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06 March 2020 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Tsepo Moeketsi
Dr Ocaya
Dr Richard Ocaya’s research addresses the skills development and transfer millennium goal of many governments globally.

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution becoming a reality, Dr Richard Ocaya’s research is receptive to the fact that Africa and the world need to re-imagine their research. His research focuses on electronic instrumentation design for scientific measurements, computational physics on atomic nano-atomic structures, and semiconducting organic compounds materials built on silicon to realise Schottky devices.

Software developer 
“I develop most of the instrumentation that I apply in my research – both software and hardware,” said Dr Ocaya, a Physics Lecturer and Programme Director: Physics and Chemistry on the UFS Qwaqwa Campus.

“I am active in scientific computing through the computing cluster and software development, mathematical physics for material science modelling, and embedded instrumentation design using microprocessors. I also have deep interest in radio and data telemetry, in which I hold a South African patent issued in 2013. My present international collaborations are with like-minded researchers in similar fields in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Japan, Egypt, South Korea, and the United States,” he added.

How does his research talk to the real world?
“The driving principle of all areas of my research has always been to deploy cutting-edge research to actual, real-world applications for the immediate betterment of Africans. The areas of my research align closely with the millennium goals of many governments globally, including the Republic of South Africa. These goals pertain to skills development and transfer that position us to better address the challenges of energy, water, and other priorities.”

Dr Ocaya is currently co-promoting a PhD student, having previously supervised one PhD, two MSc, and more than twenty honours students. He is a self-taught electronics and computer programmer, whose curiosity led him to question ‘the voices and music coming from a box; a radio’. “In my quest to satisfy my curiosity, I collected many discarded devices, took them apart, and tried so many circuits, only to have them fail because the theory was lacking. After thousands of failed projects and with me barely thirteen and in lower secondary school, my first ever project actually worked,” he said.

NRF-rating
He is the author of the book Introduction to Control Systems Analysis using Point Symmetries: An application of Lie Symmetries, which is available in all major bookstores such as Amazon, in both print and e-book format. He is a C3 NRF-rated researcher whose work makes a pioneering contribution to the new and growing field of phononics, an independent field of the now established photonics.

“This field will someday lead to improved energy-storage devices and faster processors due to more efficient heat removal from nanodevices,” he concludes.


News Archive

Another opportunity to take part in Success Week
2010-07-08

Student Development and Success (SDS) at the University of the Free State (UFS) is focused on helping students succeed as lifelong learners. To accomplish this, SDS has designed Success Week to provide students with the necessary skills and information to help them succeed in their studies.

The success of the first-semester orientation programme has led to the decision of hosting a Get.Success@UFS 2010: Reloaded programme from 19 to 29 July 2010.

Students who previously attended the programme thoroughly enjoyed the programme and learnt a lot from it. It also became clear that they needed more support. The aim of the Reloaded programme is to enhance students’ thinking processes regarding their personal as well as career development. It is open to all students. The focus of the presentations will not only be on helping students to make a success of their studies but also to provide those students who are completing their studies with useful knowledge and skills to plan for their career pathways.

The Get.Success@UFS 2010: Reloaded programme starts on Monday 19 July with a launch where Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, will address students and motivate them once again for the second half of the 2010 academic year. Thereafter the UFS staff will compete against the SRC in the 5-on-a-side soccer tournament that will take place at Pellies Park. Members of Bloemfontein Celtic will also be present. Students can spend the day participating in the mini soccer tournament or just come and support their teams.
This is an excellent opportunity for students to make new friends and spend the day relaxing before the start of the second academic term. There will be prizes for the winning teams as well as for the best war cry and the most spirited team and fan base. There will also be funky give-aways for the spectators.

For the rest of the week there will be three interactive sessions which students can attend to help equip themselves with the necessary skills to succeed in their studies and future endeavours. The sessions include: Game Plan for Success, How to Build your Fortune, CV Writing, and Job Hunting.
Blackboard training will be hosted during the two weeks to show students how to effectively use this medium in their studies. There will be two opportunities for students to visit and be taken on a tour through the library to learn about the services offered.

All information and detailed programmes are available at www.ufs.ac.za/getsuccessufs .


Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
8 July 2010
 

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