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12 March 2015
VC’s award for top researcher – UWC’s Prof Iwuoha

VC’s award for top researcher – UWC’s Prof Iwuoha

The Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Researcher Award is presented to the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) finest scholars who have achieved international recognition for the quality of their work. This year, the accolade was presented to Prof Emmanuel Iwuoha by Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, on 12 March 2015 during the two-week Autumn Graduation Ceremony.

Iwuoha, who obtained his doctoral degree in 1986 from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, is definitely a worthy recipient of the award, as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Development and Support, Professor Mokgadi Moletsane, made clear when reading his award citation.

Internationally renowned in electrochemistry – he has published at least 90 scientific articles since 2009, 17 of those during 2014 alone, and has received many invitations to deliver keynote lectures at international conferences and enter national and international collaborative partnerships – Iwuoha has also led others to perform great research of their own.

In 2002 he established the SensorLab in UWC’s Department of Chemistry, focusing on conducting research into smart materials, electrochemistry, sensors and electrochemical energy. Iwuoha also coordinated the establishment of the National Nanoscience Postgraduate Teaching and Training Platform (NNPTTP) in 2011, an inter-university initiative that offers a Master’s degree in nanoscience.

“Excellence in research is often reflected by the number of postgraduate students successfully supervised by the researcher,” Moletsane noted. “In this respect, the 26 PhD and 31 Master’s candidates who graduated under Prof Iwuoha’s supervision since 2009 are symbolic of his commitment and dedication to research capacity development in South Africa and the continent, at large.”

In recognition of his work, Iwuoha was awarded the prestigious research position of the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) Chair in Nanoelectrochemistry and Sensor Technology by the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation in 2012. The chair oversees research activities in developing new-generation nano-alloys for clean energy production and sensor fabrication, and also focuses on sensors for medical diagnostics, food safety, and tracking environmental pollutants harmful to human health and ecosystems.

“The University of the Western Cape is extremely proud to honour Emmanuel Iwuoha as an outstanding scholar, who has brought UWC to the forefront through pioneering and high quality research that has had a profound impact on the field of electrochemistry in South Africa and abroad,” Moletsane concluded.