Two University of Venda (UNIVEN) staff members in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture, Prof Milingoni Peter Tshisikhawe and Dr Lawrence Diko-Makia received new NRF Ratings. Dr Lawrence Diko-Makia is now a C2 NRF Rated Researcher while Prof Milingoni Peter Tshisikhawe is a C3 NRF Rated Researcher with effect from 01 January 2023.

Dr Lawrence Diko-Makia

Prior to the re-evaluation, Dr Lawrence Diko-Makia held a Y2 rating (2017 – 2022). He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences. He holds a PhD in Geology (from UL – South Africa), an MSc in Applied Geology and BSc (Hons) in Geology and Environmental Science from the University of Buea, Cameroon. His research interests include Applied Clay Science, Environmental and Medical Geology, with current focus on clays and clay minerals, geohealth and georesource-climate change interactions for sustainable development. He is a recipient of several fellowships and awards such as; PhD scholarship courtesy of UNESCO/IUGS/IGCP 545 Project on Clays and Clay Minerals in Africa, Cambridge Certificate for Outstanding Scientific Achievement 2013, and Vice Chancellor’s Award for Best Researcher in the School of Physical and Mineral Sciences, University of Limpopo, 2016. Dr Diko-Makia was a nominee for the NSTF-South 32 Awards 2021/2022 in three categories (TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher, Innovation Award: Corporate Organisation; and the Special Annual Theme Award: Application of basic sciences for sustainable development). His nomination was based on contribution to science and innovation in the area of clay and clay minerals valorization for industrial and geomedicinal application. His application for registration of a patent is currently under consideration. Lawrence is a member of several professional bodies, notably the International Medical Geology Association (IMGA), Geological Society of America (GSA), the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) and the African Clays and Clay Minerals Research Group. He is the head, and co-founder of the Soil, Water and Climate Extremes (SWACE) Research Group, which prides itself on an expanding network of national and international researchers and partner organizations. Dr Diko-Makia has an impressive publication record and is also actively involved with postgraduate student supervision and mentorship.

Prof Peter Tshisikhawe

Prof Milingoni Peter Tshisikhawe is an Associate Professor and Interim Head of the Department of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture. He completed his junior degree to Master of Science in Botany at the University of Venda. He graduated with his PhD in Plant Science at the University of Pretoria and his Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education with Rhodes University. Prof Tshisikhawe is a plant ecologist whose research interest is centered around indigenous plant use and their sustainability thereof. He is a researcher who has graduated several postgraduate students (Masters and PhDs) and published extensively in accredited peer-reviewed journals of plant science. He had mentored postdoctoral and junior staff members over the years.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Postgraduate Studies, Prof Nosisi Feza congratulated these two staff members. She said that the faculty led by Prof Natasha Potgieter is truly inspired by the achievement of these two staff members, Prof Tshisikhawe and Dr Diko-Makia”.

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 26 January 2023

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