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Dr Ndivhuwo Shumbula Shines: Awarded Prestigious 2023 SASOL Postgraduate Award for Innovation and Excellence!

Dr Ndivhuwo Shumbula, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Mintek was recently awarded the 2023 Sasol Postgraduate Medals of the South African Chemical Institute ( SACI) . The award recognises young chemists who have demonstrated innovation, independence, and enterprise during their postgraduate studies.


Every year, one postgraduate student from each university is awarded the Sasol Postgraduate award based on the merits of their PhD research and outputs. Dr Shumbula, a recipient of this medal, has published 15 journal articles and filed a provisional patent for designing a three-dimensional wound dressing. He has also secured funding from TIA to conduct preclinical trials on animals for his innovative product.


Dr Shumbula conveyed his elation and renewed motivation upon being honoured with the award, acknowledging the highly competitive nature of the field. He shared, "I am thrilled to see my work acknowledged, and this recognition serves as a strong impetus for me to continue innovating and staying relevant."


Dr Shumbula will be conferred with a silver medal in 2024 when the Annual General Meeting of the South African Chemical Institute' takes place.


Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx) - Health Innovation Fellowship

 In addition to award, Dr Shumbula participated in the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx) -   Health Innovation Fellowship, Innovation Bootcamp Week held from 01 July – 5 August 2023 in the United Kingdom. The fellowship is awarded to innovators from Africa who have completed the Virtual AfOx Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme, and whose innovation projects demonstrate strong potential for further development.


Dr Shumbula was selected as one of the top 10 participants chosen from 500 participants from African countries. Attending the boot camp provided him with invaluable knowledge on research and commercialisation. “As a scientist, I learned that research should solve real-life problems, and in the lab, you need to consider the end product,” he said.


The camp enabled African innovators to develop products that can help the development of the African continent.