News & Media

Unisa stars - multitalented and multitasking

2018 Principal’s Award for Excellence in Research

Talent abounded at Unisa’s 2019 Research & Innovation Week Awards on 8 March 2019, where the university’s best and brightest researchers were the stars of the show, some in more ways than one.

Not long after accepting an award for his C2 NRF rating of 2018/19, Prof Karéndra Devroop swopped his trophy for a saxophone and joined the New Kopano Quartet on stage, where they played for the rest of the evening. Devroop, who is from the Department of Art and Music at Unisa, is a member of the quartet, which has performed at major jazz festivals all over the world.

Suvania Naidoo (College of Human Sciences) and Dr Andy Carolin (College of Human Sciences)

Prof Lindelani Mnguni (College of Education)

Dr Safia Mahomed (College of Law)

2018 Women in Research Youngest Female Doctoral Graduate Award: Dr Catherine le Roux (College of Economic and Management Sciences)

Power couples of the evening

Two power couples, the Mishras and the Van der Polls, made their presence felt at the awards ceremony, held at Capital Menlyn Maine in Pretoria East.

Prof Shivani Bhardwaj Mishra received a 2018 Women in Research Leadership Award and an award for her C2 rating. Later in the evening, her husband, Prof Ajay Mishra, was honoured as a recipient of the coveted Chartered Scientist (CSci) qualification of the Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom. Both Mishras are part of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

The other husband-and-wife awardees were Prof Breggie van der Poll of the School of Business Leadership, who was honoured for her C3 rating, and Prof John Andrew van der Poll, also from the SBL, for his C2 rating.

Prof Ajay Mishra (Chartered Scientist: Royal Society of Chemistry, UK) and Prof Shivani Bhardwaj Mishra (2018 Women in Research Leadership Award and NRF C2 rating). Both Mishras are part of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

From the SBL, Prof John Andrew van der Poll (C2) and Prof Breggie van der Poll (C3)

Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa (Vice-Principal: Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation) (left) and Prof Khehla Ndlovu (Acting Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Principal: Strategy, Risk and Advisory Services) (right) congratulate Prof Alan Weinberg (Research Administration), the only researcher of the evening to be honoured for his NRF A rating (A2).

Prof Memory Tekere from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences received two different awards on the evening, for 2018 women in research leadership and as a 2018 NRF C-Rated researcher.

Then there were the award winners who went the extra mile, both in their research and to attend the awards ceremony.

Dr Nomsa Moyo travelled all the way from Zimbabwe to receive her Senate Publications Committee/Thesis Publication Award, while Prof Chris Swanepoel, former Vice-Principal: Research and Academic at Unisa, came out of retirement to accept a Hiddingh-Currie award for his Afrikaans translation of Thomas Mofolo’s Chaka.

Another retired Unisa professor to be honoured at Friday night’s awards ceremony was Prof Emeritus Jane Carruthers, the first person outside the United States and the second woman to receive a Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Environmental History.

Professor Alan Weinberg of Research Administration, the only researcher of the evening to be honoured for his A rating (A2) from the NRF, merited a special round of applause. While he earned this recognition in 2018, it could only be presented at the 2019 Awards.

2018 Women in Research Emerging Researcher Award: Dr Sin-Yu Ho (College of Economic and Management Sciences) and Dr Rehana Cassim (College of Law)

At the other end of the age spectrum were the four Principal’s prize-winners, all of them under the age of 35: Dr Andy Carolin of the College of Human Sciences, Dr Safia Mahomed of the College of Law, Prof Lindelani Mnguni of the College of Education, and Suvania Naidoo of the College of Human Sciences.

The 2018 women in research youngest female doctoral graduate was Dr Catherine le Roux from the College of Economic and Management Sciences, while Dr Solomon Kgatle from College of Human Sciences was the sole NRF Y-rated researcher.

All in all, awards in six categories were presented to 55 researchers, every one of them deserving of the university’s gratitude and appreciation for holding Unisa’s name high in the South African and international research community.

Not all winners made the photo sessions. All award winners are listed below.


2018 Principal’s Award for Excellence in Research

Dr Andy Carolin, College of Human Sciences

Dr Safia Mahomed, College of Law

Prof Lindelani Mnguni, College of Education

Suvania Naidoo, College of Human Sciences


2018 Women in Research Youngest Female Doctoral Graduate Award

Dr Catherine le Roux, College Economic and Management Sciences


2018 Women in Research Emerging Researcher Award

Dr Rehana Cassim, College of Law

Dr Sin-Yu Ho, College of Economic and Management Sciences

A double award for Prof Memory Tekere from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences: 2018 women in research leadership award and 2018 NRF C-Rated researcher

Dr Solomon Kgatle (2018 NRF Y-Rated researcher, Y2)

2018 Women in Research Leadership Award

Prof Shivani Bhardwaj Mishra, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Prof Memory Tekere, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences


