College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Dr Mzamo Shozi, who was awarded a prestigious Researcher Mobility Grant.

Lecturer Awarded Researcher Mobility Grant

Dr Mzamo Shozi, a lecturer in the School of Chemistry and Physics has been awarded a prestigious Researcher Mobility Grant (RMG) from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

The grant targets PhD students and early career researchers working in academia or industry. Its primary function is to support these candidates in undertaking short to mid-term scientific visits to organisations in the United Kingdom (UK).

Shozi’s research focuses on catalysis, particularly in biomass conversion. This involves creating valuable chemicals from sugar alcohols via catalytic processes. He has published articles in high impact journals, including those of the American Chemical Society and the RSC.

Shozi is currently supervising eight MSc and five PhD students and has graduated seven BSc Honours and five MSc students.

He currently collaborates with researchers at Nelson Mandela and Northwest Universities as well as Sasol and the University of California Davis. He is working towards future collaborations with the University of Cape Town and Rhodes University, and plans to expand his network with international collaborations, which will be aided by the RMG.

The RMG will also give Shozi access to state-of-the-art equipment at the host institutions. He explained that he will now be able to complete research work he began as a Fulbright Scholar with full access to synchrotron facilities as he will be able to use a similar facility, Diamond Light Source, in the UK.

Through this grant, Shozi will be able to begin collaboration with an internationally reputed synchrotron researcher, Professor Andrea Russell at the University of Southampton in the UK, who he will visit in July 2020.

‘The work I will be doing with her will be of an international standard and I will be able to publish in high impact factor journals,’ said Shozi.

Shozi is also using this grant to empower his students. He encouraged aspiring academics to achieve their PhDs, and highlighted the importance of attending conferences, especially international ones.

‘Get the contact details of leading researchers in your field and keep in touch,’ he advised.

Words: Samantha Ngcongo

Photograph: Bheki Mthembu