Dr. Lucky Sikhwivhilu introducing Prof. Neil Coville for his plenary talk.
From health to energy, new techniques and applications, NanoAfrica 2014 played host to SA’s leaders and emerging scientists in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Teaming up with the South African Nanotechnology Initiative (SANI), VUT’s Department of Chemistry hosted a well-attended fifth installment of the NanoAfrica conference. Some statistics on the conference to note are: 157 delegates; 36 student oral presentations; 38 posters; 17 main orals and 9 keynote talks, supported by a growing body of international speakers from countries including Poland, Pakistan, Tanzania, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom (UK), Spain, Germany and Brazil.
Trendsetters in South African nanotechnology, Professors Neil Coville (Wits) and Tebello Nyokong (Rhodes University) led an international cohort of plenary presentations described as “inspiring”. Themed around health, energy, water, synthetic techniques, devices and applications, plenary speakers included well-established researchers, Professors Paul O’Brien (UK), Juan Morante (Spain), Petra Bele (Germany), and Ivo Hummelgen (Brazil). IBSA delegates also played a key role at the conference with lectures in the fields of modeling, sensors applications and carbon based nanomaterials.
According to Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee, VUT’s Prof. MJ Moloto, “there was an overwhelming attendance of students from almost all institutions in Gauteng and beyond, including Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), University of Cape Town (UCT), University of Zululand (UZ), University of Limpopo (UL) and Rhodes University, including those based at the two DST Nanotechnology Innovation Centres, Mintek and CSIR”.
“The quality of student presentations was hailed by international plenary speakers,” he reports. Awards for excellence in the student oral presentations went to Thokozani Xaba (VUT), Gugu Kubheka (Rhodes) and Nosipho Gumbi (UJ-DFC) courtesy of a PerkinElmerSA sponsorship. Best student poster prize went to Brett Kriedemann from CPUT. Anza-Vhudziki Mboyi and Sibongiseni Thabethe, both from Council for Scientific and Industrial Research/University of Johannesburg(CSIR/UJ), walked away with second and third places, respectively.
Under the leadership of Prof Makwena Moloto, the local organizing committee was comprised of staff and students in the Chemistry Department at VUT namely Winny Maboya, Puleng Mzulwini, Kgomotso Mtshatsheni, Bonginkosi Sibokoza and Dikeledi More, as well as research directorate staff, Prajesh Bhika, supported by conference secretariat, Zelda Kotze. Sponsorships were welcomed from exhibitors including PerkinElmerSA, Anton Paar, Carl-Zeiss and ALS.
By: Prof. MJ Moloto, Vaal University of Technology (VUT)