The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture is proud to celebrate the positive news from the NRF that its three staff members have been evaluated and added to the rising number of NRF rated researchers at the University of Venda which is growing tremendously. Prof Stanford Shateyi who is now a C2 NRF rated researcher, Dr JP Kabue Ngandu who became a C3 NRF rated researcher and Prof Afsatou N Traore who is a C3 NRF rated researcher, have been evaluated in recognition of their outstanding contribution to national and international research across a range of disciplines. All these bring a total of NRF rated researchers at UNIVEN to 43, effective 01 January 2023.

Prof Shateyi

Prior to the re-evaluation, Prof Shateyi was a C3 rated researcher from January 2017 to December 2022. He is a full Professor in Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Venda (UNIVEN). He is currently the HOD of the Science Foundation. In 1997, Prof Shateyi obtained his BSc Honours degree in Applied Mathematics from the National University of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe). In 1999, Prof Shateyi received a NUFU scholarship to enroll for a Masters degree at the University of Zimbabwe. He then graduated with a Master of Science degree in 2001, specialising in fluid flows over compliant surfaces. His Masters thesis was published in the Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Journal in 2002. In 2008 he graduated with his PhD from the University of Zimbabwe. His PhD focused on natural convection in boundary layer flows in the presence of a chemical reaction. He managed to publish five papers in peer-reviewed journals from his PhD thesis.

Prof Shateyi’s research areas of interest are Fluid Mechanics, Differential Equations, and Numerical Analysis. He has been involved in research on topics such as magneto hydrodynamics, steady and unsteady flows, stretching and shrinking surfaces, nanofluid flows, among others. He has analysed the effects of different significant parameters affecting fluid flows in both Newtonian and Non-Newtonian fluids, both Darcy and Non-Darcy flow. Prof Shateyi is a member of a Fluid Mechanics research group involved in developing new analytical and numerical techniques. This research group has even improved well-known analytical techniques such as the well celebrated Homotopy Analysis Method. This research group has managed to breed methods like Spectral Analysis and Homotopy Analysis together to produce more accurate results.

Prof Shateyi has so far published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and nine book chapters. He is the first to supervise and graduate a PhD student in the University’s Department of Mathematics.

Dr JP Kabue Ngandu

Dr JP Kabue Ngandu became a C3 NRF rated researcher with effect from 01 January 2023. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture. He holds a PhD in Microbiology from UNIVEN, an MSc and BSc Honours degree in Medical Virology (Stellenbosch University), BTech in Medical Biology from ISTM-Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). His research interests include Human enteric viruses, Viral gastroenteritis, Norovirus diversity, Norovirus and host genetic interactions, Norovirus and microbiota interactions, Environmental and Animal microbiology in One health research field. He is a registered Medical Biological Scientist (Virology) at Health Professions council of South Africa. Dr JP Kabue Ngandu is actively involved in the supervision, co-supervision, and mentorship of postgraduate students at the Biochemistry and Microbiology department. He is currently co-supervising three PhD candidates. He authored/co-authored at least 20 peer-reviewed articles with 417 citations and h-index 8 (Google Scholar). He is a reviewer of several internationally accredited journals.
The NRF rating system is part of the NRF’s goal to build a globally competitive science system in South Africa and benchmarks the quality of our researchers against the rest of the world. NRF rating considers a researcher’s recent research outputs and impact as perceived by international peer reviewers. The rating system encourages researchers to publish high quality research outputs in high impact journals/outlets. Rated researchers as supervisors will impart cutting-edge skills to the next generation of researchers.

The Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture, Prof Natasha Potgieter when congratulating Prof Shateyi and Dr Kabue Ngandu said: “It is of great importance to acknowledge and celebrate these exceptional UNIVEN employees for their enormous contribution to research development”.

Prof Afsatou N Traore is a C3 NRF rated researcher with effect from the 01January 2023. She is a Professor and Interim Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture. Prof AN Traore qualified as a Biochemist obtaining a Licence (BSc degree) and Maitrise (B.Sc. Hons) from Joseph Fourier University (Grenoble, France). She moved to South Africa and obtained a MSc in Biochemistry (Rand Afrikaans Universiteit) and a PhD in Biochemistry (University of Johannesburg in 2005).

For her working career, she was a Junior Lab Manager for the HIV Research Team (RAU/UJ); Post-Doc Fellow, Water & Health Research Unit (UJ); Biochemist in several projects funded by the WHO, WERF and WRC on Diarrheal Diseases at the Water & Health Research Unit (UJ); Senior Project Manager at the Contract Lab Services (CLS, WITS Health Consortium); Principal Investigator in TB projects (CERMEL, Gabon); Clinical Lab Director at MRU (Albert Schweitzer Hospital, Lambaréné, Gabon) and is currently the Interim HOD of Biochemistry and Microbiology (UNIVEN).
Prof Traore has further graduated from the Nelson Mandela University with a Postgraduate Certificate in Women in Leadership (April 2022) and holds a Postgraduate certificate in Management and Leadership in Higher Education system from the University of Venda (March 2021).

Prof Traore has been actively involved in teaching and conducting medical research in South Africa; and has had opportunities at various times to work on bacterial and viral diseases including diarrhea, TB and HIV. She has acquired relevant experience in Auditing, proposal writing, project management, proposal/project evaluation, data collection, storage, analysis, and writing up for scientific publications. In addition, she has presented the results of her research at national and international scientific meetings.

Since joining UNIVEN in 2014, she has successfully supervised and co-supervised to completion, 60 BSc Hons, 22 masters and 6 PhD students (88).
She is part of a Research Group, led by Prof Potgieter, that has received several research grants from the Welcome Trust, WRC, NORPART, ELEPHANT Project, EBDOMICS and SAMRC.

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