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Nominees announced for 2019-2020 NSTF-South32 Awards

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) has announced the group of nominees contending for the prestigious NSTF-South32 Awards. Unisa congratulates Themba Dube, Kobus N Eloff, Paul Prinsloo, Oghenetega Ighedo, Vhahangwele Masindi, Leslie Brown and the Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability (NanoWS) research unit under its team leader, Thabo Nkambule.

Prof Themba Dube

Prof Jacobus (Kobus) N Eloff

Prof Paul Prinsloo

Prof Oghenetega Ighedo

Dr Vhahangwele Masindi

Prof Leslie Brown

NanoWS staff with Prof Bhekie Mamba (Executive Dean: College of Science, Engineering and Technology) (front centre) and Prof Thabo Nkambule (Acting Director: NanoWS) on his right

The following Unisans have been recognised for their excellence and outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology, and innovation in South Africa:

Lifetime Award
  • Prof Themba Dube - Professor: Mathematics, Unisa
  • Prof Jacobus (Kobus) N Eloff - Extraordinary Lecturer and Founder: Phytomedicine Programme, Faculty of Veterinary Science, UP; and Professor Extraordinaire: Unisa
  • Prof Paul Prinsloo - Professor: Open and Distance Learning, Unisa
TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Emerging Researcher

Prize sponsor: proSET (Professionals in SET), a sector of the NSTF representing professional bodies and learned societies

  • Prof Oghenetega Ighedo - Associate Professor: Department of Mathematical Sciences, Unisa
  • Dr Vhahangwele Masindi - Research Scientist: Magalies Water; Principal Researcher: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); Research Fellow: Unisa; Part-time Lecturer: University of Venda; and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development, NSTF-Lewis Foundation Green Economy, NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC), Innovation: Corporate Organisation, and Special Annual Theme categories
Engineering Research Capacity Development Award

Sponsored by Eskom since 2003

  • Dr Vhahangwele Masindi - Research Scientist: Magalies Water; Principal Researcher: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; Research Fellow: Unisa; Part-time Lecturer: University of Venda; and also in the TW-Kambule-NSTF Emerging Researcher, NSTF-Lewis Foundation Green Economy, NSTF-Water Research Commission, Innovation: Corporate Organisation, and Special Annual Theme categories
NSTF-Lewis Foundation Green Economy Award

Sponsored by The Lewis Foundation since 2019

  • Prof Leslie Brown - Professor and Head: Applied Behavioural Ecology and Ecosystem Research Unit, Unisa
  • Dr Vhahangwele Masindi - Research Scientist: Magalies Water; Principal Researcher: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; Research Fellow: Unisa; Part-time Lecturer: University of Venda; and also in the TW Kambule-NSTF Emerging Researcher, Engineering Research Capacity Development, NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC), Innovation: Corporate Organisation, and Special Annual Theme categories
NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award

Sponsored by the WRC since 2017

  • Dr Vhahangwele Masindi - Research Scientist: Magalies Water; Principal Researcher: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; Research Fellow:  Unisa; Part-time Lecturer: University of Venda; and also in the TW Kambule-NSTF Emerging Researcher, Engineering Research Capacity Development, NSTF-Lewis Foundation Green Economy, Innovation: Corporate Organisation, and in the Special Annual Theme categories
  • Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit, Science, Engineering and Technology College, Unisa - Team Leader: Prof Thabo Nkambule
Innovation Award: Corporate Organisation
  • Dr Vhahangwele Masindi - Research Scientist: Magalies Water; Principal Researcher: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); Research Fellow: Unisa; Part-time Lecturer: University of Venda; and also in the TW Kambule-NSTF Emerging Researcher, Engineering Research Capacity Development, NSTF-Lewis Foundation Green Economy, NSTF-WRC, and Special Annual Theme categories
Special Annual Theme Award: Plant Health
  • Dr Vhahangwele Masindi - Research Scientist: Magalies Water; Principal Researcher: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; Research Fellow: Unisa; Part-time Lecturer: University of Venda; and also in the TW Kambule-NSTF Researcher, Engineering Research Capacity Development, NSTF-Lewis Foundation Green Economy, NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC), and Innovation: Corporate Organisation categories

You can access the list of all nominees here.

NSTF-South32 Awards’ theme: The theme for the 2019/2020 NSTF-South32 Awards is Plant Health. This is in recognition of the 2020 International Year of Plant Health as declared by the United Nations (UN). The 22nd annual Awards function (which will be in an online format this year) will celebrate this theme—the date to be confirmed (depending on progress made with stemming the COVID-19 pandemic).

Adjudication

The accreditation and selection process for the NSTF-South32 Awards are made by an adjudication panel of independent judges. They represent six different sectors of the NSTF membership. This adjudication panel, in conjunction with the Award partners, review the nominations to select the finalists and winners each year. A panel of experts, appointed by the NSTF Executive Committee, also assists the panel by reviewing and validating the final selections.

Youth programmes

One of the features that make these awards unique is that youth outreach is an integral part of the awards. Two NSTF Youth outreach programmes are run annually in conjunction with the NSTF Awards. 

  • The NSTF Brilliants Programme identifies and celebrates the top achievers in physical science and mathematics from the previous year’s matric examinations, who are studying in science, engineering or medicine. It exposes these young people to the SET community. Eighteen first year students (a young man and a woman from each province) are recognised as possible future leaders and innovators.
  • Success is not about where you are, but who you have elevated in the process. The NSTF Share ‘n Dare Programme is an outreach programme of the NSTF-South32 Awards that profiles award winners as youth role models. Award winners share their experience and knowledge with thousands of young people at science centres and universities across the country. They encourage the youth to take up careers in SET. Thousands of South Africans are also reached through community and campus radio station awareness talks.
The announcement of the NSTF-South32 Awards finalists will be circulated through the NSTF eNews during May 2020. The announcement of the winners will take place at a date and time to be confirmed later—pending developments around COVID-19.
The patron of the NSTF Awards, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande presides over the presentation of awards. The Minister has confirmed his participation.

Recognising excellence and outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa 
#NSTFawards2020

The NSTF-South32 Awards: The NSTF Awards were established in 1998 as a collaborative effort to recognise outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation by SET-related professionals and organisations in South Africa. This includes experienced scientists, engineers, innovators, science communicators, engineering capacity builders, and organisational managers/leaders, as well as data and research managers.

Our partner: South32 is a mining company that de-merged from BHP Billiton in 2016. It took over the co-branding sponsorship agreement for the annual NSTF Awards.

The ‘Science Oscars’: The NSTF-South32 Awards are referred to as the "Science Oscars" of South Africa. They are the largest, most comprehensive, and sought-after national awards of their kind in the country. They were also the first science awards in South Africa.

* Compiled by Sharon Farrell, Editor: Internal Communication, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2020/04/21