Prof Ngila obtained her PhD in 1996 from the University of New South Wales (Australia). She started working as a Tutor in Chemistry Department, Kenyatta University (KU) Kenya from 1989; Appointed as Lecturer in Chemistry Department, University of Botswana (UB) 1998; Senior Lecturer, School of Chemistry, University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) 2006; full Professor, Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg (UJ) in 2011; Appointed Deputy Director of Morendat Institute of Oil & Ga, Kenya Pipeline Company (Kenya) in April 2017.
Her research interests include the development of water quality monitoring techniques for inorganic and organic pollutants and nanotechnology for water treatment. Her current research focus is on nanocomposite membranes and electrospun nanofiber adsorbents for removal of pollutants in contaminated drinking water and secondary treated wastewater effluents. She has graduated 22 Honours, 33 MSc and 28 PhD students including training of 18 Postdoctoral Fellows. She has over 410 publications comprising of 191 journal articles, 15 book chapters, 17 conference proceedings, 35 Keynote/invited lectures and 155 conference abstracts. She is rated by South Africa National Research Foundation (NRF -rated).
She has previously served as the Head of Department of Applied Chemistry at University of Johannesburg (UJ), and as Deputy HOD. She also acted Director of the UJ Water Node of the Nanotechnology Innovation Centre (NIC) funded by South Africa Department of Science & Technology (DST) through DST/Mintek; and Coordinator of UJ Node for MSc National Nanotechnology Programme for Teaching and Training Platform (NNPTTP). She had previously served as Coordinator of Analytical Chemistry Divisions at UKZN, UB and KU.
She is the Winner of Kwame Nkrumah Regional Awards for Women (East Africa) 2016, and Winner of South Africa Distinguished Women in Science (WISA) Award 2016. She is a Member of Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) from 2016. She has been a Member of various Chemical Societies. She is the Chair of The AAS Committee on Education and Gender.