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Profile of Prof Chris Nhlapo

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Prof Chris Nhlapo graduated with a BSc degree majoring in Chemistry and Mathematics. He is a qualified Physical Science teacher and has completed both Honours and Master degrees in Chemistry. His MSc thesis was entitled: Thermo-Analytical Investigation of Cross-linking of Saturated and Unsaturated Long-Chain Hydrocarbons. His PhD which was completed at then Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (CHE) was in catalysis, with the dissertation entitled: Catalytic System for Stereospecific Polymerization of Alkynes.

He has undertaken numerous post-doctoral training sessions including Emulsion Polymerization technique and Research Management and Technology Transfer. He has trained, supervised and lectured a number of students at Universities of the Free State, Potchefstroom for CHE and University of the North. He occupied a number of senior positions at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and science councils. He is a fellow of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and worked within Commission IV.1 the Macromolecular Division (MMD). While in this commission he contributed immensely in IUPAC Projects and in the Journal Pure and Applied Chemistry (JPAC). He was the Head of Chemistry at the University of the North and the Free State before joining the National Research Foundation (NRF) in management capacity.

At the NRF he contributed in building research capacity particularly at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) by identifying strategic partnerships both locally and internationally, in order to design appropriate interventions to address research capacity challenges faced by them. One of his highlights whilst employed at National Research National as a Research Manager was the development of various strategy documents and guidelines on how to strengthen the HEIs management and leadership capabilities in establishing research collaborations support and sustain the existing research collaborations. Some of the above-mentioned documents have become the ‘blue prints’ for research capacity and development at HEIs. He has been actively participating in international and national discourse with regard to the current national economic competitiveness of South Africa versus the developmental state its Science, Technology and Innovation in comparison with other OECD countries. His current substantive position is that of Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He has been recently nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Research Forum to serve on the Research and Innovation Strategy Group of USAf. He is the outgoing Chair of the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC).

He is currently serving as Vice-Chancellor of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

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