research Centre for Water, Environmental Science and Technology

TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Emerging Researcher

  • Dr Fidele Tugizimana – Lecturer and Research Scientist: Department of Biochemistry, University of Johannesburg; and Specialist Scientist: International Research and Development Division, Omnia Nutriology, Omnia Group Ltd, South Africa

Communication Award

  • Prof Refilwe Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya – Professor: Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences; and Director: South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)/ UJ Pan African Centre for Epidemics Research (PACER) Extramural Unit

The NSTF-South32 Awards, the first science awards in the country, are the largest, most comprehensive, and sought-after national awards of their kind in South Africa. The awards recognise experienced scientists, engineers, innovators, science communicators, engineering capacity developers, and organisational managers/leaders, as well as data and research managers.

The Awards Gala Event will take place on 13 July 2023.

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