Team

Group Leader
Prof. Kenneth Ikechukwu Ozoemena
(SARChI Chair: Materials Electrochemistry and Energy Technologies (MEET))

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) (upper 2nd class div.) Industrial Chemistry (ABSU, Nigeria)1992; MSc Chemistry (Unilag, Nigeria) 1997; MSc Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Unilag, Nigeria)1998; PhD (Rhodes) 2003; PGDHE (Pretoria) 2008; MDP (Pretoria) 2011; CChem, C.REP, MASSAf, FRSC, FAAS

E-mail: Kenneth.ozoemena@wits.ac.za

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ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7107-7003


Kenneth Ikechukwu Ozoemena holds a PhD in Chemistry from Rhodes University (2003). He is Research Professor and South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) Chair (Tier 1) in Materials Electrochemistry and Energy Technologies (MEET) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Prior to joining Wits in 2017, he had worked at Rhodes University as Andrew W Mellon Foundation Lecturer in Chemistry (2004 - 2006), University of Pretoria as a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry (2006 - 2009), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as Chief Research Scientist and Research Group Leader of the Electrochemical Energy Technologies (2009 - 2017). His key research activities are focused on advanced batteries, fuel cells and electrochemical sensors. He is a member of the national Academy of Science of South Africa (MASSAf), Fellow of the African Academy of Science (FAAS), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), and a Fellow of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) at Coventry University, UK (2021). He serves on the Editorial Board of Electrochemistry Communications (Elsevier), Current Opinion in Electrochemistry (Elsevier), and Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing), and Chief Editor of the International Journal of Electrochemistry (Wiley/Hindawi Publishing).

Selected Academic Honours and Awards / Recognition

  • Chief Editor: International Journal of Electrochemistry (Hindawi / Wiley), 2019 -
  • Editorial Board: Electrochemistry Communications (since 2007), Elsevier.
  • Editorial Board: Scientific Reports (Nature publishing) 2016 -
  • Editorial Board: Current Opinion in Electrochemistry (Elsevier) 2016 -
  • Editorial Board: Journal of Electrochemistry (China), (2017 -)
  • Guest Editor: Electrochimica Acta (Elsevier) 2014.
  • Guest Editor: Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines (2011/2012).
  • Section Editor (Energy Storage): Current Opinion in Electrochemistry (Elsevier) (2020).
  • Guest Editor: Electroanalysis (Wiley) (2020).
  • Member of the Selection Committee for the Prestigious King Faisal Prize for Science (2019).
  • Chair: South African National mirror committee (NMC) of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) that liaise with the International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee (IEC TC) 105 Fuel cell technology, 2019 -
  • Finalist, 2018/2019 National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)-South32 Awards: (i) Lifetime Award and (ii) Special Annual Theme Award: Materials for inclusive economic development.
  • 2018 China-Australia-South Africa Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Overseas High-level Talents award, by the South African Gold Yard International Exchange Service.
  • South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF)-rated Scientist (B1 category), 2017 -
  • Attained the Chief Research Scientist status (2014) at the South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial research (CSIR).
  • Assessor, National Research Foundation (NRF) Evaluation and Rating panels (2017 - 2019).
  • Member, Executive Evaluation Committee (EEC) of the NRF) (2012 - 2013).
  • Member, NRF Specialist Committee for Chemistry (2011 - 2015).
  • Member of the Technical Committee of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) on Energy Storage (2010 & 2016 - present), SABS/063 BATTERIES
  • Certified Renewable Energy Professional (C.REP™), Association of Energy Engineers (USA), since 2017
  • Fellow, Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) at the University of Coventry, UK (2021)
  • Elected Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (MASSAf) 2016
  • Elected Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (FAAS) 2015
  • Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC, UK) 2011
  • Chartered Chemist (CChem) of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) 2008
  • CSIR CEO’s Award (2014): This is the most prestigious award of the CSIR.
  • CSIR MSM Excellence Award - Innovation Award (2016).
  • CSIR MSM Excellence Award - Human Capital Development Award (2016)
  • Listed in 2020 among the "world top 2% scientists" (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000918)
  • Listed in 2019 among the “100,000 world top scientists” (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000384)
  • Listed as “the most active author in the area of energy storage in South Africa” in the 30-year period (1986 to 2016) (see ‘The State of Research, Development and Innovation in Electrical Energy Efficiency in South Africa’, September 2017, published by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).
  • Listed among the World's top 1% of Scientists within Chemistry by Thomson Reuters’ ISI Essential Science Indicators (2014).
  • CSIR Research Excellence Award - Established Researcher, 2012.
  • CSIR MSM Research Excellence Award - Established Researcher, 2011.
  • ‘Exceptional Young Researcher Achievement Award’ of the University of Pretoria, 2009.
  • ‘Platinum Award of Excellence’, Nigerian Community in South Africa, 2019
  • ‘Outstanding Young Academic’, Nigeria High Commission Achievement Awards 2009.
  • Extra-ordinary Professor (Chemistry), University of Pretoria (2011 - 2021)
  • Visiting Professor (Chemistry), University of the Witwatersrand (2015 - 2017)
  • Extra-ordinary Professor (Chemistry), University of the Western Cape (2011 - 2014)
  • Claude Harris Leon Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow, 2003 (University of Pretoria)
  • Prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Foundation PhD Scholarship (2000 - 2002).

