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​​​​​Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards


​Outstanding Researcher of the Year: Professor Nic Beukes (Faculty of Science)

Professor Nic Beukes is essentially a field geologist, specializing in sedimentology and stratigraphy, with emphasis on understanding the origin of iron and manganese ore deposits and the nature of surface environments on early earth, which includes the history of atmospheric oxygen and climatic change in the middle Archean to early Paleoproterozoic.

​He has worked extensively on iron and manganese formations all over the world and also studied the genetic and sequence stratigraphy of siliciclastic strata of the Witwatersrand and Pongola basins, depofacies in early Precambrian carbonate platform successions, early Precambrian laterite profiles and paleosols and the nature of post-Gondwana land surfaces and associated soil profiles.

He is rated an A1 scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa since 2001 and received the Draper Medal, the highest award from the Geological Society of South Africa, in 2002 for scientific contributions in geology.​

Professor Beukes serves on various National and International Geological Research Committees. Some 35 MSc and 12 PhD students completed their theses under his guidance. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 full length research papers in International and National Journals in addition to publishing about 115 Scientific Research Abstracts and 98 Confidential Research Reports.​

Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for the Most Promising Emerging Researcher of the Year: Associate Professor Clinton Aigbavboa (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment)

Associate Professor Clinton Aigbavboa​ gained his PhD degree in Engineering Management from the University of Johannesburg in 2013. He recently completed a short learning programme in Good Governance in Africa from the Thabo Mbeki Africa Leadership Institute at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He is an active researcher with an interest in the field of sustainable human development, with research focus on the following areas: sustainable housing regeneration (urban renewal and informal housing), lifecycle assessment in the construction industry, leadership in low-income housing, post-occupancy evaluation and green job creation. His research draws on current developments and is applicable to construction industry development via the development of emerging contractors, the economics of infrastructure development, and the adaptation of building information modelling as a solution to the eradication/minimisation of urban and rural housing shortages.

Since 2011,Associate Professor Aigbavboa has consiste​ntly been among the top 10 researchers in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment. His research work is gaining visibility in the scientific community, as shown by a progressive citation of his work (given that he only recently acquired his PhD): he currently has a Scopus h-index of 2 and a Google Scholar h-index of 4. Associate Professor Aigbavboa has established significant research collaboration and relationships with some national and international institutions and with the industry. The most recent includes the signing of an MOA with the Scientific Society for the Promotion and Advancement of the Social Sciences (Akraoasis) in Serbia. He is also an academic quality controller for South African-based construction industry training outfits offering training materials. Based on the above, it is evident that Associate Professor Aigbavboa is a worthy candidate for the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for the most Promising Young Researcher. He also has an NRF rating of Y2 that started in 2016.​