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Postdoctoral Fellow at UFH Wins UKZN Chemistry PHD Award



Postdoctoral Fellow at UFH Wins UKZN Chemistry PHD Award

Postdoctoral Fellow at UFH Wins UKZN Chemistry PHD Award. Dr. Nicholas Rono, a distinguished postdoctoral fellow at the Fort Hare Institute of Technology (FHIT), has been awarded the prestigious MIKTEK Scientific Award for the Best Chemistry PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

This accolade highlights his exceptional doctoral thesis, titled “Investigating Graphitic Carbon Nitride-Based Materials and Selected Metal-Based Semiconductors in Organic Solar Cells, alongside a Computational Analysis of Perovskite Solar Cells.”

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Supervisors and Training

Dr. Rono groundbreaking PhD research was conducted under the supervision of Profs Vincent Nyamori and Bice Martincigh at UKZN, and Prof. Joshua Kibet at Egerton University, Kenya. Additionally, he received one year of specialized PhD training under Prof. Abdelkarim Merad at the University of Tlemcen, Algeria, through an exchange program scholarship granted by the ACADEMY project.

Academic Background

Dr. Rono holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry from UKZN. His academic journey began at Egerton University, Kenya, where he earned a Master of Science in Chemistry (Physical and Computational) and a Bachelor of Education Science (Physics and Chemistry). During his master’s studies, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence Performance and was listed on the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s list of honor during the June 2016 graduation at Egerton University.

Postdoctoral Research at UFH

Inspired by the innovative solar energy research at the UFH Institute of Technology, Dr. Rono applied for a postdoctoral position at UFH and was welcomed into the Institute’s dynamic research community. Under the mentorship of Professor Edson L. Meyer, the Director of FHIT, Dr. Rono focuses on developing high-performance lead-free perovskite solar cells for solar energy applications.

Additionally, he mentors postgraduate research students from the FHIT and Chemistry Departments at UFH, driving forward solar energy research for a sustainable future.

Contributions and Achievements

Dr. Rono’s project contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 7: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.” His work is aimed at addressing global challenges related to energy supply and consumption.

A prolific researcher, Dr. Rono has published over 18 research papers and serves as a reviewer for several esteemed journals, including Materials Communication Today, BMC Chemistry, and Progress in Chemical and Biochemical Research. He has presented his research at more than six local and international conferences and is an active member of the South African Chemical Society (SACI) and the Kenya Chemical Society (KCS).

Gratitude and Acknowledgements

Dr. Rono expresses his heartfelt gratitude to his PhD supervisors, the staff at the NanoChemistry Lab (UKZN), Theoretical Physics lab (Tlemcen), and MIKTEK Scientific for the award. He also thanks the FHIT team, GMRDC, UFH, UKZN, and his collaborators for their unwavering support. Additionally, he acknowledges his family, friends, and everyone who has supported him throughout his academic journey.


Dr. Nicholas Rono award-winning research not only showcases his dedication and expertise but also underscores the importance of collaborative efforts in advancing scientific knowledge. His contributions to solar energy research are paving the way for sustainable and innovative solutions in the field of renewable energy.

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