Dr Mbese Joins Prestigious National Future Professors Programme

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Dr Johannes Zanoxolo Mbese, Head of the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry in the Faculty of Agriculture and Science, is among 31 South African academics who have been selected to participate in the Future Professors Programme (FPP), funded by the Department of Higher Education Training (DHET). 

Under the leadership of Professor Jonathan Jansen, an internationally renowned expert and a distinguished professor, the FFP aim to develop qualities of academic excellence and leadership among a select pool of academic staff. This will contribute to the development of the future South African professoriate.
Commenting on the nomination and selection process, Prof Jansen said: “The quality of nominations from all South African universities was exceptional.” The programme is staged as three cohorts of between 20 and 30 fellows. The first cohort started in January 2020, the second in January 2021 and the third will be in 2022. 
Dr Mbese is a member of the second cohort selected from 118 nominations received from a call to all 26 SA Public Universities. He was personally invited to join the programme by DHET Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande. 
Selected fellows represent disciplines from Audiology to Zoology, with a strong node in chemistry and related disciplines as exemplified by Dr Mbese’s fellowship. Said an excited Dr Mbese: “Honestly, I knew that only those exceptional academics will be selected and was not sure if I would make it. 
I was in complete disbelief when I received the outcome. The nomination comes with a sense of responsibility. I will give it my best, not for myself, Department or Faculty, but for the institution.” “I want to thank my colleagues, the Director of the Fort Hare Institute of Technology (FHIT), Prof Edson Meyer, the seniors in the Faculty, the UFH management and everyone who spent designated time to assist in formulating my application,” said Dr Mbese.
The two-year programme includes the following components: 
• Residential component (accommodated virtually because of the current pandemic) 
• An evaluation of each scholar’s standing in their field or discipline 
• Academic mentorship and; 
• An international engagement component, tailored to each individual fellow. 
Dr Mbese is the first South African to graduate with a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Fort Hare in May 2017. He currently serves as a Research Group Leader and Founder of the Energy, Materials and Inorganic Chemistry Research Group (EMICREG). 
His research interests are in the synthesis of metal sulfide nanoparticles/nanocomposites, metal oxides, carbon quantum dots and carbon nanotubes for applications in nanotechnology, chemical sensing, water treatment and renewable energy. 
His research work is supported by the NRF Thuthuka Grant (2019–2021) and UFH Institutional Research Grant from the Govan Mbeki Research and Development Centre (GMRDC) from 2014-2020. He has supervised to completion one PhD and three MSc students and numerous honours students. He has served as Head of Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry (HoD) at the UFH for the past two years. Source: UFH Pure and Applied Chemistry Department