A chemistry lecturer at the Central University of Technology, Free State has been selected to take part in the Future Professors Programme (FPP), which aims to prepare promising early career academics to become a new association of South African professors.
The competitive and selective programme is run by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
Dr Mokgaotsa Jonas Mochane, who was born and bred in Mafahlaneng, Tweeling in the Free State, is a National Research Foundation (NRF) Y2 rated researcher and a New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP) chemistry lecturer at CUT.
He is also a registered Professional Scientist (PrChemSA) who is passionate about research and the mentoring of the next generation of researchers.
“I am so excited to be part of the programme, as I believe that it will assist me in terms of growth as a researcher who wants to produce both Master’s and PhD students. I will take full advantage of this opportunity to become a leading researcher in the field of polymer composites. I am looking forward to the programme and to learn as much as I can so that I can improve my NRF rating from Y to C-rating,” said Mochane.
According to the Department of Higher Education and Training, the national programme aims to fast-track senior researchers to full professorship at South Africa’s public universities looking to turn senior researcher/lecturers into associate professors and full professors in a shorter space of time.
“I believe that after a series of seminars and evaluation, I will be in a good position to improve my rating from Y rating to C-rating. Furthermore, I hope I will be in a good position to be amongst the leading scientist in the field of polymer nanocomposites both locally and internationally,” noted Mochane, who has authored and co-authored more than 20 research articles in the field of polymer nano composites and blends.
He has additionally published more than 40 book chapters in well-known publishers such as Elsevier, Wiley, and Springer etc. His research work has been cited 451 times with an h-index of 10 from Google Scholar.
Living by the words: ‘The greatest growth happens in discomfort’, Mochane has been focused on supervising Master’s and PhD students, assisting them to complete their studies, while also working on a book proposal and planning on publishing it in the next two years.
“I want to train many postgraduate students to be excellent researchers and to publish research articles in accredited journals. I will also be looking into possibilities of commercialising some of my research projects, so that the society can benefit from our research projects. It is my dream to have a Polymer Chemistry Centre that can research about community-based projects i.e. to provide solutions to community problems,” added Mochane.