The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. It undertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth.

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February 2009 edition

Laser technology

CSIR National Laser Centre boasts new manager

Professor Ndumiso Cingo
Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Dr Ndumiso Cingo, has been appointed CSIR National Laser Centre manager. Cingo has been working on the research and development of spectroscopy-based clinical, medical and environmental sensors, and nanomaterials characterisation techniques for 15 years.

Cingo did his doctoral studies at Ohio University in the US where he conducted research on the development of infrared spectroscopic devices for atmospheric remote and blood glucose non-invasive sensing. Moving on to the University of Massachusetts Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow, he later returned to South Africa and joined the University of South Africa (UNISA) as Senior Lecturer and Head of the Analytical Division in the Department of Chemistry. He moved to TUT in 2006.

"I have been a member of teams that have drafted the Department of Science and Technology's 10 Year Research Plan for Nanotechnology; and the Awareness and Outreach Programme. I am also the coordinator for nanotechnology in health and water under the India-Brazil-South Africa tri-lateral agreement," Cingo remarks.

He is currently the national contact point in South Africa for nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies within the European Union's 7th Framework Programme. In addition, Cingo serves on the following executive committees:

  • South African Nanotechnology Initiative (SANi) - chairperson
  • South African Spectroscopic Society
  • Black Science, Technology and Engineering Professionals (BSTEP) - co-founder.

He adds, "I have been collaborating with several research groups at the CSIR for some time. For example, the TB nano-drug delivery project, which I started working on a few years ago with Drs Hulda Swai and Thembela Hillie from CSIR Materials Science and Manufacturing has been very successful and is now in pre-clinical trial tests."

Cingo regularly does voluntary consulting work for DST on issues related to the development of nanotechnology research in South Africa, as well as the implementation of some of its programmes, including the National Nanotechnology Strategy. He explains, "While a lot of my work has been in the medical field, most of this work has been spectroscopy-based, so my work here is in no way far removed from my background. Exciting developments around photonics are taking place in South Africa and I am glad that I will be part of this process."

Enquiries: CSIR Communication

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