Dr Rachel Makungo of the School of Environmental Sciences applied early this year to become National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher. After thorough evaluation, her application was successful, and she has been awarded an NRF Y2 rating with effect from 1st January 2021. She is currently the fourth female UNIVEN staff holding an NRF rating; others being Professor Natasha Potgieter of the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences (NRF C2), Professor Sonto Maputle of the School of Health Sciences (NRF C3), and Dr Marizvikuru Manjoro of the School of Agriculture (NRF Y2).
In expressing their congratulatory remarks to Dr Makungo, both the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Jan Crafford recognised the fact that she is a complete academic product of UNIVEN. The Director Research and Innovation, Senior Professor Georges Ekosse is pleased to have the upcoming female scholar rated. Dr Makungo is a highly intelligent female upcoming researcher who has allowed herself to be mentored by Senior Colleagues. She is now reaping the fruits of proper mentorship. He however expressed deep concern on the low numbers of females who are rated. It should be noted that UNIVEN currently has 29 NRF rated Researchers.
Dr Rachel Makungo is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources in the School of Environmental Sciences. She holds a PhD in Environmental Sciences (Hydrology and Water Resources), Masters of Earth Sciences in Hydrology and Water Resources and Bachelor of Earth Sciences (Hons) in Hydrology and Water Resources from the University of Venda. She has served as an academic from 2005 to date, resulting to 15 years of teaching and research experience. She has contributed to training of 10 Masters and 52 Honours students in the field of Hydrology and Water Resources. She is currently promoting 2 PhD candidates. Dr Makungo has authored/co-authored 23 peer reviewed publications, 1 book chapter, 24 conference presentations and 11 professional/technical reports. Her research interests are in the areas of surface water and groundwater hydrology including water quality, monitoring, and modelling, and links to climate change adaptation. Dr Makungo has been serving as a departmental coordinator for the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources since July 2018. She has been playing a major role of coordinating the review of the curriculum for Bachelor of Earth Science in Hydrology and Water Resources degree programme. She is actively involved in community engagement activities and community engaged research in Siloam and Mhinga Villages including a community project funded by alumni which involved drilling of 3 boreholes for both community-based research.
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Date: 07 December 2020