CURRENT TEAM MEMBERS

Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr Patrick Mwonga

Research Interests: Computational Chemistry;
DFT calculations in electrocatalysis

Email: Patrick.mwonga@wits.ac.za

Dr Aderemi B. Haruna

Research Interests: Li-ion batteries;
zinc-air batteries; rechargeable aqueous batteries

E-mail: 1739079@students.wits.ac.za

       

Dr Adewale Ipadeola

Research Interests: Electrocatalysis; Fuel cells;
Electrolysers

E-mail: adewale.ipadeola@wits.ac.za

   

PhD students

Tobechukwu Justice Ehirim

Research Interests: Electrochemical sensors for
drugs of abuse

Colani Fakude

Research Interests: Electrochemical sensors for
drugs of abuse

       

Lesego Goalatlhe
(Co-supervised by Prof M Deyab)

Research Interests: Electrocatalysis;
Rechargeable zinc-air batteries.

Augustus Kelechi Lebechi

Research Interests: Electrocatalysis; Rechargeable
zinc-air batteries

       

Tobile Maphumulo
(Co-supervised by Dr C Billing)

Research Interests: Supercapacitors;
Rechargeable aqueous batteries

Nsovo Mathebula

Research Interests: Electrochemical immunosensors
for tuberculosis

       

Nonhlanhla Mphahlele
(Co-supervised by Prof C Billing)

Research Interests: Electrocatalysis; Alcohol
fuel cells

Refiloe Modise
(Co-supervised by Dr J Pillay)

Research Interests: Electrocatalysis; Sensors for
drugs of abuse

       

Thapelo Mofokeng
(Co-supervised by Dr Z Tetana)

Research Interests: Supercapacitors;
Lithium-ion capacitors; Rechargeable
aqueous batteries

Jimodo Joretta Ogada
(Co-supervised by Prof AM Abdullah Ali & Dr K Eid)

Research Interests: Electrocatalysis in Fuel cells and
Li-S batteries

       

Siwaphiwe Peteni

Research Interests: Biosensors for biomarkers
of tuberculosis and cervical cancers (HPV)

Itumeleng Seotsanyana-Mokhosi

Research Interests: Li-ion batteries; Rechargeable
aqueous batteries

       

Sebenzile Tshabalala
(Co-supervised by Dr Z Tetana)

Research Interests: Supercapacitors; anode
materials for sodium-ion batteries

Bokome Shaku
(co-supervised by Dr M Maubane-Nkadimeng & Prof Neil Coville)

Research Interests: Supercapacitors

       

Tebogo Tsekeli

Research Interests: High-energy lithium-ion batteries

   
 

MSc students

 

Yassmin Ibrahim
(Co-supervised by Prof AM Abdullah Ali & Dr K Eid)

Research Interests: Electrocatalysis; Capacitive
de-ionization (water treatment)

Blessing Mahuhushe
(Co-supervised by Dr Dean Barrett)

Research Interests: Electrocatalysis

       
 

Khanyisile Makhubu
(Co-supervised by Dr Zikhona Tetana)

Research Interests: Electrocatalysis

Suhail Musa
(Chemical Engineering: Co-supervised by Prof I Sigalas)

Research Interests: Fuel cells

       

Ryan O’connor
(Co-supervised by Dr Dean Barrett)

Research Interests: Rechargeable mobile ion
batteries; Electrocatalysis

Seromo Podile

Research Interests: Anode materials for Li-ion
batteries; Lithium-ion capacitors

       

Belal Sala
(Co-supervised by Prof AM Abdullah Ali & Dr K Eid)

Research Interests: Electrocatalysis

Funanani Tshivhase

Research Interests: Rechargeable aqueous sodium-ion
batteries

       

Thokozani Tsoari

Research Interests: Supercapacitors

   

