2017 SACI Young Chemists' Symposium
The University of Johannesburg's (UJ) Departments of Chemistry and Applied Chemistry successfully hosted the annual South African Chemical Institute (SACI) Gauteng Central Section's Young Chemist's Symposium on Friday, November 30th 2017. The event took place at UJ's Auckland Park campus and was attended by delegates from research and academic institutions in the Gauteng Province. Presentations were given by 18 MSc and PhD students from UJ, University of South Africa (UNISA), University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and Vaal University of Technology (VUT), covering a wide spectrum of research activities; from water treatment to catalysis and drug design. It was a whole day's event, comprising four consecutive entertaining and thought provoking sessions, with each speaker allowed ten minutes to present, followed by five minutes of questions by the audience. A panel of 3 judges reviewed the presentations and had to come up with six best presentations under two categories; MSc and PhD. The excellent standard of all the talks made this a grueling decision but in the end, the prizes were awarded as follows:
First Prize : Azeez Idris (UJ), "An electrochemical immunosensor for the tumor marker α-feto protein using a glassy carbon electrode modified with manganese (IV) oxide nanorod and gold nanoparticles".
Second Prize : Nozipho Gumbi (UNISA), "Fabrication of macrovoid-free PES/SPSF/O-MWCNT membrane supports with improved mechanical strength and antifouling properties".
Third Prize : Yannick Nuapia (Wits), "Optimization of water extraction with on-line particle formation of Moringa Oleifera".
First Prize : Delbert S. Botes (Wits), "Exploring Diels-Alder reactivity in charge-transfer crystals".
Second Prize : Obakeng B. Nchoe (VUT), "Surface modification and grafting of macadamia nutshell powder with diphenylcarbazide for Cr(VI) sequestration from aqueous solutions".
Third Prize: : Prudence P. Mashile (UJ), "Removal of Mycrocystin-LR from surface and wastewater using tyre-based powdered activated carbon: kinetics, isotherms".
UJ's Faculty of Science generously sponsored the event, with SACI and the Royal Society of Chemistry providing prize money and Merck a trophy for each of the first prize winners. Shimadzu, Sasol, Perkin Elmer and Sanofi Aventis provided additional funding. As Prof Govender, the Head of UJ's Department of Applied Chemistry said in her written message to the delegates "solutions to air, water and land pollution problems, incurable diseases, unemployment and hunger lie in chemistry". Thus, investment in the future of chemistry by the sponsors is worthwhile. The University of Johannesburg, SACI and the Royal Society of Chemistry congratulates all participants and the winners.
Prize winners from left to right: Delbert S. Botes (MSc), Prudence P. Mashile (MSc), Yannick Nuapia (PhD), Azeez Idris (PhD), Nozipho Gumbi (PhD) and Obakeng B. Nchoe (MSc)