10 Bay schools celebrate maths and science success 

LEARNERS from 10 under-resourced schools in Nelson Mandela Bay are celebrating improved results in maths and science, thanks to a technology-linked maths and science support programme, run by the Telkom Foundation in partnership with Nelson Mandela University.

Each of the 10 schools have also received a resource centre, with sponsored desktop computers.

“Our aim is to nurture learners who show potential, and enable them to access higher education – and succeed at their studies.  At the same time, we are helping teachers to deliver the mathematics and science curricula more effectively,” said Olivier.

For the full story follow this link: http://news.mandela.ac.za/News/10-Bay-schools-celebrate-maths-and-science-success

A 3 day webinar hosted by the Faculty of Science.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the need for South Africa to manufacture life-saving drugs.

The School of Natural Resource Management, Nelson Mandela University, George Campus hosted the 2019 conference of the Southern African Wildlife Management Association (SAWMA) from the 1st to the 5th of September. Dr Jan Venter from the School of Natural Resource Management, George Campus was the host organizer of SAWMA 2019 conference which was held at the Wilderness Hotel in Wilderness, Western Cape.

The Faculty of Science wishes to congratulate our staff who were recognised at the recent Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards Dinner.  It is noteworthy that the winners of the Faculty Excellence and Emerging Researchers of the Year were also awarded the corresponding institutional awards.  This demonstrates the high performance of staff in the Faculty of Science.

The Nelson Mandela University hosted the 2019 National Science Week. The NSW2019 is an annual event presented by the Department of Science and Technology since its inception in 2002. On 26 July we had a virtual visit underground to the ATLAS detector, hosted by Claire Lee and Candice Basson. 

Night sky viewing, rocket building, chemistry demonstrations and a celebration of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements in indigenous languages are among the array of activities planned around National Science Week at Nelson Mandela University.

National Science Week 2019 - Facing the harsh realities of climate change. From Cala to Thembalethu Celebrating the International year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT2019) and the International Year of the Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019).

This publication is a strategic overview of Nelson Mandela University’s Faculty of Science led by the Executive Dean, Professor Azwinndini Muronga.

Thousands of jubilant friends and family members travelled from far to witness the capping of their loved ones at Nelson Mandela University during the Autumn Graduation. It was a celebration of hard work and resilience when graduates in the Faculty of Science were awarded for their hard work.

The Nelson Mandela University in conjunction with SASSTA (South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement) hosted the annual Fame Lab heat 2019 at Nelson Mandela University. FameLab has been running in Nelson Mandela University since 2016 and is one of the few international science communication competition that challenges young scientists to present scientific research topic of their choice to the general public with content, clarity and charisma. 

This article apperead on The Herald (South Africa) on the 5th of Febuary 2019. Written by: Guy Rogers (rogersg@tisoblackstar.co.za)

Nelson Mandela University researchers are studying how the salt marsh in the Swartkops estuary is helping to combat climate change. The marsh sequestrates carbon by trapping and stabilising leaf litter, mud and sticks in the water.


The Department of Science and Technology (DST) calls for nominations for the 2019 South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA). The awards recognise and reward excellence by women scientists and researchers, and profile them as role models for younger women. The awards will be made to women who are South African citizens or permanent residents.

The South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS), founded in September 2011, is calling for applications for new members. This letter is to request nominations of outstanding young scientists who may be elected as members of SAYAS. In the founding year (2011), 20 young scientists were elected. 10 new members have been elected progressively on an annual basis. After five years of service, members will become alumni and will be replaced by newly elected members.

Groundwater has often been seen as the underground resource that never runs out. This “out of sight out of mind” attitude means wells and boreholes are indiscriminately sunk and that groundwater is abused by the public and even by governments. This is exacerbated in times of drought and even more pronounced in arid areas.


The Faculty of Science is calling all final year Natural Science students to enrol at SACNASP. You need to be in your final year of study at Nelson Mandela University. 

The enrolled students will be able to receive specific benefits such as training, development and networking opportunities. Enrolment does not imply that you are registered with SACNASP, but you will have access to SACNASP's networks.

