UJ Vice-Chancellor acknowledges outstanding teaching and research excellence with 2020 Awards

Excellence is at the core of the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) legacy, with exemplary contributions from research, innovation, teaching and learning. UJ transforms society and individuals through the commitment of its academics and professional support staff.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards recognise the individuals who exemplify performance excellence aligned to the University’s vision and values.

This year, 14 staff members were virtually honoured with the 2020 Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards on Wednesday, 11 November 2020.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards categories are Teaching, Research and Innovation, Book of the Year as well as Exceptional Service by support staff, going beyond the call of duty.

Teaching Excellence

Acknowledged for their teaching excellence was Mr Andrew Makkink (Faculty of Health Sciences); Professor Catherine Botha (Faculty of Humanities); and Professor Abejide Ade-Ibijola (College of Business and Economics). All three were the recipients of the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards for Teaching Excellence.

The Faculty of Law’s Dr Michele Marié van Eck together with the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment’s Dr Tebogo Mashifana were recognised as the Most Promising Young Teacher.


Professor Heidi Abrahamse (link to bio), whose name has been associated with cancer therapy, stem cell differentiation and wound healing, was the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Outstanding Researcher of the Year.

Prof Nnamdi Nwulu from the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment was honoured as the Most Promising Researcher of the Year.

The Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment’s Dr Samson Oluwasegun Masebinu, Ms Nickey Janse van Rensburg, Dr Tafadzwa Makonese , Mr Pieter Erasmus and Ms Katharina Gihring were acknowledged for their constant flow of valuable research and innovation. The team received the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Innovation of the Year.

Book of the Year

Professor Liz Gunner from the Faculty of Humanities was recognised with the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Book of the Year.


The award exceptional service by support staff, going beyond the call of duty was bestowed on Mr Riaan Loots from the Centre for Academic Technologies.


vc awards

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