Research

Unisa ★ ☆ ★ glitter on red carpet

 "We have a much envied reputation amongst our peers for quality education and, increasingly, for the calibre of research that we are providing - this despite the fact that we are not a research-intensive university." Welcoming guests to the glittering 2020 Research & Innovation Awards, Prof Mandla Makhanya, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, affirmed that brand Unisa remained highly regarded.

"And if ever you were in any doubt as to our growing presence and impact in higher education research - look about you; look at your colleagues - I counted close on 100 awards this evening. Slowly but surely, we are building what I believe will become an enviable reputation for research: research that is relevant and applicable to our context as a comprehensive African open, distance and e-learning (ODeL) university."

Thus introduced, the brightest and best researchers at the university took their rightful place in the spotlight to be fêted for their successes.

2019 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Research

Back, from left: Prof Mogamat Davids (College of Education), Prof Michael Antwi (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences) and Prof Mpho Ngoepe (College of Human Sciences)

Front, from left: Prof Sin Yu Ho (College of Economic and Management Sciences), Prof Ajay Mishra (College of Science, Engineering and Technology), Prof David Hedding (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences) and Prof Mokhotjwa Dhlamini (College of Science, Engineering and Technology)

In absentiaProf Godwell Nhamo (College of Economic and Management Sciences) and Prof Zenghui Wang (College of Science, Engineering and Technology)


2019 Women in Research Awards

Dr Sintechè van der Merwe (College of Human Sciences) (Youngest Female Doctoral Graduate), Prof Zethu Nkosi (College of Human Sciences) (Leadership) and Dr Itumeleng Setlhodi (College of Education) (Emerging Researcher)


2019 Late National Research Foundation (NRF) recognitions

Prof Melusi Khumalo C3 (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) and Prof Elijah Baloyi C2 (College of Human Sciences)


In absentia: Prof Elirea Bornman C2 (College of Human Sciences), Prof Allyson Kreuiter C2 (College of Human Sciences), Prof Gerrie Snyman C2 (College of Human Sciences) and Prof Sifiso Ndlovu C1 (College of Graduate Studies)


2020 NRF Y Ratings

Dr Jan Maluleka Y2 (College of Human Sciences), Dr Forget Chaterera-Zambuko Y2 (College of Human Sciences), Dr Pontsho Mbule (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) and Dr Adolph Muleja Y2 (College of Science, Engineering and Technology)

In absentia: Dr Luyanda Noto Y2 (College of Science, Engineering and Technology)



2020 NRF C Ratings

Back, from left: Prof Anton Grobler C3 (Graduate School of Business Leadership), Prof Lindelani Mnguni C2 (College of Education), Prof Ernest Mnkandla C2 (College of Science, Engineering and Technology), Prof Ann-Mari Hesselink C3 (College of Law) and Dr Chantelle Gray C2 (College of Human Sciences)

Front, from left: Prof Omwoyo Onyancha C2 (College of Human Sciences), Prof Kealeboga Maphunye C2 (College of Human Sciences), Prof Hasina Ebrahim C1 (College of Education), Prof Magdel le Roux C2 (College of Human Sciences) and Dr Alex Kuvarega C2 (College of Science, Engineering and Technology)

In absentia: Prof Bakang Mothudi C3 (College of Science, Engineering and Technology), Prof Adele Bezuidenhout C2 (College of Economic and Management Sciences), Prof Philna Coetzee C2 (College of Accounting Sciences), Prof Oghenetega Ighedo C2 (College of Science, Engineering and Technology), Prof Anthony Minnaar, C2 (College of Law) and Prof Sharon Smulders C1 (College of Accounting Sciences)


2020 NRF B Rating

Prof Madipoane Masenya B3 (College of Human Sciences)


2019 Prestigious external research awards and recognitions

Back, from left: Prof Lindiwe Zungu (Executive Dean: College of Graduate Studies) (TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher and 2019 GLAMOUR South Africa Women of the Year), Prof Bhekie Mamba (Executive Dean: College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (One Thousand Talent of Foreign Experts, Tiangong University, Government of Tianjin), Prof Monde Nyila (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences) (Country Ambassador to South Africa, American Society for Microbiology), Dr Ernest Tshibalo (DTSFL) (Ambassador: International Geothermal Association South Africa) and Prof Mishack Gumbo (College of Education) (Editor-in-Chief, Action Learning and Action Research Journal)

Front, from left: Prof Pam de Villiers (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (First prize: Teaching of Research Methodology Excellence Awards), Prof Mpfariseni Budeli-Nemakonde (College of Law) (Appointment: SA Law Reform Commission), Prof Mandla Makhanya (Principal and Vice-Chancellor: Unisa) (Honorary Fellowship of the Commonwealth of Learning), Prof Lourens Erasmus (College of Accounting Sciences) (Member: South African Financial and Fiscal Commission) and Prof Malik Maaza (College of Graduate Studies) (International ICO Galileo Galilei Medal and the Order of Mapungubwe: Silver)

