Team

Group Leader
Prof. Kenneth Ikechukwu Ozoemena
(Professor, Materials for Energy & Electrochemistry)
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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, CREP, MASSAf, FRSC, FAAS

E-mail: Kenneth.ozoemena@wits.ac.za
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Kenneth Ikechukwu Ozoemena obtained his PhD degree at Rhodes University (2003) and worked at the same University as Andrew Mellon 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 CSIR Electrochemical Energy Technologies (2009 - 2017). Ken joined Wits University in 2017 as full Professor of Materials for Energy & Electrochemistry. He is a Certified Renewable Energy Professional (CREP, Association of Energy Engineers, USA), member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (MASSAf), Fellow of the African Academy of Science (FAAS), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). He serves on the editorial Boards of some science journals, including Electrochemistry Communications (Elsevier), Current Opinions in Electrochemistry (Elsevier) and Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing). He is the Chief Editor, International Journal of Electrochemistry (open access journal, Hindawi Publishing).

Selected Academic Honours and Awards / Recognition

  • Chief Editor: International Journal of Electrochemistry (Hindawi), 2019

  • Editorial Board: Scientific Reports (Nature publishing) 2016

  • Editorial Board: Current Opinion in Electrochemistry (Elsevier) 2016

  • Editorial Board: Electrochemistry Communications (since 2007), Elsevier.

  • Editorial Board: Journal of Electrochemistry (China), 2017

  • Guest Editor: Electrochimica Acta (Elsevier) 2014.

  • Guest Editor: Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines (2011/2012).

  • Member of the Selection Committee for the Prestigious King Faisal Prize for Science.

  • Chair: South African National mirror committee (NMC) 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 (by an individual over 15 years) and (ii) Special Annual Theme Award: Materials for inclusive economic development (in recognition of the United Nations ‘International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements’).

  • 2018 China–Australia–South Africa Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Overseas High-level Talents award, by the South African Gold Yard International Exchange Service.

  • In the 30-year period (1986 to 2016), listed as “the most active author in the area of energy storage in South Africa” (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).

  • 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), the foremost research institute in Africa. The title of ‘Chief’ is the ultimate career level at the CSIR.

  • 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 (CREP), Association of Energy Engineers (USA), 2017

  • Elected Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (MASSAf) 2016

  • Elected Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (FAAS) 2015

  • CSIR CEO’s Award (2014): This is the most prestigious award of the CSIR.

  • Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC, UK) 2011

  • Chartered Chemist (CChem) of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) 2008

  • CSIR Materials Science & Manufacturing (MSM) Excellence Award – Innovation Award (2016).

  • CSIR MSM Excellence Award – Human Capital Development Award (2016)

  • 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.

  • ‘Outstanding Young Academic’, Nigeria High Commission Achievement Awards 2009.

  • Extra-ordinary Professor (Chemistry), University of Pretoria (2011 - present)

  • 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).

Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr Oluwatosin E. Bankole

Research Interests: Zinc-air batteries

Email: oluwatosin.bankole@wits.ac.za

Dr Patrick Mwonga

Research Interests: Supercapacitors;
Rechargeable aqueous batteries.

Email: Patrick.mwonga@wits.ac.za

 

PHD students

Aderemi B. Haruna

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

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

Adewale  Kabir Ipadeola

Research Interests: Fuel cells; alcohol sensors

E-mail: 1846796@students.wits.ac.za

       

Augustus Kelechi Lebechi

Research Interests: Mn-based zinc-air batteries;
rechargeable aqueous batteries

E-mail: 1713787@students.wits.ac.za

Tobile Maphumulo
(Co-supervised by Dr C Billing)

Research Interests: Supercapacitors;
2-D nanostructures
(e.g., MoS2-based nanostructures)

E-mail: 752677@students.wits.ac.za

       

Nsovo Mathebula

Research Interests: Electrochemical
immunosensing of tuberculosis

E-mail: nsovo.mathebula@nrf.ac.za

Victor Mashindi
(Co-supervised by Prof N Coville)

Research Interests: PEM fuel cells;
exotic carbon nanostructures
(e.g., Broken bowl-like hollow carbon spheres)

E-mail: 1589881@students.wits.ac.za

       

Nonhlanhla Mphahlele

Research Interests: Alkaline direct alcohol fuel cell.

E-mail: NMphahlele@csir.co.za

Thapelo Mofokeng
(Co-supervised by Dr Z Tetana)

Research Interests: Supercapacitors;
1-D nanostructures (e.g., nanofibers, nanowires)

E-mail: 1746729@students.wits.ac.za

       

Siwaphiwe Peteni
(Co-supervised by Prof B Kana)

Research Interests: Sensors;
Volatile organic biomarkers for tuberculosis

E-mail: 1925586@students.wits.ac.za

Itumeleng Seotsanyana-Mokhosi

Research Interests: Li-ion batteries; rechargeable aqueous batteries

E-mail: 1945655@students.wits.ac.za

       

Sebenzile Tshabalala
(Co-supervised by Dr Z Tetana)

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

E-mail: 1810286@students.wits.ac.za

   

MSC students

Tobechukwu J. Ehirim

Research Interests: Sensors for drugs of abuse

E-mail: 1569304@students.wits.ac.za

Lesego Goalatlhe

Research Interests: Sensors;
MOF-based nanostructures for zn-air batteries.

E-mail: 1683815@students.wits.ac.za

 

 

 

 

Refiloe Modise

Research Interests: Fuel cells; alcohol sensors

E-mail: 2057689@students.wits.ac.za

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

Research Interests: Fuel cells

E-mail: 742699@students.wits.ac.za

 

 

 

 

Nkosikhona Nzimande

Research Interests: Mn-based rechargeable
Na-Zn hybrid aqueous batteries

E-mail: 669123@students.wits.ac.za

Jimodo Joretta Ogada
(Physics: co-supervised by Prof D Wamwangi)

Research Interests: Fuel cells technologies;
breath alcohol sensor

E-mail: 2200120@students.wits.ac.za

 

 

 

 

Seromo Podile
(Physics: co-supervised by Prof D Wamwangi)

Research Interests: Li-ion batteries

E-mail: 2302289@students.wits.ac.za

Bokome Shaku
(co-supervised by Dr M Maubane-Nkadimeng)

Research Interests: Supercapacitors

E-mail: 726829@students.wits.ac.za

 

 

 

 

Thokozani Tsoari

Research Interests: Supercapacitors

E-mail: 1892706@students.wits.ac.za