One of the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) vision statement is to promote excellence in learning and teaching, technology transfer and applied research. In ensuring DUT students are exposed to current research, the Faculty of Applied Sciences, under the helm of Professor Suren Singh-Executive Dean, are hosting a renowned scientist Prof Ashok Pandey, at DUT, this week.
He is currently delivering various presentations as part of his five-day research visit, with students from the Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology and is also being accompanied by DUT’s Dr Kuttan-Pillai.
His first day at DUT entailed meeting and getting to know staff as well as going on a site tour of the Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology.
Day two, (28 August 2018), entailed Prof Pandey delivering his lecture on: Microbial Enzymes for Industrial Applications, to first and second-year Biotechnology and Food Technology students.
Prof Pandey focused his presentation on the role of the CSIR-IITR, a leader in toxicology research, which endeavours to mitigate problems of human health and environment.
He gave students more insight into the enzyme manufacturing industry, the exploitation of new types of enzymes, improvement of enzyme properties and the efficient production process.
“Although considerable improvements had been made in process engineering, large scale fermentation and downstream purification of enzymes remained to be a significant bottleneck in innovation,” he said.
Prof Pandey also said the introduction of genetic engineering is most probably the most important breakthrough in enzyme manufacturing during the last 20 years.
First-year Biotechnology and Food Technology student, Samkelisiwe Lushaba found the presentation to be very interesting, especially about the new types of enzymes as it was very relevant to some of the work they were doing.
Prof Pandey added that students needed to focus on working hard to be successful and become top researchers. “Science happens when people seek to discover their place in the world,” he said.
Prof Pandey will continue with his various presentations until tomorrow, Friday 31 August 2018, on topics such as energy and environmental sustainability, biomass to biofuels and scientific writing.
Professor Ashok Pandey is currently a distinguished scientist at the Centre for Innovation and Translational Research, CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow, India and Executive Director (Honorary) at the Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability – India. His major research and technological development interests are industrial and environmental biotechnology and energy biosciences, focusing on biomass to biofuels and chemicals, waste to wealth and energy, industrial enzymes, and platform chemicals.
Professor Pandey has 1250 publications, which include 16 patents, 60 books, 615 papers and book chapters, and 34,500 citations (Goggle scholar). He has transferred several technologies to industries and has done industrial consultancy for about a dozen projects for Indian and international industries.
Pictured: Professor Ashok Pandey.