In absentia: Prof Emeritus Jane Carruthers (College of Human Sciences) (Editor-in-Chief, South African Journal of Science, Prof Annemarie Davis (College of Economic and Management Sciences) (First prize. Teaching of Research Methodology Excellence Awards) and Prof Paul Prinsloo (College of Economic and Management Sciences) (First Fellow from Africa, Member: European Distance and E-Learning Network)



2019 Half Million Rand Club

Back, from left: Prof Kerstin Jordaan (College of Economic and Management Sciences) (Royal Society-Newton Advanced Research Fellowship Grant for the Research Project on Properties of Semi-Classical Orthogonal Polynomials) and Dr Alex Kuvarega (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (Water Research Commission SA Grant)

Front, from left: Prof Joseph Chisasa, who accepted the award on behalf of Prof Raphael Mpofu (College of Economic and Management Sciences) (African Union: Various Research Projects Aligned to Agenda 2063), Prof Marcia Mkansi (College of Economic and Management Sciences) (DST-NRF Conference Fund) and Prof Ajay Mishra (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (IRG-Russian Foundation for Basic Research & NRF International Bilateral Research Cooperation Programme)

In absentia: Dr Lueta de Kock (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (IRG-BRICS Multilateral Grant)


2019 Million Rand Club

Back, from left: Prof Tonderayi Matambo (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (SANEDI Funding), Prof Xinying Liu (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (Joint Research Lab with Zhejiang University of Technology), Prof Mokhotjwa Dhlamini (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (NRF National Equipment Programme: Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition System Grant) and Prof Sello Mokoena (College of Education) (Education Training and Development Practices: ETDP SETA Grant)

Front, from left: Prof Katherine Malan (College of Economic and Management Sciences) (NRF Competitive Grant: Automated Algorithm Selection for Optimisation), Prof Diane Hildebrandt (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (Joint Research Lab with Zhejiang University of Technology), Prof David Hedding (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences) (IRG-National Natural Science Foundation of China/NRF Research Cooperation Programme), Dr Lindani Ncube (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences) (IRG-National Natural Science Foundation of China/NRF Research Cooperation Programme) and Prof Ciné van Zyl (College of Economic and Management Sciences) (Erasmus+ Programme Staff Mobility Agreement for Teaching and Training Grant)

In absentia: Prof Malose Mphahlele (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (Competitive Programme for Rated Researchers Grant) and Prof Paul Prinsloo (College of Economic and Management Sciences) (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Compagnia di San Paolo Novo Nordisk Foundation and VolkswagenStiftung Grant)


2019 Innovation Awards

Back, from left: Prof Hennie Stoffberg (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences) (First patent granted in South Africa Award: Irrigation sprinkler), Prof Lukas Snyman (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (Vice-Principal: Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation Award: Most prolific innovator over the past five years and First patent granted in South Africa Award: A power system), Craig Groeneveld (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences) (First patent granted in South Africa Award: Waste beer recovery) and Prof Monde Ntwasa (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences) (2019 patent application incentive: Anti-cancer drug combination)

Front, from left: Prof Bhekie Mamba (Executive Dean: College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (2019 patent application incentive: A process for treating acid mine drainage), Prof Titus Msagati (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (First patent granted in South Africa Award: Recovery of crude oil), Prof Marcia Mkansi (College of Economic and Management Sciences) (Vice-Principal: Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation Award: Most prolific innovator over the past five years and Most prolific innovator in 2019: Copyright protected innovation category), Prof Diane Hildebrandt (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (First patent granted in examining jurisdictions/Country Award: Fixed bed reactor Australia 2018) and Prof John Dewar (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences) (First patent granted in South Africa Award: Waste beer recovery.

In absentia: Prof Malik Maaza (College of Graduate Studies) (Most prolific innovator in 2019: Industrial property category and 2019 Patent application incentive: Nanofluids and a method of making nanofluids), Prof David Glasser and Prof Xiaojun Lu (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (First patent granted in examining jurisdictions/Country Award: Fixed bed reactor Australia 2018) and Dr Kebede Keterew Kefeni (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (2019 patent application incentive: A process for treating acid mine drainage)


The Conversation
Research Communication Recognition Awards for 2019

Prof Dirk Kotzé (College of Human Sciences) (Highest number of contributions)

In absentia: Dr Rehana Cassim (College of Law) (Highest number of contributions) and Dr Roshelle Ramfol (College of Accounting Sciences) (Most read article)

You can find out more about Unisa's Research Flagship Projects here.

* Compiled by Virginia McManus, Manager: PR and Communication, Department of Research, Innovation, and Commercialisation and Sharon Farrell, Editor: Internal Communication, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2020/03/24