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Natural Sciences

Dr. Julius Mulindwa Wins DFG Research Grant

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Dr Julius Mulindwa, Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry and Sports Science, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University, together with colleagues Prof. Nicolai Seigel at the University of Munchen, Germany and Dr Kevin Marucha at Kisii University, Kenya were recently awarded a research grant by the German Research Foundation (DFG) amounting to 290,985 Euro. Out of this, 179,735 Euro is for the research activities that will be conducted at the Department of Biochemistry and Sports Science, CoNAS.

Dr. Julius Mulindwa, Department of Biochemistry and Sports Science, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University.
Dr. Julius Mulindwa, Department of Biochemistry and Sports Science, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University.

The research study is about, “Understanding cell to cell heterogeneity in African trypanosome field isolates”.

The benefits of this study to Makerere University will include:

  1. Capacity building in trypanosome single cell transcriptomics. This technic can be further exploited in other fields of research including cancer biology and it will be a great breakthrough if it is established at CoNAS.
  2. Training of a Ugandan PhD student and MSc students.
  3. Building research networks and fostering collaborative research between Makerere University, LMU, Germany and Kisii University, Kenya.  

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Natural Sciences

Mak Hosts EnergyNET Project Annual Meeting

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The Principal, CoNAS, Prof. Winston Tumps Ireeta (4th R) poses for a group photo with participants after the opening ceremony on 9th January 2023 at the SFTNB Conference Hall, Makerere University.

Makerere University College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) through the Department of Physics is hosting the 2023 Annual Meeting for the Energy Technology Network (EnergyNet) Project.

Dr. Nyeinga Karidewa, Coordinator of the project at Makerere welcomes participants.
Dr. Nyeinga Karidewa, Coordinator of the project at Makerere welcomes participants.

The three-day meeting taking place at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering is being attended by partners from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Makerere University (Uganda), Mekelle University (Ethiopia), Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia) and Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique). It was officially opened by the Principal, CoNAS, Prof. Winston Tumps Ireeta on 9th January 2023.

The main Coordinator of the Project, Prof. Ole Jorgen Nydal from NTNU addresses participants.
The main Coordinator of the Project, Prof. Ole Jorgen Nydal from NTNU addresses participants.

EnergyNet is a six-year (2021-2026) project supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) under NORHED II. The project is a network of African universities collaborating on education and research in Energy Technology. Prof. Ole Jorgen Nydal from NTNU is the main coordinator of the  Project. At Makerere University, the project is coordinated by Dr Nyeinga Karidewa, Lecturer in the Department of Physics.

Participants listen to Prof. Ole Jorgen Nydal.
Participants listen to Prof. Ole Jorgen Nydal.

Objectives of the project

i) To increase the quality of MSc/PhD educational programmes in Renewable Energy by training PhDs and MSc students in energy

ii) Conduct research in small scale renewable energy systems  

iii)  Bring results from the laboratory to the society

iv) Networking

The Head, Department of Physics, Dr Denis Okello (2nd R) with other members of staff at the workshop The Head, Department of Physics, Dr Denis Okello (2nd R) with other members of staff at the workshop.
The Head, Department of Physics, Dr. Denis Okello (2nd R) with other members of staff at the workshop

Purpose of the project workshop

The workshop was convened to share reports on the progress of the project at each of the partner institutions, complete the project activity report for 2022, and to develop a work plan and budget for 2023. The workshop featured several presentations covering both technical and social aspects of the research in energy.

A PhD student from Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique) presenting her research.
A PhD student from Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique) presenting her research.
Mr. Jimmy Chaciga, a PhD student funded by the Energy Technology Network (EnergyNET) Project at Makerere University presented his research work and findings at the workshop. His research topic is: Development of Thermal Energy Technology for Off-grid Cooking Applications.
Mr. Jimmy Chaciga, a PhD student funded by the Energy Technology Network (EnergyNET) Project at Makerere University presented his research work and findings at the workshop. His research topic is: Development of Thermal Energy Technology for Off-grid Cooking Applications.

Research areas by the partner institutions under the project

Makerere University

  1. Solar thermal energy storage systems for off grid cooking applications
  2. Modelling and simulating back heating sources and multiple cookers integrated with heat storage

Dar es Saalam University (Tanzania)

  1. Solar refrigeration
  2. Mini hydropower – using pumps

Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique)

  1. Solar cooker technologies acceptance among pastoral communities in disaster areas
  2. Solar thermal technology – charging by evacuated tubes
Addis Ababa University presentations.
Addis Ababa University presentations.

