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Research Highlights

Sol Plaatje University acknowledges the significant impact of all research and researchers at our university. In support of this, the university regularly recognizes suitable academic staff and high-quality research engagement in various ways. Both internal and external awards are used as vehicles to recognise both quality and impact in research at a local and global level.

Prof Godfrey Maringira

NRF Rating: C2, 2022

Area of specialisation: Anthropology – Military Studies

Prof Mohamed Ahmed

NRF Rating: C2, 2022

Areas of Specialisation: Soil and water resources; Hydrometeorology; Remote sensing; Photogrammetry; Soil erosion

Prof Nhamo Chaukura

NRF Rating:  C2, 2022

Areas of Specialisation: Analytical Chemistry and Techniques; Applied material science

Dr Obed Shirinda

NRF Rating: C2, 2022, previously held a Y rating

Areas of Specialisation: Nuclear structure physics; Nuclear physics; Theoretical nuclear physics

Dr Ibidun Obagbuwa

NRF Rating: C3, 2022

Areas of Specialisation: Computer science; Artificial intelligence; Data science; Machine learning; Evolutionary optimization; Swarm intelligence; Bioinformatics

Prof Amasa Ndofirepi

NRF Rating:  C3, 2020

Areas of Specialisation: Higher education studies; Philosophy of education; African philosophy; Critical theory; Education, Philosophy with Children

Prof Olugbenga Oluwagbemi

NRF Rating: C2, 2020

Areas of Specialisation: Computer science; Artificial intelligence; Data science; Machine learning; Evolutionary optimization; Swarm intelligence; Bioinformatics

Dr Silas Verkijika

NRF Rating: Y1, 2020

Areas of Specialisation: Human-computer interaction; Behavioural information security; Human aspects of Information security; Computers – Usability; Usability evaluation; Website usability; E-government; E-commerce; Mobile commerce; Adoption and appropriation of ICT

Dr Crispen Chinguno

NRF Rating: C3, 2019

Areas of Specialisation:  Labour – Sociological aspects; Labour movement; Labour; Labour law and employment relations; Industrial and economic sociology

The 2022 Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards 

Dr Simbarashe Gukurume

The Excellence in Research Award is conferred to an academic who has augmented SPU’s research visibility, both locally and internationally through their research output. This recipient of this award is Dr Simbarashe Gukurume, has been recognised for producing the highest number of publications for the 2022 academic year. In addition to this achievement, he earned top scores in submissions for research grants at both national and international levels as well as offering his expertise on various panels related to these fields. These accomplishments demonstrate Dr Gukurume’s dedication not only to his area of study but also to exemplifying excellence within the institution.

The 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards 

Professor Ramos Emmanuel

The recipient of the first VC’s Research award is Professor Ramos Emmanuel Mabugu, who is a full professor in the School of Economic and Management Sciences. He is also the Chair of the School Committee on Research and is a member of the Senate Research Ethics Committee. The award is in recognition of the impact he has made toward SPU’s international visibility through research.

Mr Sabata-Mpho Mokae

Mr Sabata-Mpho Mokae, is a Lecturer in Creative Writing in African Languages at Sol Plaatje University, he is also a novelist and translator. He is the author of a biography The Story of Sol T Plaatje (2010) and novels Ga ke Modisa (2012), Dikeledi (2014) and Moletlo wa Manong (2018). In 2014 he was a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa in the USA where he is now Honorary Fellow in Writing. He has translated two children’s books by Gcina Mhlophe, Dinaane tsa Aforika (Tales of Africa) and Semaka sa Dinaane (Our Story Magic), from English to Setswana. As a creative Mr Mokae has won numerous awards, ranging from the following: He has won the South African Literary Award (2011), M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana (2013) and the M-Net Film Award (2013). In 2019, Mr Mokae won  a South African Literary Award (SALA) for his novel Moletlo wa Manong. This prominent academic and creative has recently achieved yet another award, Mr Mokae has won the Multilingualism Award from the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) in June 2022.

Phase 1, Cohort 1 – Dr Crispen Chinguno

Dr Crispen Chinguno is a Senior Lecturer in Sociologist at the Sol Plaatje University (SPU). He received his doctorate from the University of the Witwatersrand (2015). In the broader discipline, his research falls within the sociology of work, and he investigates trade unionism and social movements on South Africa’s platinum belt. Dr Chinguno won a major fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies’ African Humanities Program, which ran concurrently with a Ford Foundation award. Dr Chinguno is currently a Fellow in the Future Professors Programme.

Phase 2, Cohort 1 – Dr Jeremia Shale Sefadi

Dr Jeremia Shale Sefadi is an academic, researcher, and senior lecturer in physical chemistry and polymer chemistry. Dr JS Sefadi has over 13 years of academic and research experience emanating from two universities and various interactions at both local and international platforms, professional membership, internal and external academic citizenships. His professional involvement in higher education sector has always been well-defined by an active participation; willingness to reach greater heights; and knowledge-driven project. Shale is currently the head of department (HOD) of Physical and Earth Sciences at SPU. He is also a senate member, school management committee (SMC) member, school promotion committee (SPC) member, school committee on research (SCR) including many review appointments for funding applications. He has been awarded funding grants which include NRF-Black academic advancement programme (BAAP), SPU multi-inter-trans-(MIT) disciplinary seed funding, NRF Thuthuka grant; Eskom –Tertiary Education Support Programme (TESP) grant; S&F – NRF/DST Innovation Scholarships & Fellowships Programme and the TATA scholarship award all to the value of R 2,034 000.00 million rands so far in his career. His recent successful application into the “Future Professors Programme (FPP) phase 2 co-hort” is a testimonial to the commitment to knowledge project and research innovation in higher education landscape.

Dr Simbarashe Gukurume 

Dr Simbarashe Gukurume is a social scientist working at the intersection of Sociology and Social Anthropology, at SPU. He has academic training in Sociology and Social Anthropology from the University of Zimbabwe and the University of Cape Town. In the broader discipline, his scholarly work takes an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach to understanding what it means to be young in spaces of protracted socio-economic and political crisis. His research is also broadly interested in asking critical questions about the politics of displacement, urban informality, the anthropology of money, and the geopolitics of sociological and anthropological knowledge production. He is also on the editorial boards of the Journal of Religion and Development as well as Anthropology Southern Africa. Dr Gukurume is currently a fellow in the Future Professors Programme and also an NRF Y1-rated researcher.

Dr Ibidun Obagbuwa

Dr Ibidun Obagbuwa is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology at SPU. She obtained a doctoral degree Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in 2015, a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 2006 and a Bachelor of Science Hons. in Computer Science from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria in 1998. Her research interest includes artificial intelligence machine learning, digital image processing, computer vision, health-bioinformatics, networks and optimization. Dr Obagbuwa is currently a fellow in the Future Professors Programme and an NRF-rated researcher.

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