Shozi expressed pride and happiness upon receiving the news, especially after the extensive applications process. The programme will, he says, provide him with the chance to accrue international experience, something he has wanted to pursue since completing his PhD.
The FVRSP is an opportunity for a South African University Faculty or Research Institute Professional to conduct research in their field of expertise at an Academic or Research Institution in the United States for three to nine months. It is aimed at strengthening academic programmes or curricula at the scholar’s home institution.
From August, Shozi will visit the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) where he will be hosted by Professor Bruce Gates, an eminent scientist in Shozi’s field.
Shozi is an experienced lecturer and is currently the Director of the Applied Chemistry programme at UKZN. He specialises in catalysis and organometallic chemistry research, and is the Principal investigator of biomass conversion research in the Catalysis Research Group at UKZN. Shozi has worked to establish independent collaborations, including one with Cardiff University in the United Kingdom beginning in 2016.
Shozi has published research in high impact journals including those of the American Chemical Society and Royal Society of Chemistry. He is also a recipient of National Research Foundation Thuthuka and Knowledge Interchange and Collaboration (KIC) grants.
Through the FVRSP, Shozi hopes to begin collaborating with the Gates Catalysis Research Group at UC Davis, saying that the research group’s state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated staff and students will contribute significantly to his own work in experimental catalysis and materials research.
Shozi thanked his mother for her patience in seeing him through postgraduate studies, and credited Professor Holger Friedrich for his mentorship and encouragement in his career.
Words: Christine Cuénod
Photograph: Bheki Mthembu