Alumni

Former Visiting Scholars

  1. Mr Okoroike Celestine Ozoemena (TUT, South Africa, 2020).

  2. Ms Laura Acebo (CIC EnergiGUNE, Spain, 2020).

  3. Dr Soumyadip Choudhury (INM, Germany: 2017).

Former Post-doctoral Research Fellows

  1. Dr Oluwatosin Bankole (Wits postdoctoral fellow, 2018 - 2019).

  2. Dr Rasmita Barik (Wits postdoctoral fellow, 2017 - 2018).

  3. Dr Guy Kabongo (Wits postdoctoral fellow, 2017 - 2018).

  4. Dr Nithya Palaniyandy (CSIR postdoctoral fellow, 2015 - 2017).

  5. Dr Paul M. Ejikeme (Univ. Pretoria/NRF postdoctoral fellow, 2013 - 2015).

  6. Dr Kumar Raju (CSIR/NRF fellow, 2013 - Present).

  7. Dr Mesfin Kebede (CSIR/NRF postdoctoral fellow, 2011 - 2012).

  8. Dr Bolade O. Agboola (NRF scarce skills fellow, 2007 - 2008).

Former PhD Students

  1. Bolade Agboola (PhD 2007, Rhodes University, co-supervised with Prof Nyokong).

  2. Jeseelan Pillay (PhD 2010, University of Pretoria).

  3. Dudu Nkosi (PhD 2010, University of Pretoria).

  4. Solomon A. Mamuru (PhD 2011, University of Pretoria).

  5. Abolanle S. Adekunle (PhD 2011, University of Pretoria).

  6. Njaji B. Njomo (PhD 2012, University of the Western Cape, co-supervised with Prof EI Iwuoha).

  7. Chinwe O. Ikpo (PhD 2012, University of the Western Cape, co-supervised with Prof EI Iwuoha).

  8. Nobanathi W. Maxakatho (PhD 2013, University of Pretoria).

  9. Natasha West (PhD 2013, University of the Western Cape, co-supervised with Prof EI Iwuoha,).

  10. Msimelelo Siswana (PhD 2013, Rhodes University, co-supervised with Prof T Nyokong).

  11. Omobosede O. Fashedemi (PhD 2014, University of Pretoria).

  12. Charl J. Jafta (PhD Physics, 2014, University of Pretoria).

  13. Katlego Makgopa (PhD Chemistry, 2016, University of Pretoria).

  14. Innocent Ike (PhD Chemical Engineering, 2017, University of the Witwatersrand, co-supervised with Prof SE Iyuke and Prof I Sigalas).

  15. Claire A. Rossouw (PhD Chemistry, 2018, University of Pretoria).

  16. Funeka P. Nkosi (PhD Chemistry, 2018, University of the Witwatersrand).

  17. Sharona Melchior (PhD Chemical Engineering, 2018, University of the Witwatersrand, co-supervised with Prof SE Iyuke and Prof I Sigalas).

  18. Vusi Ludwig Mulaudzi (PhD Chemistry, 2019, University of Pretoria).

  19. Patrick Nwonga (PhD Physics, 2019, University of the Witwatersrand, co-supervised with Prof SR Naido and Prof A Quandt).

  20. Adewale Kabir Ipadeola (PhD Chemistry, 2020, University of the Witwatersrand).

  21. Aderemi Bashiru Haruna (PhD Chemistry, 2020, University of the Witwatersrand).

  22. Victor Mashindi (PhD Chemistry, 2021, University of the Witwatersrand, co-supervised with Prof N Coville and Prof P Levecque).

Former Master’s Students

  1. Jeseelan Pillay (MSc 2006, with DISTINCTION) University of Pretoria.

  2. Pilani Mashazi (MSc 2007, with DISTINCTION, co-supervision with Prof T. Nyokong) Rhodes University.

  3. Nsovo S. Mathebula (MSc 2010, with DISTINCTION, co-supervised with Prof JA Verschoor) University of Pretoria.

  4. Alfred Chidembo (MSc 2010) University of Pretoria.

  5. Tendamudzimu Ramulifho Nemusombori (MSc 2011, with DISTINCTION) University of Pretoria.

  6. Katlego Makgopa (MSc 2012) University of Pretoria.

  7. Carl Baumeister (MSc 2012, with DISTINCTION, co-supervised with Prof J. Verschoor, University of Pretoria).

  8. Nonhanhla Mphahlele (MTech 2013) Tshwane University of Technology.

  9. Joel Lekitima (MSc 2014, with DISTINCTION, University of Pretoria).

  10. Ms Thato Sharon Tshephe (MTech with DISTINCTION, 2014, co-supervised with Dr P Olubambi) Tshwane University of Technology.

  11. Ms Funeka Nkosi (MSc with DISTINCTION, 2014, University of Pretoria).

  12. Ms Sherilee Pillay (MSc with DISTINCTION, 2015, co-supervised with Dr J Pillay) University of Pretoria.

  13. Ms Tobile Maphumulo (MSc Chemical Engineering with DISTINCTION, 2016, co-supervised with Dr Paul J Franklyn and Prof Iakovos Sigalas) University of the Witwatersrand.

  14. Irfan Habib (MSc Physics with DISTINCTION, 2019, University of the Witwatersrand, co-supervised by Dr. Phil Ferrer).

  15. Mr Nkosi Nzimande (MSc Chemistry, 2020, DISTINCTION).

  16. Ms Refiloe Modise (MSc Chemistry, 2020, DISTINCTION).

  17. Ms Lesego Gaolatlhe (MSc Chemistry, 2020, DISTINCTION).

  18. Ms Bokome Shaku (MSc Chemistry, 2020, DISTINCTION).

  19. Mr Suhail Musa (MSc Chemical Engineering, 2021, co-supervised with Prof Iakovos Sigalas).

  20. Mr Thokozani Tsoari (MSc Chemistry, 2021).