National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Current Winners



The NSTF-South32 Awards – for outstanding contributions of teams, organisations and individuals to science, engineering, technology and innovation in South Africa.

The announcement of the 2022 winners took place on Thursday 21 July 2022.


Prof Shabir Madhi – Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences; and Professor: Vaccinology, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits); and Director: South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (Wits-VIDA); and Co-Director: African Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise, Wits
For his leadership in research on vaccines against life-threatening diseases in Africa and globally, and he has been at the cutting edge of research in this area since 1997.

Prof Tamiru Abiye – Professor: Hydrogeology Programme, School of GeoScience, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
For his dedication to water science, where Professor Abiye has focused on building research capacity and solving community problems to promote sustainable development in SA. His rural water- stressed background gave him a unique perspective on humanity’s most pressing problem – securing water in the face of population, industrial, climate change and pandemic pressures.

Prize sponsor: proSET (Professionals in SET), a sector of the NSTF representing professional bodies and learned societies

Dr Wynand Goosen – Lecturer (Wellcome Foundation): Animal Tuberculosis (TB) Research Group, Department of Science and Innovaion (DSI) / National Research Foundation (NRF) Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Department (Dept) of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University (SU)
For his leadership of research in South Africa on the surveillance of zoonotic TB in domestic cattle and wild animals as potential sources of infections in susceptible people in rural areas.

Dr Banothile Makhubela – Senior Lecturer and Director: Research Centre for Synthesis and Catalysis, Dept of Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Johannesburg
For her contribution to nano- and organometallic-catalysis directed towards green and sustainable chemical processes, Dr Makhubela's research applies such catalysts to converting waste materials like lignocellulose and a greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), into sustainable chemicals and fuels.

Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela – CEO: SA Health Products Regulatory Authority
As the head of SAHPRA, Dr Semete-Makokotlela, successfully led the authorisation of a number of COVID-19 diagnostic tests, vaccines and therapies during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a sterling testament to her drive and passion to ensure that the regulator is an enabler.

Prof Sehliselo (Selo) Ndlovu – Professor: Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; and Chair: DSI/NRF South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI), Hydrometallurgy and Sustainable Development, Wits
For her work as a hydrometallurgical engineer who is focussed on ensuring a sustainable future supply of metals by developing processes and building capacity and skills that can drive and contribute to the extractive metallurgical industry.

Prof Wellington Didibhuku Thwala – Research Professor: Construction Project Management and Leadership, Dept of Civil Engineering, College of Science, Engineering and Technology(CSET), University of South Africa (UNISA); and previously Director and DSI/NRF SARChI Chair: Sustainable Construction Management and Leadership in the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg
For his contribution to the research and development of sustainable construction methods and practices, Prof Thwala confronts and researches the problems of the containment and prevention of design errors and improving the performance in infrastructure projects in order to minimise project cost overruns.

Prof Guy F Midgley – Distinguished Professor; and Head: Global Change Biology Group; and Interim Director: School for Climate Studies, SU
For a contribution over two decades by Professor Midgley to the understanding of the risks of climate change to endemic biodiversity and ecosystems, both nationally and globally, to the development of response options through modelling as well as critical field and controlled environment trials; and the public communication of these issues.


Sponsor: WRC since 2017

Prof Evans M N Chirwa – Professor; and Rand Water Research Chair: Water Utilisation, Dept of Chemical Engineering, University of Pretoria
For the introduction into SA by Professor Chirwa of the use of biological analogues in advanced water treatment and water recovery with applications in metal-halide heterogeneous photocatalysis.

Network for Genomics Surveillance (NGS-SA) in SA – Representing the Co-Founders: Dr Jinal Bhiman, Scientific Lead: Global Immunology and Immune Sequencing for Epidemic Response South Africa (GIISER-SA); and Prof Tulio de Oliveira, Professor: Bioinformatics, School for Data Science and Computational Thinking, SU
For the generation of genomic surveillance data of SARS-CoV-2, by the NGS-SA aimed at informing SA’s public health response to this virus.

Mining Positron Emission Tomography Research Group (MinPET) – Team Leader: Prof Simon Connell; and Dept of Mechanical Engineering Science, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, University of Johannesburg
For the leadership Prof Connell took in the development of MinPET, a revolutionary Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) invention which is an online sensor-based detection process of diamonds within mined kimberlite rocks.

Sponsor: National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO) since 2019

Thermtron Scientific CC – Sponsor and Manager: Dr Jacobus (Kokkie) Swanepoel
For the establishment, over the course of the past decade, of Thermtron led by Dr Swanepoel as an important player and facilitator in the SA SET and Innovation system, generating revenue and opportunities in the process industry.

Vuwani Science Resource Centre – Team Leader: Dr Nnditshedzeni Eric Maluta; and Coordinator: Vuwani Science Resource Centre; and Head: Dept of Physics, University of Venda; and Ordinary Member: International Union of Physics and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Commission-14 for Education Development
For embarking on education outreach programmes to the previously disadvantaged learners in Venda and surrounds, in order to stimulate their learning and understanding of maths and science.

CodeMakers – Executive Director: Dr Justin Yarrow
For his conception and implementation of SuperScientists, living scientists drawn as the superheroes who educate and inspire young people across SA.

Prof Marianne Vanderschuren – Professor: Transport Planning and Engineering; and Chair: DSI/NRF/Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Co-funded Smart Mobility Research; and Deputy Dean: Social Responsiveness and Transformation, Dept of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Cape Town
For her role in improving the quality of life of vulnerable road users using Smart Mobility through research solutions based on the basic sciences.

NSTF-South32 Awards


The NSTF welcomes collaboration with other organisations, such as those they have been in partnerships with for many years:

Subscribe to our eNews

Sign up to receive news on what is happening in science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa

Copyright © 2021 All Rights Reserved | National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)