Ms Lethiwe Mthembu (Doctoral Candidate) and Dr Charlette Tiloke (Postdoctoral Fellow) at DUT and both in the Chemistry Department, Applied Sciences Faculty were award the only two of the 14 fellowships that went to African women working or studying in South Africa. The other twelve were awarded to candidates based in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
The L’OREAL First For Women in Science (FWIS) SSA programme recognised 14 talented Women in Science for their research quality. As DUT we are really elated to have two of our Women scientists in this category. It is definitely a motivation for other emerging scientists to follow suite and we really want to acknowledge the support of their supervisors, Professors Nirmala Deenadayalu and Robert Gengan respectively for supporting their nominations and mentoring them. The role of their families is also acknowledged for being pillars of their support.
Ms Thembu’s doctoral study, entitled “Ionic liquid optimization and synthesis of levulinic acid and levulinic acid derivatives from sugarcane bagasse”, aims to optimize Levulinic Acid (LA) production using ionic liquids from sugarcane bagasse on the one hand and come up with a method that uses Green Chemistry principles on the other hand. LA has known applications in the agricultural, pharmaceuticals, food and cosmetic industries. Her fellowship is worth 5000 Euros.
Dr Tiloke’s postdoctoral research work focuses on “anticancer and antimicrobial activity of Morninga oleifera and Sutherlandia frutescens and their nanoparticles” with the aim of investigating alternative complementary therapy for cancer that is cost-effective. She has a publication track record of 10 articles and has had a number of awards on both the academic and sports field. Her fellowship is worth 10000 Euros.
On behalf of the DUT Management, we congratulate both recipients and encourage them to excel and share their success as they also mentor others to follow suite.
Pictured at the awards ceremony are Dr Bloodless Dzwairo (left), Ms Lethiwe Mthembu, Dr Charlette Tiloke and Professor Sibusiso Moyo (DVC (Research, Innovation & Engagement))
Article: By Sibuiso Moyo