FameLab Heat 2019

FameLab is one of the longest running science communication competitions in the world, with over 30 participating countries globally. 

The Global Undergraduate Awards 2019 Programme is now accepting submissions! We would like to invite students from the Faculty of Science to submit their work. 

The United Nations announced 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements to highlight its first publication in 1869. 

Preceding the recent 5th African Marine Mammal Colloquium held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in late August, members of the South African research consortium for the conservation of the endangered Indian Ocean humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea), also known as the SouSA Consortium (see https://www.facebook.com/groups/357471181043518/) met to discuss an assessment of skin diseases and other lesions observed in these dolphins.

Read all about the highlights of Term 3 in our  latest faculty newsletter! This exciting edition includes some of the best moments from our National Science Week 2018 programme; stories from the Deans visits to Namibia and South Korea as well as the latest developments from the Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre.

Miss Ntsako Shikwambana, final year of the Diploma Forestry (School of Natural Resource Management – George Campus) has achieved international fame when she was crowned as the winner of the 15th International Junior Forest Contest in Russia.

Women in Science

As we celebrate Women in Science, Katherine Johnson, human computer and NASA Mathematician celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday, on the 26th of August. 

Restless curiosity, wild brilliance, particle physics, rocket building and launching, ancient African interpretations of the night skies, coding and computation in anticipation of the fourth industrial revolution and big data science.

Nelson Mandela University’s Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre (GMMDC) has just completed the first Math Art competition. This competition is in line with the international trend of STEAM (incorporating Art into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The prize-giving for the Math-Art competition – which was run by Nelson Mandela University’s Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre (GMMDC) – was one of the highlights of the centre’s fifth annual GeoGebra Conference for teachers and TVET College lecturers.

The faculty of Science proudly presents its 2nd faculty Newsletter for 2018!


“MATHEMATICS is all around us, whether we are [aware of it or not].”

So says Mia Brettell of East London’s Grens High, who created a human face entirely out of mathematical shapes as her entry in the Eastern Cape’s first Math-Art competition, run by Nelson Mandela University’s Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre (GMMDC).

The Department of Chemistry held its annual Academic Awards ceremony to recognize the efforts of our accomplished graduates. The event took place at the Alumni Relations Center, North Campus, on Thursday 19 April 2018. In attendance was staff from the Chemistry Department and quests of the awardees, the Master of Ceremony being Mr Nehemiah Latolla. 

App helped student achieve BSc - Herald Reporter

NELSON Mandela University graduate Yanga Nkohla pursued a career in computing science before he had even seen or used a PC. He graduated with a BSc degree in computer science from Nelson Mandela University on Thursday.

Reasons to be Proud
The Science Faculty would like to extend a huge congratulations to Dr Gaathier Mahed, a lecturer from the Department of Geosciences, who has been nominated for two National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) awards.
The Faculty of Science proudly presents the first faculty Newsletter for 2018 !

FameLab is one of the longest running science communication competitions in the world, with over 30 participating countries globally. 

Nelson Mandela University's Faculty of Science congratulates Ms Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane  on her appointment of  as the new Minister of Science and Technology. The appointment comes after the announcement of a new Cabinet by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the 26th February 2018.

On the 7th of February, the Faculty of Science hosted three Russian scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia. On their month long visit to South Africa, Alexander Ayriyan, Hovik Grigorian and David Elvin Alvarez-Castillo joined us for a 90 minute seminar on various topics within their various fields.

Welcoming Ceremony
On Saturday 27 January, Our University hosted its very first, first year Welcoming Ceremony as Nelson Mandela University. 

Congratulations to Professor Kerley Graham of Zoology department for being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.

About the Society:
The Royal Society of South Africa, founded in 1908, is an independent, interdisciplinary organisation that aims to further all branches of science in South Africa. Fellows and Members occupy senior positions in universities, research agencies and industry.

Nelson Mandela University’s Faculty of  Science congratulates the LIGO and Virgo scientific collaborations on their detection of gravitational waves from two merging neutron stars. 