Addis Ababa University

The AAiT team at Addis Ababa University is working with two PhDs in thematic areas of refrigeration and solar thermal cooking. The first system is used for milk cooling and pasteurization with potential application for dairy farmers. The second one focuses on design, development, and experimental investigation of photovoltaic based institutional injera baking system with phase change materials with potential application in Universities, correction centres and hospitals where injera is baked in mass. Abdulkadir Aman Hassen (PhD) is the project coordinator from AAU. Other coordinators are; Boaventura Cuamba, Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique); Joseph Kihedu, University of Dar es Salaam; Mulu Bayray, Mekelle University; Ishmael B.M. Kosamu, University of Malawi, and Tito Achire, Juba University.

PhD students on the project presented progress reports and plans for 2023.
PhD students on the project presented progress reports and plans for 2023.

During the workshop, PhD students on the project presented progress reports and plans for 2023. Mr. Richard Ochaya from UNHCR presented energy challenges faced in refugee camps in Uganda, and the need to work closely with universities to find sustainable solutions.

Mr. Richard Ochaya from UNHCR presented energy challenges faced in refugee camps in Uganda, and the need to work closely with universities to find sustainable solutions.
Mr. Richard Ochaya from UNHCR presented energy challenges faced in refugee camps in Uganda, and the need to work closely with universities to find sustainable solutions.

Expected output

The partner universities have a long history of collaboration on research and education in renewable energy. The experiences and the results from the group (programmes and research), will be shared as support for capacity building at the University of Malawi and the University of Juba (South Sudan) which are at an earlier stage on the research capacity path.

Part of the audience at the EnergyNET Meeting.
Part of the audience at the EnergyNET Meeting.

The research tasks have been solution oriented, with the exploration of new and innovative technical solutions for small scale energy components and systems related to hydro and wind power, solar and bio energy for cooking and solar refrigeration technology.  Focus is on thermal energy solutions (heating, cooling, cooking) and the integration of heat batteries with electrical batteries in micro grid systems. Emphasis is on qualifying and implementing new technical solutions emerging from university research, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. The educational part includes a new multidisciplinary PhD programme combining technical, socioeconomic and environmental studies. The quality of the existing master programmes will be enhanced by joint curriculum reviews, improvement of research based teaching and migration towards more digital teaching methods.

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Agriculture & Environment

Call for Abstracts for Doctoral Convention 2023

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PhD Fellows of Makerere University (PF@mak) invites all PhD and other graduate scholars of Makerere University to the annual doctoral convention slated for 23rd February 2023. The theme for this Convention is “Positioning Research for the attainment of National Development Agenda” Sub-themes are aligned with Uganda’s National Development Plan III.

The goal of this Doctoral Convention is to bring together the PhD Community and other graduate students from this great University to share their research projects and outputs as well as critique concepts and proposals in line with the main theme of positioning research in the attainment of national flagship development interventions e.g Uganda’s Parish Development Model and Vision 2040. This Doctoral Convention offers a platform where graduate students discuss their research concepts, proposals, preliminary research findings, manuscripts and papers. This will be done through oral paper presentations and pitching sessions. In addition, there will be poster exhibitions and discussion of presenters’ works. Awards will be made to the best assessed oral presenters, poster exhibitors and pitching sessions.

PF@Mak is now inviting and accepting abstracts for oral papers and poster presentations. You are invited to submit abstracts not more than five hundred words (500) of your concept note, proposal, manuscripts and/or papers that are relevant to the conference theme and subthemes. Indicate the preferred sub-theme and whether you are submitting a paper for oral or poster presentation.
Sub-themes of this doctoral convention are:

  1. Governance, Economic and Social Change for a prosperous Region.
  2. Natural Resources Management, Climate Smart Development & Food Security
  3. Science, Innovation and Technological Advancement for Bio-safety & Well-being
  4. Health & Health Systems that address Contemporary Global Threats

We look forward to a vibrant PhD Convention that feeds into an enhanced learning environment for PhD studies at Makerere University as We Build For The Future.

The PhD Convention shall be Hybrid in nature with provision for Online Live Streaming.

Abstract Submission Deadline: 23rd December 2022.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
The Doctoral convention leadership invites the submission of original abstracts for Oral and/or Poster presentation*. All abstracts should be submitted via the following email; phd.fellows@mak.ac.ug before the deadline (23rd December 2022). These will be forwarded to the Convention Review Board. All abstracts must be submitted and presented in clear English with grammar and spelling of a quality suitable for publication.

