An Executive Director at the CSIR, who serves as visiting professor of Engineering at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) received a national award from President Jacob Zuma on Friday 28 April 2017.
Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo received the Order of Mapungubwe, Silver, for his excellent contribution to the field of science, particularly electrical engineering. He serves as an enormous inspiration to young people in South Africa, said Mr Zuma during his address at the event.
Dr Nelwamondo was born in 1982 in Limpopo. He started school at Belemu Primary School at Belemu Village, where he had to walk a long distance from the Lukau Village, where he lived, through two villages, before reaching the school, all within the greater Lwamondo Village.
He grew up like most villagers, tending goats and cattle, fetching firewood and water from the local spring or river. All the village activities did not deter his interest in education, despite many of his peers dropping out of school for one reason or another. In 1995 he enrolled at Mbilwi Secondary school, where he later matriculated. Determined to make a difference in his own country, he made up his mind to follow a career in engineering.
Dr Nelwamondo has interests in the emerging areas of software and technology applications including Biometrics based systems, data mining, modelling of complex systems, machine learning and mechanism design.
Nelwamondo has successfully supervised a number of Masters and PhD degrees in electrical engineering, and continues to do so at the UJ.
The Order of Mapungubwe represents excellence, and is awarded to South African citizens who have made an impact internationally and served the national interest. The award is focused on those who have excelled in scientific research and technology.