LIGO media release: 11 Oct 2017 - Scientists representing LIGO, Virgo, and some 70 observatories will reveal new details and discoveries made in the ongoing search for gravitational waves. This will take place on Monday, October 16th, at 10:00am EDT at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Public lecture by Dr Lorien Pichegru

Eco-tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, generating jobs and economic opportunities world-wide. However, the added pollution pressure on already fragile environments and direct disturbance of wildlife through close encounters requested by tourists for emotional satisfaction, can be destructive to the systems visited.

Professor Paul Fatti has been invited by the Nelson Mandela University Department of Statistics to give a public lecture for the Pre-launch of National Science Week. Refreshments will be provided after the lecture.

Title: Statistical modelling for practical problems

Today marks one month to the launch of the 2017 National Science Week (NSW), and the countdown to the countrywide celebration of science has begun.


Speech by Minister of Science and Technology Introducing the Science and Technology Budget Vote, 16 May 2017, Naledi Pandor MP

Nelson Mandela University’s Science Faculty is set to paint Limpopo’s Vhembe District green next week as it embarks on a massive marketing drive in the area in a bid to attract some of South Africa’s cream of the academic crop. 

The University team, led by NMMU’s Dean of the Science Faculty, Prof Azwinndini Muronga, and the University’s student recruitment team will spend next week in the region; first taking part in the Science Beyond Borders Exhibition in Thohoyandou at which about 5000 pupils are expected to attend.

Dr Tim Pittaway, a lecturer at the Department of Agriculture and Game Ranch Management, attended an International Training Programme in China; where he had an opportunity to present on South African agriculture technology and food security.

If you’re reading this, there is probably something about Geology that interests you; or perhaps you thought “Strike and Dip” were the latest in martial arts tactics and wanted to read on. In this case you’re unfortunately on the wrong page but you’re encouraged to linger here a while – of course, to a geologist that could be anything from a minute to an epoch. Or, perhaps you enjoy the tendency of geologists to make a pun out of everything, from their faults to their failures, and you’d like to see how many come up on this page. In any event, this article is about the most recent 3rd year/Honours Geology field trip to Steytlerville and Kirkwood (27 Aug – 01 Sept 2016).

The Faculty of Science 2016 Academic Completion Plan is well on track. 
A new Research and Development (R&D) laboratory has been opened in Port Elizabeth. The lab whose main aim is to provide a wide arrange of assistance to small businesses is part of the Small Enterprise Development Agency’s (SEDA) Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubator (SNII) project. One of the needs the lab aims to address, is assisting small businesses who have commercial ideas that require development but don’t have the expertise to do so themselves and cannot afford to pay for the development of the software.

Following fieldwork conducted on the Iberian Peninsula in the northern hemisphere summer of 2015, a newly recorded natural hybrid was named in honour of Dr Estrela Figueiredo.

Matthew Coombes who graduated in April with his Doctoral degree in physics from NMMU. According to his promoter, Prof. Jannie Neethling, he obtained all his previous degrees in physics and chemistry from Rhodes University with distinction.

Prof Ernst Ferg was an invited speaker at the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) ILAB 2015 Europe workshop that was held in Wurzburg Germany at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Research (ISC) from the 15th to 17th of April 2015. The title of the workshop was “Innovation in Lead-Acid Batteries, Europe”, and it was attended by over 60 attendees from various industries and institutes from Europe and the USA. The various speakers (about 20) ranged from battery researchers, manufacturers and automotive producers. The focus of the workshop was to consider the future of the Pb-acid battery as a suitable energy storage battery in the midst of the various competing technologies such as Li-ion and Al-ion rechargeable batteries.

Kenyan-born Enoch Kirwa Rotich Kipnoo, 30, is the first NMMU science doctoral graduate to focus his thesis on the cutting-edge Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

The SKA will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. It will be used by scientists to help us understand how the universe evolved. Kipnoo hails from Eldoret, in the western part of Kenya. “The area is well known for its rich soil, producing good crops, as well as many great athletes. It’s fondly known as the home of champions. So if science didn’t work out, I could have become an athlete,” he says.

