Professor Ntebogeng Sharon Mokgalaka-Fleischmann joined the University of Venda as the Executive Dean: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture with effect from 01 June 2021.
Prof Mokgalaka-Fleischmann holds a DTech degree in Chemistry from Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and an MBA in Education Management from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland. She is a Full Professor of Chemistry and a C2-NRF rated researcher with more than 20 years’ experience in higher education as a lecturer, researcher and academic leader. She is a member of the South African Chemical Society (SACI) and a South African Council of Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) registered professional scientist.
Her research interests include phytoremediation, a green technology that uses plants to extract, transfer, stabilise or decompose elemental pollutants from soil and ground water; profiling plant secondary metabolites, studying the impact of climate change on the phytochemistry and activity of plant extracts, removal of pollutants from water using low cost renewable natural and waste materials biosorbents, as well as analysis of trace elements in environmental samples. Professor Mokgalaka-Fleischmann has published extensively in local and international peer-reviewed accredited journals, co-authored several book chapters and graduated more than 20 Doctorate and Masters students. She has worked on various collaborative projects nationally, with AngloGold Ashanti, WITS University, CSIR, ARC, regionally with Botswana Institute of Technology, Research and Innovation and international bilaterals with the University of Bayreuth, Brandenburg University of Technology, Umeå University, Uppsala University and Lund University. Prof Mokgalaka-Fleischmann is one of the founding members of the Synchrotron Radiation Research Roadmap Implementation Committee (SRRIC) and is currently the South African chairperson for the South Africa Swedish University Forum (SASUF) Academic Advisory Committee for Climate Change, Natural Resources and Sustainability. In 2010, she was awarded the Young Researcher of the Year in the Faculty of Science followed by a merit award in 2013 for Woman Researcher of the Year.
Before joining UNIVEN, Prof Mokgalaka-Fleischmann was the acting Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Science at TUT, the Head of the Department of Chemistry, Full Professor, Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer and Lecturer. During her two-year tenure as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas in El Paso, USA, she also worked as a lecturer teaching General Chemistry and Instrumental Methods in Analytical Chemistry. She has also worked as a laboratory technician at Colas SA, a subsidiary of Murray and Roberts, where she developed a quality assurance method for bitumen, a petroleum product used in road surfacing as a binder.
Prof Mokgalaka-Fleischmann has served on numerous panels including the CHE national review of doctoral programmes in 2020, scientific review panels at NRF, WRC, DST, L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Regional Fellowships for Sub-Saharan Africa and Commonwealth Scholarships. She is passionate about gender inclusivity and has contributed in various panels including the Science Forum-South Africa Influencing Science in Africa through a gendered lens: A decade of progress of stagnation panel held on 10 December 2020 and the Women in STEM Howard University ADVANCE-IT (HU ADVANCE-IT)-Howard University Republic of South Africa Project (HURSAP) panel on Career pathways for Women in STEM held on 24 October 2017 in Washington, DC. USA. She is an advocate for science and has been a convener for the National Science Week (2016 to 2019) and the Faculty of Science Women in Science (WiS) project (2015 to 2020) at Tshwane University of Technology. In 2012, she organised the ENVIRONMIN international conference held in Loskop Dam,
Middleburg and in 2013, she was a member of the organising committee for the 12th International Chemistry Conference Africa (ICCA), jointly organised by TUT, UNISA and UP.
The Vice-chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni said “I warmly welcome Prof Mokgalaka-Fleischmann to UNIVEN and wish her the best of success in her role. Her remarkable skills and talents will be highly valuable to our Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture and the entire University”.
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Date: 15 June 2021