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National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Role Models – Professionals

2023

LignOrganic

For revolutionising biomass conversion technology.

LignOrganic won the 2023 NSTF-South32 Innovation Award: Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME). Mr Tshepo Mangoele is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder. The organisation was recognised for their revolutionary biomass conversion technology, that is helping to replace chemicals derived from fossil fuels with biochemicals such as lignin, which they produce, and has successfully formulated and commercialised as a skin care brand. Award sponsor: National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO) since 2019.

2023

Pegasus Universal Aerospace team

For the design and development of a vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

Pegasus Universal Aerospace team: Dr Mohamed Reza is the Chairman and Founder. The team won the 2023 NSTF-South32 Innovation Award: Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME). They were recognised for the design and development of a vertical take-off and landing aircraft, which it is envisaged should create between 7 000 and 11 000 new jobs and the development of the necessary skills locally. Award sponsor: National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO) since 2019. 

2023

Prof Andrew Thatcher

For his work on extending our understanding of Human Factors Ergonomics.

 This award is sponsored by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and gives recognition to individuals who have contributed towards achieving biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and a greener economy over the last five to 10 years. For his work on extending our understanding of Human Factors Ergonomics or “green ergonomics” to consider the entire Earth system, this award was won by Prof Andrew Thatcher, a Professor in the Psychology Department, School of Human and Community Development at Wits.

2023

The Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) team

For the development of a powerful, open-access system for hosting, analysing and serving freshwater biodiversity data for South Africa, in order to facilitate freshwater decision-making.

The Data for Research Award was made to the Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) team, Freshwater Research Centre (FRC) and Kartoza. Dr Helen Dallas is Executive Director: FRC; and team leader: FBIS. They were recognised for their ground-breaking work in the development of a powerful, open-access system for hosting, analysing and serving freshwater biodiversity data for South Africa, in order to facilitate freshwater decision-making.

2023

The Centre for Water Resources Research

For providing a centre of excellence for cutting edge applied and interdisciplinary research and postgraduate training in water resources-related research and capacity building.

Sponsored by the WRC since 2017, theNSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award recognises an individual or an organisation for sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions over the last five to 10 years. This year, the award was made to the Centre for Water Resources Research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) for providing a centre of excellence for cutting edge applied and interdisciplinary research and postgraduate training in water resources-related research and capacity building. 

2023

Prof Salome Maswime

For her contribution through pioneering the field of Global Surgery in Africa as part of a drive for greater equity, and access to, much-needed surgical care.

 Prof Salome Maswime, an obstetrician, gynaecologist and head of Global Surgery in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT) won the NSTF-SAMRC Clinician-Scientist Award (sponsored by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)) for her contribution through pioneering the field of Global Surgery in Africa as part of a drive for greater equity, and access to, much-needed surgical care. She wants to find measures to reduce the maternal mortality from caesarean sections in SA and to see the African community as a whole receive safe and timely surgical care, especially pregnant women. 

2023

Prof Paxie Chirwa

For his contribution, centred on people, to future forestry development in South Africa and training future foresters.

Prof Paxie W Chirwa, Chair and Director: Forest Postgraduate Programme, University of Pretoria (UP) was awarded the 2023 NSTF-Sout32 Management Award for his contribution, centred on people, to future forestry development in South Africa and training future foresters. His work is aimed at recognising the importance of communities in proximity to the forest resource in sustainable forest management and use.

2023

Prof Nosipho Moloto

For her contribution to capacity building through finding simple synthetic methods.

Prof Nosipho Moloto, an inorganic chemistry professor, University of the Witwatersrand, is the DSI/NRF/Nedbank SARChI Chair in Energy Materials. She won for her contribution to capacity building through finding simple synthetic methods for semiconductor nanocrystals that can be used as essential components in the development of affordable solutions for the production of clean water, renewable and clean energy, rapid diagnostics of diseases and fast and easy to operate sensors.

2023

Prof Onisimo Mutanga

For developing research capacity through the use of remote sensing techniques to support land use management. 

Prof Onisimo Mutanga, Professor: Remote Sensing, University of KwaZulu-Natal; and DSI/NRF/Nedbank SARChI Chair in Land Use Planning and Management won for developing research capacity through the use of remote sensing techniques to support land use management focusing on the development of the science and the application of these techniques for terrestrial ecosystems.

2023

Prof Novel N Chegou

For a life’s work which has focused mainly on the immunology of tuberculosis.

Prof Novel N Chegou, Professor: Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University was awarded for a life’s work which has focused mainly on the immunology of tuberculosis. He developed new tools for the management of the illness and conducted research on new tests that can assist in the rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis. 

2023

Prof Usisipho Feleni

For her contribution in electrochemistry.

Prof Usisipho Feleni, Associate Professor and Thematic Area Leader: Applied Electrochemistry, Institute for Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability at the University of South Africa is a co-recipient of the 2023 Award for her contribution in electrochemistry, with emphasis on electro-analytical sensors and biosensors that comprise new chalcogenide-based quantum dot materials, nanoparticles, nanorods and nanocomposites. These materials contain unique and specific features for use in electrochemical sensing and signalling of diseases such as HIV, TB and cancer, as well as monitoring water contamination. 

2023

Dr Daniel W Hart

For a life’s work which has focused mainly on the immunology of tuberculosis.

 Dr Daniel W Hart, Senior Research Fellow: Zoology and Entomology Dept, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, at the University of Pretoria (UP) is a co-recipient of the 2023 Award. He received it for his research that attempts to utilise concepts from evolutionary biology to address biological questions of health, biological, social and economic relevance to humans. His research focuses on using knowledge of evolutionary biology of mammals to improve treatments of human medical conditions and to predict future consequences of climate change.

2023

Dr Philemon Mjwara

For his significant contribution to the South African National System of Innovation 

 Dr Philemon Mjwara, Director-General: Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) was presented with the Ukhozi Award for an essential contribution to STI in South Africa. He played a significant role in building strong relations between the DSI (as DST and later as DSI) and the NSTF over many years. The Award was made in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the NSTF Awards. ‘Ukhozi’ means ‘eagle’ in isiZulu, and here especially refers to the Black Eagle, or Verreaux’s Eagle. This eagle is indigenous to South Africa and the continent and symbolises flying high and seeing the bigger picture.

2023

Prof Jonathan Jansen

For a distinguished contribution to the advancement of education scholarship through advanced research and publication

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Distinguished Professor: Education, Stellenbosch University (SU); and President: Academy of Science of South Africa was awarded the NSTF-South32 Lifetime Award for a distinguished contribution to the advancement of education scholarship through advanced research and publication, scholarly teaching, innovative university management especially in times of racial disharmony, science leadership, school improvement, educational innovation, capacity development, public engagement, and science advocacy.

Previous Professional Role Model Talks 

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