WRITING & SUBMITTING YOUR ABSTRACT
Please follow the guidelines below when writing and submitting your abstract/paper. The abstract should be as informative as possible, standard abbreviations may be used. It should not contain diagrams/tables/images: these may be added when submitting the paper. Before you begin submission, please prepare the following information:

  • Author’s and co-Authors’ details (Full first and family name(s), Email)
  • Affiliation details: Institution / University/ College/School/ and Department.
  • Abstract preferred sub-theme: Please choose from the list of sub-themes

Title: The title should clearly indicate the nature of the investigation. Each word should begin with a capital letter with the exception of transition words (maximum 25 words).
Length: The Abstract body should be no longer than 500 words in total.
Structure: Please ensure your abstract clearly brings out Background; Objectives; Methods;
Results (where applicable) and Conclusion.
Key Words: Outline Four Key Words in your Abstract
Formatting: Use Arial font, size 11.5 with 1.15 spacing.

CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT
You will receive email confirmation that your abstract has been received, indicating the allocated abstract number. Please refer to that abstract number in all further correspondence regarding the abstract.

NOTIFICATION OF DECISION
After submitting your abstract, you will receive an e-mail confirming your successful submission. If you do not receive this confirmation e-mail within 05 days, please contact;
phd.fellows@mak.ac.ug

IMPORTANT TIMELINES
Issuance of Call for Abstracts: 22nd November 2022
Abstract submission deadline (MS Word Documents only): December 23rd, 2022
Acceptance notification: December 30th, 2022
Full presentation submission deadline: January 30th, 2023
Please Note: Only accepted abstracts of fully registered presenters can be included in the final Doctoral Convention program and Book of Abstracts. Registration is required to be completed within 10 days from date of acceptance notification. Registration Fee is modest UGX 30,000 which also doubles as Annual Membership Fee for PF@Mak (for the case of PhD Scholars). Presentation at this Convention will constitute part of the requirements by DRGT on Conference participation

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Natural Sciences

Dr. Alice Nabatanzi Wins Prestigious US$ 50,000 OWSD Award

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Dr. Alice Nabatanzi, Lecturer, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University.

Dr. Alice Nabatanzi a Lecturer in the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) has won the prestigious Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) award worth US$ 50,000.  This prestigious award is purposed to support Dr. Nabatanzi to establish an environment at Makerere University where she can maintain an international standard of scientific research and attract scholars from all over the world to collaborate.

OWSD is an international organization founded in 1987 and based at the offices of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), in Trieste, Italy. OWSD is the first international forum to unite eminent women scientists from the developing and developed worlds with the objective of strengthening their role in the development process and promoting their representation in scientific and technological leadership. OWSD is creating a network of outstanding women scientists who can provide mentorship and be role models for the next generation of women leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

Seated L-R: Fmr. Chancellor-Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, Director DRGT-Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, Convener-Dr Alice Nabatanzi and Representative of the DVCAA-Prof. Christopher Mbazira with Dep. Principal CoNAS-Prof. Fredrick Muyodi (Standing R) and representatives from partner institutions at the 1st NAPIANA Symposium on 17th January 2022, Makerere University.
Seated L-R: Fmr. Chancellor-Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, Director DRGT-Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, Convener-Dr Alice Nabatanzi and Representative of the DVCAA-Prof. Christopher Mbazira with Dep. Principal CoNAS-Prof. Fredrick Muyodi (Standing R) and representatives from partner institutions at the 1st NAPIANA Symposium on 17th January 2022,Makerere University.

Dr. Nabatanzi will for the next three years build on her leadership and management skills, and develop connections with public and private sector partners to convert her scientific research findings into marketable and patentable products. She believes unexploited biomolecules are the answer to the cure for new disease pathogens and health conditions affecting the majority of Ugandans and the world at large. Africa is a hub of biomolecules, majority of which have not yet been exploited. For her OWSD AWARD, Dr. Nabatanzi’s major research focus will be the burden of postpartum hemorrhage in Uganda.

Additionally, she is enthusiastic about undertaking society-changing research, especially in line with easing the burden of non-communicable diseases in African societies. Dr. Nabatanzi is keen on addressing nutritional deficiencies among the vulnerable marginalized groups, particularly pregnant women, school-going children, people living with HIV/AIDS, and the elderly.

Dr. Alice Nabatanzi speaks during the establishment of the NAPIANA NETWORK which will act a platform to connect with the local communities, private sector, Government agencies and the international community.
Dr. Alice Nabatanzi speaks during the establishment of the NAPIANA NETWORK which will act a platform to connect with the local communities, private sector, Government agencies and the international community.

Through her already established NAPIANA (Natural Products Industry Advancement Network Africa) network, (see related story: https://cns.mak.ac.ug/blog/makerere-hosts-1st-napiana-symposium) Dr. Nabatanzi will strengthen linkages with the local communities, private sector, Government agencies and international community in a bid to promote her research and standardized natural products thereby bridging the gaps in the natural products value chain.

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