Four academics from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) have been nominated in the 23rd national 2020/2021 National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF-South32 Awards), the premier research awards in South Africa.
The nominees are:
- Prof Samuel Oluwatobi Oluwafemi – Project Leader: Nanomaterials Synthesis and Applications Laboratory, Department of Chemical Sciences;
- Prof Nnamdi Nwulu – Director: Centre for Cyber Physical Food, Energy and Water Systems; and Associate Professor: Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science;
- Prof Philiswa Nosizo Nomngongo – Professor and Chair: DSI/NRF South African Research Chair Initiative, Nanotechnology for Water;
- Prof Saurabh Sinha – Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation; and Professor: Microelectronics.
The NSTF Awards were established in 1998 as a collaborative effort to recognise outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation by individuals, teams and organisations in South Africa across 13 categories.
The theme for this year’s award is Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. This is in recognition of the 2021 International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development as declared by the United Nations (UN). The Awards Gala Event will take place on Thursday 29 July 2021.
The UJ nominees feature in the following four awards categories
TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher
This award is for contribution through research and its outputs over a period from 6 years up to 15 years of research work from the commencement of the research career, predominantly in South Africa.
Prof Samuel Oluwatobi Oluwafemi is a National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa rated researcher and a Full Professor at the Department of Chemical Sciences (formerly applied Chemistry), University of Johannesburg. His research is in the broad area of nanotechnology and include green synthesis of semiconductor and metal nanomaterials for different applications which include but not limited to biological (imaging, labelling, therapeutic-PDT and PTT), optical, environmental and water treatment. He has author and co-author many journal publications, book chapter and books. He is a reviewer for many international journals in the field of nanotechnology and has won many accolades both local and international.
TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Emerging Researcher
This award is for contribution through research and its outputs over a period of up to 6 years of research work from the commencement of the research career, predominantly in South Africa.
Prof Nnamdi Nwulu is a researcher, educationist and engineer. He holds BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering Science at the University of Johannesburg. He is also a Professional Engineer registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), a Senior Research Associate in the SARChI Chair in Innovation Studies at the Tshwane University of Science and Technology and Associate Editor of the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (AJSTID).
Prof Philiswa Nomngongo is a tier 1 DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Nanotechnology for water with an NRF Y1 rating. Her scientific career has been dedicated to Environmental Analytical Chemistry and Nanotechnology aiming in solving different environmental problems in the field of water quality and environmental protection.
Her research achievements have been widely recognised through prestigious fellowships and awards which include amongst others: L’Oreal-UNESCO Sub-Saharan Women in Science Regional fellowship in 2014; South African Women in Science award in the Distinguished Young Woman Research in the Natural and Engineering Sciences category in 2017 and Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award: Most Promising Young Researcher of the Year in 2017.
This award recognises contribution through management and SET and innovation activities over the last 5 to 10 years.
Prof Saurabh Sinha – Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation; and Professor: Microelectronics, University of Johannesburg. Prof Sinha is an esteemed academic having authored or co-authored over 130 publications in peer-reviewed journals, books and at international conferences. Over the last two decades, his research has been supported by the National Research Foundation, Armscor, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Eskom, Square Kilometre Array as well as the private sector.
Engineering Research Capacity Development Award
This award is for individuals that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in increasing the participation of young engineers and technologists in further research in their chosen SET fields, over the past five to ten years.