2018 NRF Y-Rated Researcher

Dr Solomon Kgatle, College of Human Sciences, Y2


2018 NRF C-Rated Researchers

Prof Chaka Chaka, College of Human Sciences, C3

Prof Mpine Makoe, College of Graduate Studies, C3

Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Portfolio, Research, Innovation and Commercialisation, C3

Prof Safari Mukeru, College of Economic and Management Sciences, C3

Prof Memory Tekere, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, C3

Prof Breggie van der Poll, School of Business Leadership, C3

Prof Wei Hua Ho, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, C3

Prof Wessel Bentley, College of Human Sciences, C2

Dr Suryakanthie Chetty, College of Human Sciences, C2

Prof Karendra Devroop, Department of Art and Music, C2

Prof Elfriede Dreyer, College of Human Sciences, C2

Prof Lourens Erasmus, College of Accounting Sciences, C2

Prof Elsabé Kloppers, College of Human Sciences, C2

Prof Lerothodi Leeuw, College of Graduate Studies, C2

Prof Jessica Murray, College of Human Sciences, C2

Prof Shivani Bhardwaj Mishra, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, C2

Prof Titus Msagati, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, C2

Prof Venitha Pillay, College of Education, C2

Prof Marlize Rabe, College of Human Sciences, C2

Prof Hulisani Ramantswana, College of Human Sciences, C2

Prof Hossana Twinomurinzi, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, C2

Prof Vijaya Vallabhapurapu, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, C2

Prof Judy van Biljon, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, C2

Prof John Andrew van der Poll, School of Business Leadership, C2

Prof Mitzi Wiese, College of Law, C2

Prof Andre E Botha, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, C1

Dr Katherine Malan, College of Economic and Management Sciences, C1

Some Unisa C2-rated researchers: Prof Karéndra Devroop (College of Human Sciences), Prof Vijaya Vallabhapurapu (College of Science, Engineering and Technology), Prof Judy van Biljon (College of Science, Engineering and Technology), Prof Lourens Erasmus (College of Accounting Sciences), Prof Mitzi Wiese (College of Law), Prof Wessel Bentley (College of Human Sciences), Prof Shivani Bhardwaj Mishra (College of Science, Engineering and Technology) and Prof Hulisani Ramantswana (College of Human Sciences)


2018 NRF B-Rated Researchers

Prof Jaco S Dreyer, College of Human Sciences, B3

Prof Paul Prinsloo, College of Economic and Management Sciences, B3

Prof Ashok Raichur, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, B3


2018 NRF A-Rated Researchers

Prof Alan Weinberg, Research Administration, A2


2018 Senate Publications Committee, Hiddingh-Currie Award

Prof Clive Harber and Prof Vusi Mncube, Violence in schools: South Africa in an international context

Prof Chris Swanepoel, Thomas Mofolo’s Chaka: Die nuwe Afrikaanse vertaling

2018 NRF B-Rated Researcher, Prof Jaco S Dreyer (College of Human Sciences, B3)

2018 Senate Publications Committee, Hiddingh-Currie Award: Prof Chris Swanepoel, Thomas Mofolo’s Chaka: Die nuwe Afrikaanse vertaling


2018 Senate Publications Committee, Thesis Publication Award

Dr Nomsa Moyo

Dr Lida Krüger

Dr Nomsa Moyo

Dr Lida Krüger

2018 Prestigious External Research Awards and Recognitions

Prof Jane Carruthers, Professor Emeritus, College of Human Sciences, 2018 Distinguished Scholar Award, American Society for Environmental History

Prof Godwell Nhamo, College of Economic and Management Sciences, Titan in the field of education, CEO Magazine, Pan African Building Nations Recognition Awards 2018/19

Prof Mokhotjwa Dhlamini, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Titan in the field of education, CEO Magazine, Pan African Building Nations Recognition Awards 2018/19

Erica Flinspach, Research Support Services, Turnitin 2018 Global Innovator Award

Prof Malik Maaza, College of Graduate Studies, NSTF-South 32 GreenMatter Award for an outstanding contribution to science, engineering, technology and the José Vasconcelos World Award of Education

Prof Ajay Mishra, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Chartered Scientist (CSci), Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom

Prof Jan van Wyk, formerly Legal Services, Education Leadership Award, Africa Leadership Awards

Dr Retha Visagie, Directorate Research Support, DST/SARIMA Awards Professional Excellence in Research Management

2018 Prestigious External Research Awards and Recognitions: Erica Flinspach (Turnitin 2018 Global Innovator Award), Dr Retha Visagie (DST/SARIMA Awards Professional Excellence in Research Management), Prof Ajay Mishra (Chartered Scientist, Royal Society of Chemistry, UK), Prof Jane Carruthers (2018 Distinguished Scholar Award, American Society for Environmental History) and Prof Mokhotjwa Dhlamini (Titan in the field of education, CEO Magazine, Pan African Building Nations Recognition Awards 2018/19)

You can find out more about Unisa’s research flagship projects here.

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

From articles by Clairwyn van der Merwe, Contract writer, Directorate of Research Support & Lesego Ravhudzulo, Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2019-03-14 00:00:00.0