Close on a hundred guests attended a lunchtime public lecture presented by Prof Dirk Roux on the critical matter of freshwater resources and the protection thereof at the NMMU George Campus on 7 April. Afterwards some of the attendees pursued the discussions over a cup of tea, and joined NMMU and Prof Roux for a group photograph at the entrance to the lecture theatre.

People worldwide will have to become more active in protecting the planet’s freshwater resources – a matter which is particularly relevant in the context of the scarcity of surface freshwater.


About 5 years ago Agricultural Students from North Campus started a vegetable garden. Dr Tim Pittaway, a lecturer in the Agriculture and Game Ranch Management Department at NMMU, has been overseeing the garden that now provides more than just a place for students to complete part of their Plant Production course; they also provide a substantial amount of vegetables to the Campus Clinic.

A 10% growth in graduates at both postgraduate and undergraduate level, accompanied by a 44% increase (compared to 2014) in the number of qualifications gained with distinction, called for an air of excitement during the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s autumn graduation in George on 10 April.


“Respect for diversity.

Excellence. Ubuntu. Integrity.

 Respect for the natural environment.

Taking responsibility.”

These are the values that both Michael and Deon Beauzec posses. It’s also these values that saw Deon achieve an average Matric mark of 85.1%, while his brother was nipping at his heels with 83.5%. Deon and Michael are now enrolled at NMMU studying towards a BSc in Chemistry in the hope of breaking into the medical field as soon as they have completed their degree.

It’s been no easy task for the two Otto du Plessis matriculants, who recently had to move to a small holding at Little Chelsea with extended family members. A spate of financial difficulties, due to unforseen circumstances, have forced the boys to take responsibility for their futures. Fortunately, Deon received the VC Scholarship for his average of 85.1%. The scholarship, to the tune of R82 782, is enough to pay for his and his brother’s studies with some money left over for textbooks.

Professor Tim Gibbon shares his expertise on the newly formed Centre For Broadband Communication.


Whales, sea turtles, penguins and sharks are constantly on the move in the global village that is the ocean. To help conserve these and other species, scientists worldwide are using the latest animal-tracking technologies to determine exactly where they go, why, and how best to target conservation actions on an international level.

Prof Andrew Leitch proposes a toast to Prof Ben Zeelie and the InnoVenton Team on the occasion of their 10th Anniversary Celebrations.

InnoVenton, the NMMU Institute for Chemical Technology and Downstream Chemicals Technology Station recently celebrated their 10th anniversary within the institution.

Prof Carl Folke of Stockholm University and Prof Dirk Roux, SANParks scientist and SRU Research Associate, enjoying one of the Garden Route’s magical forests at Hoekwil near Wilderness. Prof Folke was recently a Visiting Scientist in the Sustainability Research Unit located at the NMMU George Campus.

During October 2014 the Sustainability Research Unit at NMMU’s George Campus had the pleasure of hosting world renowned sustainability scientist, Prof Carl Folke, Founder and Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and the Director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

One of South Africa’s most influential ICT leaders, Prof Andile Ngcaba, has recently been announced as an Adjunct Professor at NMMU. His extensive knowledge and involvement within the South African ICT sector, as well as his passion for “multi-disciplinary topics related to the internet” will be of great benefit to NMMU says NMMU Head of Computing Sciences, Prof Greyling.

On Thursday, March the 26th 2015, the Science Students’ Association held its first Annual Opening Function/Launch at Madibaz restaurant, South Campus. Although the function was held in a time of paramount academic pressure, over 60 students from different Departments in the Faculty attended.

From left, newly appointed DVC: Teaching and Learning Prof Denise Zinn, Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz, Chair of Council Judge Ronnie Pillay and newly appointed DVC: Research and Engagement Prof Andrew Leitch.

Professors Andrew Leitch, former Executive Dean of Science, and Denise Zinn, former Executive Dean of Education, have been appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellors at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University as from 1 December 2014.

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Miss Nomfuneko Mlumiso
Public Relations and Marketing Assistant
Tel: 041 504 4853

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