Two University of South Africa (Unisa) professors have been recognised for excellence in science, engineering and technology and innovation at the nineteenth Annual National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) 2016/17 Awards.
Material and Process Synthesis research unit director and chemical engineering professor Diane Hildebrandt scooped the Champion of Research Capacity Development award, while College of Science, Engineering and Technology executive dean Professor Bhekie Mamba secured the Water Research Commission NSTF award.
“Unisa and the rest of the science and technology community at large would like to congratulate the winners for their contributions in making new discoveries to improve quality of life through science,” said Unisa principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya.
Hildebrandt achieved the ideal mix of chemical engineering research and its practical applications to find and implement effective solutions to global challenges such as energy shortages, carbon dioxide emissions, global warming and waste disposal.
“Her research is focused on synthesising and optimising chemical processes, and she has supervised more than 100 postgraduate engineering students in green energy and processes for Africa,” Unisa said.
Mamba is responsible for significant scientific and technological contributions and achievements in the fabrication of advanced nanostructured materials and systems for water treatment.
His research has led to the creation of a new nanotechnology-based system to tackle major challenges in sustainability, providing safe and clean water to disadvantaged communities.