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Centenary

Renowned electrochemist speaks on electrochemistry for nanotechnology

By Dr Kenneth Ozoemena

Posted on 18 April 2008

Prof Richard Compton of the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory of the University of Oxford and a world-renowned electrochemist and Editor-in-Chief of the Electrochemistry Communications (a top journal amongst the major electrochemistry journals), was the main speaker at the just concluded SA-UK Research Network workshop on "Electrochemistry for Nanotechnology" .

In his plenary lecture entitled “Design, Characterisation and Applications of Nanoelectrode Arrays”, Prof Compton described the basic principles underlying the design and construction of nanoelectrode arrays (i.e., nanoelectrochemical-based devices) and their current and potential applications in catalysis and sensing.

Distinguished guests and speakers at the workshop included Prof Anton Ströh (Dean of the Faculty of the Natural and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Pretoria); Ms Nontombi Marule (Deputy-Director, Emerging Research Areas, Department of Science and Technology); Prof Ananstassios Pouris (Director of the Institute for Technological Innovation, University of Pretoria), Mr Raven Jimmy (representing the International Scientific Cooperation, NRF) and Prof Tebello Nyokong (DST/NRF South African Research Chairs Initiative Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Nanotechnology, Rhodes University).

During the two-day workshop, over 30 lectures on nanomaterials and their applications were delivered by the UK visitors, local researchers, students from universities and science councils and industries (notably CSIR, MinTEK and SASOL). Speakers included Dr Gregory Wildgoose and Mr Edmund Dickinson (St John’s College, Oxford University); Dr Suprakas Ray (Chief Researcher and Leader at the Nano-structured Materials, CSIR); Prof Neerish Revaprasadu (DST/NRF Chair, Nanotechnology, University of Zululand); Prof Emmanuel Iwuoha (SensorLab, University of the Western Cape); Dr Joshua Oni (SASOL); and Dr Mathe Mkhulu (CSIR).

The workshop was fully sponsored by the NRF and Royal Society (UK). Interestingly, it is the first electrochemistry activity ever-recognized and co-sponsored by the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE), the world electrochemistry body with headquarters in Switzerland.

This workshop was the first of its kind in South Africa, and was organized by Dr Kenneth Ozoemena of our Chemistry Department and Prof Richard Compton of the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory of the Oxford University. It represented a major milestone in establishing the various roles that electrochemistry could play in developing nanotechnology research in South Africa.

Indeed, the hosting of this very important workshop by the University of Pretoria represents another landmark in its history as the leading research institution in South Africa.

The workshop formed part of the Centenary programme of the University of Pretoria.



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