College of College of Graduate Studies

A most prolific innovator at Unisa in 2019

Prof Malik Maaza, from Unisa’s College of Graduate Studies, was recognised at the 2020 Research & Innovation Awards with two Innovation Awards: the Most Prolific Innovator in 2019 in the Industrial Property Category and the 2019 Patent Application Incentive for nanofluids and a method of making nanofluids. He was also honoured in the prestigious external research awards and recognitions for his international ICO Galileo Galilei Medal and the Order of Mapungubwe: Silver.

Ayanda Noma (Director: Innovation and Technology Transfer) and Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa (Vice-Principal: Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation) congratulate Prof Malik Maaza (College of Graduate Studies) (centre) on his two 2019 Innovation Awards for the Most Prolific Innovator in 2019: Industrial Property Category and the 2019 Patent Application Incentive: Nanofluids and a method of making nanofluids.

"The accolades bestowed on me are, in fact, a recognition of team spirit," said Maaza. "It is an acknowledgement of the dedication of our committed students and colleagues, who tirelessly work in our research and human capital development programmes."

According to Maaza, both these awards reflect the willingness and encouragement of the institution, in general, and for the Research Department, in particular, to push for more innovations boosting research and development (R&D) translations to address urgent societal needs. The awards presented to Maaza add to his outstanding collections of continental and global recognitions.

Maaza, the incumbent of the UNESCO-Unisa Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology, holds an MSc in photonics and lasers, complemented by a PhD in Neutron physics from Paris VI. He has worked at various higher education institutions worldwide as an educator and has managed to reach communities through his ground-breaking research.

Accepting his awards, he said: "Such an honour underlines the institutional vision in terms of considering the worth of its researchers and demonstrates that it values patents as central research outputs and the readiness of the university to contribute to the technological and entrepreneurship fronts, too."

As an eminent researcher dedicated to making a difference in the field of science, Maaza plans to adhere to the mission and vision of the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation-Unisa ITLABS-NRF African chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology, which, he said "is geared primarily towards the human capital development of postgraduates and the preparation of the workforce of tomorrow at the level of MSc and PhD in the multidisciplinary field of nanosciences and nanotechnology."

In addition, Maaza believes that the university, especially the Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation portfolio would be encouraged to embark on R&D translations in support of the national strategy of the Department of Science and Innovation together with the institutional vision. He also believes that whatever is achieved strengthens the bridge between the College of Graduate Studies and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology to further cement the university’s position in nanosciences, nationwide, continentally and internationally.

In conclusion, Maaza said that the success in research and innovation confirmed rightfully the strategic decisions of the top management of the university to embark on world-class research as personified by the Science Campus in Florida, which is equipped with a world-class research infrastructure.

* By Lesego Ravhudzulo, Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

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Publish date: 2020/04/04