Ngila Jane Catherine

Ngila Jane Catherine was elected as an AAS Fellow in 2018. As a fellow, Ngila Jane Catherine contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.

Year elected
Chemical Sciences

Prof Jane Catherine Ngila received her Bachelor of Education in Science, BEd (Science) and MSc (Chemistry) from Kenyatta University, Kenya in 1986 and 1992, respectively. She obtained her PhD from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia in 1996. Her teaching and research career started in 1989 when she was employed as a tutorial fellow at Kenyatta University and later promoted to lecturer position in 1996. She also worked at the University of Botswana as a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer (1998-2006), and at the University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, as Senior Lecturer (2006-2011) before joining University of Johannesburg, as a Full Professor of Analytical/Environmental Chemistry in April 2011. Prof Jane Catherine Ngila is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic and Student Affairs (DVC-AA) at Riara University. Her portfolio involves providing leadership within Riara University in delivering the university’s strategy, objectives, and core purpose. Her office provides day-to-day leadership in both academic affairs and research functions of the university, including student affairs. She is the immediate former Deputy Director of the Institute of Oil and Gas (MIOG) under Kenya Pipeline Company, in charge of Training, Academic Programmes and Linkages, a position she held from April 2017 to January 2020. Prof Ngila is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Department of Chemical Sciences, as well as a Visiting Professor at the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kenya. She is a former Head of Department (HOD) of Applied Chemistry at University of Johannesburg, a position she held from 2013 to 2016. As HOD at UJ, she oversaw a number of Centres of Excellence in Nanotechnology and Water, including the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) Chair in Nanotechnology and Water; the South Africa's Department of Science and Technology (DST)/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre Water node (NIC Water); the National Nanoscience Postgraduate Teaching and Training Platform (NNPTTP) UJ node (NNPTTP is a consortium of three nodes - UJ, University of the Free State and Nelson Mandela University; and the University of the Western Cape as the hub). Prof Ngila’s research work is on Analytical/Environmental Chemistry and focuses on water quality/pollution monitoring, methods of water treatment based on nanotechnology, development of analytical methodologies for detecting metal pollutants and other chemical substances including their speciation analysis, in water. She is one of the highly productive women in research in Africa, which is evidenced by her impressive research profile. Prof Ngila has trained 22 Honours, 33 MSc and 30 PhD postgraduate students, and 18 postdoctoral fellows. Three of her South Africa female students have received both the PhD (Ms Eseoghene Umukoro 2016 and Dr Nomvano Mketo in 2015) and Postdoctoral (Dr Philiswa Nomngongo in 2014) L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship Awards. She has disseminated her research findings in international conferences in more than 30 countries.  She is a National Research Foundation of South Africa rated researcher, with over 430 publications comprising of 209 journal articles, 15 book chapters, 17 conference proceedings, 37 keynote/invited lectures and 160 conference abstracts. Her ResearchGate Score is 39.44. She has Google Scholar H-Index of 30, i10-index 83, total citation of 2995. See full CV information at: Other Links Prof Ngila has won various Awards: African Union Kwame Nkrumah East Africa Regional Women Scientific Awards (January 2017) for excellence in research in water quality monitoring and treatment using nanotechnology; South Africa Distinguished Women in Science (WISA) Awards - Physical Sciences & Engineering (August 2016). She received Awards from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) towards her MSc degree (1987-1989) and the Equity & Merit Scholarship Scheme- Australian International Development Assistance Bureau for her PhD (1991-1995). Other Awards include, Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Research Award (October 1997) and University of Botswana Research Award (June 2005). Prof Ngila is a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences; Fellow Africa Academy of Science (AAS); Member Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Member of the AAS mentorship programmes for female university students in Africa; the Chair of the AAS Education & Gender Working Group; and Co-Chair of the 2021 Commonwealth Science Conference. She is a member of various chemical societies and professional organizations including Royal Australian Chemistry Institute, American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry UK (MRSC), South Africa Chemical Institute, Kenya Chemical Society, Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, African Scientific Institute, Forum for African Women Educationalists and African Women in Science & Engineering (AWISE). She has served as a member of several advisory boards: UJ Water and Health Research Group (2012-2019), WaterNet & Global Water Partnership in Southern Africa (WARFSA/GWP-SA), Africa Utility Week on Clean Power/Energy & Water (2015-2017), SA-Water Research Commission, Key partner projects funded by African Development Bank (Kenyatta University), and Addis Ababa University’s Africa Centre of Excellent in Water Management sponsored by World Bank. She is founding member of the Southern and East Africa Network of Analytical Chemists (SEANAC); and has served (2014 -2016 and 2020-current) as an adjudicator for the L’Oreal UNESCO for Women in Science in Sub-Saharan African Panels (PhD and Postdoctoral Research Fellows in natural sciences). She was an Honorary Board Member of the Jarislowsky Chair in Water and Global Health at Carleton University (Canada) in 2016. She was part of the South African Department of Science & Technology (DST) Delegation to UNESCO (Paris) and Germany (SA Embassy in Berlin) in January 2012 to promote, and established partnerships for, South African research in nanotechnology and water. She gave a presentation entitled: Technologies in environmental management- strategies by department of chemical technology@uj. . Prof Ngila has been a Member of Advisory Board of the Africa Utility Week on Clean Power/Energy and Water (2015-2017). In July 2015 she was nominated as a member of Team Water South Africa, a Committee that was chaired by the Minister of Water and Sanitation. While in South Africa, she was regularly appointed to chair the NRF Panels of funding Applications as well act as a Reference Advisory Member and Reviewer of South Africa Water Research Commission projects in water research. In September 2015, she was nominated by DST/CSIR National Centre for Nanostructured Materials to join a delegation to represent South Africa on the Algeria-South Africa Bilateral Cooperation, on Nanotechnology and Water Initiatives. Prof Ngila was Key Partner on nanotechnology projects funded by African Development Bank in Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. In 2015, she was invited by Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia as a Key Partner in establishing an Africa Centre of Excellent in Water Management, which was sponsored by the World Bank. Since 2012, Prof Ngila has been a member of COVIDSET (Conference of Vice Chancellors and Deans of Science Engineering and Technology Institutes), which is hosted by Regional Bureau for Science in Africa (RBSA) and African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI) in collaboration with UNESCO. In November 2013, she presented a paper entitled, Nanotechnology applied in water purification for removal of metal and persistent organic pollutants, at the 5th fifth COVIDSET 2013 in Gaborone, Botswana. In September 2015, she submitted a paper for presentation at COVIDSET 2015, Enugu, Nigeria, entitled, Human and Physical Infrastructure Requirements for Cutting-Edge Research in African Higher Education Institutions. She is a member of International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES) and presented a paper entitled, Nanosorbent materials for removal of inorganic and organic pollutants in water, at INWES workshop held 19-21 November 2013, in Nairobi, Kenya. In April 2016, Prof Ngila was part of a consortium of researchers from South Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, France and Germany that submitted a proposal for the European Commission Joint Programming Initiative Water challenges for a changing world (Water JPI) grant. She has been very successful in obtaining competitive research grants including, the South Africa National Research Foundation (NRF) Equipment Program (NEP) grant for high resolution scanning electron microscope; 2014 NEP grant for Flow field fractionation/gas and liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (FFF/GC/LC/ICP-MS). She also obtained several research grants from the Water Research Commission of South Africa (WRC), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Electricity Supply Commission (ESCOM) also known as ESKOM and South Africa Synthetic Oil Liquid Company Limited (SASOL).