The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) announced the winners of the 2022/2023 NSTF-South32 Awards for excellence in science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa at a hybrid gala event held in July and attended by SAIMechE’s Digital Communication Specialist, Anisa Nanabhay. We feature some of the winners here:

TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Emerging Researcher (2 winners) 


Prof Usisipho Feleni – Associate Professor and Thematic Area Leader: Applied Electrochemistry, Institute for Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability, University of South Africa

For her contribution in electrochemistry, with emphasis on electro-analytical sensors and biosensors which comprise new chalcogenide-based quantum dot materials, nanoparticles, nanorods and nanocomposites that 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.


Dr Daniel W Hart – Senior Research Fellow: Zoology and Entomology Dept, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria (UP)

For a contribution which attempts to utilise concepts from evolutionary biology to address biological questions of health, biological, social and economic relevance to humans which focuses on using knowledge of evolutionary biology of mammals to improve treatments of human medical conditions and to predict future consequences of climate change.

Engineering Research Capacity Development Award (2 winners)


Prof Nosipho Moloto – Chair: DSI / National Research Foundation (NRF) / Nedbank South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) in Energy Materials; and Research Professor: Inorganic Chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits); and Deputy Director: African Research Universities Alliance, Centre of Excellence in Materials, Energy and Nanotechnology, Wits

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. 



Prof Onisimo Mutanga – Professor: Remote Sensing, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN); and DSI/NRF/Nedbank SARChI Chair in Land Use Planning and Management, UKZN 

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.

NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award

Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR), UKZN – Prof Jeff Smithers, Director: CWRR; and Umgeni Water Chair in Water Resources Management, Innovation and Research, School of Engineering, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, 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.

Innovation Award: Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (2 winners) 

LignOrganic – Tshepo Mangoele, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder

Through their revolutionary biomass conversion technology, their company 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.

Pegasus Universal Aerospace Team – Dr Mohamed Reza Mia, Chairman and Founder

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.

Communication Award




Prof Roger Deane – Director: Centre for Astrophysics, Wits; and Wits Digital Dome Working Group; DSI/NRF SARChI Chair in Radio Astronomy

For the achievement of R75million digital upgrade of the Johannesburg Planetarium into a flagship science and technology engagement facility, where he has shared cutting-edge, clearly communicated astrophysics research with the public on a national stage, in combination with leading the communications and fundraising campaign.

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