Philiswa Nosizo Nomngongo, an Associate Professor and the DSI/NRF SARChI Chair: Nanotechnology for Water, Department of Applied Chemistry at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) was hailed as a driver of sustainable science development when she was announced as one of the winners at the 23rd annual National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) awards, in partnership with South32, on Thursday 30 September 2021.
Through the theme Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, the NSTF-South32 Awards recognise and honour South African contributions to excellence in science engineering and technology. The awards presented by the Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, who was also the patron of the event, took place took place as a hybrid event broadcast from Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Prof Nomngongo received the Engineering Research Capacity Development Award. Her research tackles water quality monitoring and treatment, by enhancing the sensitivity of traditional analytical methods making it possible to profile the occurrence of various pollutants in South African water systems.
Prof Nomngongo’s research group also investigate ways to remove these pollutants. Their current focus in water treatment is adsorption and membrane technologies and integrated systems, thus working towards future point of use or decentralised treatment systems.
Three of the University’s academics were finalists in the NSTF-South32 Awards, which are regarded as the premier research awards in South Africa. Prof Nomngongo, was joined by finalists Prof Nnamdi Nwulu, (Director at the Centre for Cyber Physical Food, Energy and Water Systems, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science), and Prof Saurabh Sinha (Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation). A finalist is akin to being a winner, given the extremely competitive nature of these awards.