Postdoctoral seminar showcases TUT’s brilliant research

by Zipho Mokoena

20 November 2023

The Tshwane University of Technology’s Directorate of Research and Innovation (R&I) hosted its annual Postdoctoral Research Fellow Seminar at the Pretoria Campus on Friday, 17 November 2023. 

TUT Postdoctoral Research Fellows, commonly known as postdocs or PDRFs, from various faculties convened at the seminar to present their latest research to peers and other seasoned researchers in attendance. 

In her opening address, Dr Vathiswa Papu-Zamxaka, TUT’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement, said the University aims to significantly increase the number of postdocs it hosts, given the key role they play in research and innovation.

“The University currently hosts 71 Postdoctoral Research fellows and we are working on increasing that number, given the important role they play in contributing to the University’s research agenda.  This total active number does not include 32 postdocs whose contracts expired between January and October 2023. Currently, the University has 103 registered postdocs for 2023, which is a significant increase compared to 71 registered in 2022,” she said.

Dr Papu-Zamxaka said the University plans to create a more conducive environment to help postdocs carry out their mandate to grow the University’s research, innovation, and engagement landscape.

“In an effort to create a conducive environment for our postdoctoral research fellows, we have accommodation available on campus for those in need of such. Currently all our rooms are fully occupied,” she said.

Former postdocs, Dr Maxleene Sandasi, from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Dr Tiisetso Mpai, from the Department of Crop Sciences, delivered insightful presentations on The importance of publishing as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and the Career path of a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, respectively.

Dr Matefu Lefty Mabela from the Faculty of Humanities, presented interesting research on the Intellectualisation of Northern Sotho through English terminology adaptation. The research highlighted:

  • The challenges of publishing research in Northern Sotho due to the language’s lack of equivalent English scientific terminology.
  • The evolutionary nature of language and how coining new Northern Sotho terms and adapting English words into Northern Sotho language (i.e., indigenisation) are possible solutions to overcome said challenges.

Dr Glory Mable Pitikoe-Chiloane delivered an interesting presentation on the Fear of the technology void: A study on the effects of nomophobia on college students’ self-esteem and anxiety, which highlighted the extreme fear some experience at the thought of being without (or being unable to use) their smartphone and some of the dangers of excessive smartphone use.

Other topics presented include:

  • Symbiotic Functioning and Photosynthetic Rates Induced by Rhizobia Associated with Jack Bean (Canavalia ensiformis L.) Nodulation in Eswatini – Dr Zanele Ngwenya, Faculty of Science.
  • Human Resource Management and Digitalisation in State-owned enterprises - Dr Arvid Muzanenhamo, Faculty of Management Sciences.
  • The effects of flavonoids in the co-delivery of metformin and doxycycline-loaded liposomes and silver nanoparticles against diabetes and bacterial infections – Dr Kingsley Mbara, Faculty of Science.
  • Inclusive Growth, Socioeconomic Development and Transformation – Dr Thomas Habanabakize, Faculty of Economics and Finance.
  • Designing a low-cost perovskite solar cell – Dr Abraham Dimitri Kapim-Kenfack, Faculty of Science.
  • Fabrication and characterization of tin halide-based perovskite thin films – Dr Mlungisi Arnold Mavuso, Faculty of Science.
  • Vibration of thin Functionally Graded Planar Structures – Dr Getachew Sedebo, Faculty of Science.
TUT Postdoctoral Research Fellows.

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