The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has appointed Prof. Sabelo Mhlanga as the South African ‘Nanotechnology’ national contact point (NCP) for the European Union’s Horizon 2020 (H2020) Programme.
Prof. Mhlanga’s appointment will benefit the entire SA National System of Innovation. He will be responsible for analysing H2020 calls in SA, disseminating information amongst the SA research community and facilitating thematic information systems amongst targeted SA research communities, among other roles. As theNCP on nanotechnology, he will also be responsible for coordinating Horizon 2020 projects in SA with a focus on nanotechnology. The appointment started in August 2016 till the end of the programme in 2020. “It is an important appointment and I am excited about it. It comes with a great deal of responsibility but it is great exposure for not just me, but UNISA as well,” he said.
Prof. Mhlanga will be the main NCP, working with Dr Manfred Scriba from CSIR as his assistant NCP.
Prof. Mhlanga is research professor and deputy director at the Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability (NanoWS) research unit at the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, University of South Africa (UNISA). He is an academic citizen, researcher and leader. He obtained his PhD in Chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2009 and a Master’s degree at the University of Johannesburg in 2006. He has trained and supervised a number of MSc, PhD and post-doctoral students in the area of nanomaterials and water research. He has published over forty publications including reviews and book chapters in international peer reviewed journals.
One of his review papers titled “Carbon Spheres” published in Materials Science and Engineering Reports has been cited over 100 times since 2010. His research interest includes green chemistry, nanotechnology (nanocomposites and membranes), drinking water and wastewater treatment, and the water-energy-food nexus. He has keen interest in developing energy efficient technologies for drinking water treatment in rural communities and he has led flagship projects supported by the National Research Foundation and the Water Research Commission of South Africa.
Prof Mhlanga is also a founding member of the Nanosciences Young Researcher’s Symposia in South Africa. He was chairperson of the SANi student chapter (2008-2010) and Deputy Chairperson of SANi (2012-2014). He was the Editor and News Compiler of Nano News South Africa and the Director of the DST/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre – Water Research Node at the University of Johannesburg from Jan – Dec 2014. He is also a reviewer and adjudicator for SAASTA (public awareness articles and SAASTA Schools Debates project), NRF, L’Oreal Foundation and a number of international peer reviewed scientific journals.