Congratulations to Lyndon Naidoo, a 26-year-old PhD student in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Sciences at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) for making it in the prestigious Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans 2021.
Naidoo from Durban topped the list in the Science and Technology category, where he was acknowledged for his academic excellence and his community engagement initiative where he volunteered in helping grade 12 learners with their Physical Science practical’s in 2019.
He recently graduated with Cum Laude and a Dean’s Merit Award for his Master’s Degree in Applied Sciences in Chemistry at DUT’s 2021 Autumn Graduation. Two of his research papers were published in the high impact factor international journals. In 2019, Naidoo received the DUT Chancellor’s Award in recognition of Innovative Excellence in the category of Community Engagement.
Speaking about his nomination, Naidoo said he is grateful to his supervisor, Professor Krishna
who nominated him when the Mail & Guardian made the call to the various academic institutions. He appreciates Prof Bisetty’s recognition and guidance.
“The Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans event highlights and promotes the activities of eminent young South Africans in a wide diversity of fields, based on nominations submitted to the M & G editorial office in the duration of the call. The final 200 winners were selected from a list of over 5000 nominations. This award just goes to show that contributions in a positive setting can be recognised at all levels, and it acts as a motivation to continue along such a path. I feel it is important through my story and others to showcase the opportunities DUT offers for the greater social, industrial and academic aspects in our country in line with the ENVISION2030 strategy and beyond,” said the elated Naidoo.
His journey at DUT has not been an easy one as his family struggled financially which led to him to apply for NSFAS funding to pursue his National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry in the University. Through the NRF funding, he was able to complete his BTech in Chemistry. His passion for research led him to further excel in his Masters’ degree. He added that during his Masters’ studies in 2019 he formed part of the volunteering DUT Community Engagement group from the Department of Chemistry where they travelled out to local schools in rural areas in the greater KwaZulu-Natal where they taught and conducted Physical Science practicals for the matriculants. He said this engaging experience helped him to develop as a person and as a budding educator.
Furthermore, Naidoo said it is inspiring to achieve recognition of great deeds not only for the good of an individual but also for the inspiration of others. However, he advised it is important not to forget where one comes from and those that helped along the way. He expressed that he is looking forward to the challenges ahead and making everyone around him proud.
In his work, he aims to contribute towards establishing food and health safety regulatory frameworks in South Africa with an SA and Germany collaboration through projected research outputs arising from his PhD work. He also plans to be involved in the Science and Technology field, with the aim to help establish further international partnerships and contribute to South Africa’s skills development.
Pictured: DUT PhD student, Lyndon Naidoo.