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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

UFS busy with building projects to the value of R220 million
2010-07-26

Pictured at the sod-turning ceremony are, from the left: Mr Nico Janse van Rensburg (Manager: Physical Planning), Prof. Jonathan Jansen (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS) and Prof. Dennis Francis (Dean: Faculty of Education).
Photo: Ula van Zyl


Since 2009, the University of the Free State (UFS) has already rolled out building projects to the value of R220 million on its Main and Qwaqwa Campuses. 

Some of these projects include a new building for Education Training for the Faculty of Education, which will be erected at a cost of R21 million on the Main Campus opposite the UFS-Sasol Library. The sod-turning ceremony of the centre took place last week.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, turned the first sod and a tree was also planted at the future entrance of this impressive building. “I am impressed with the eco-friendly design of the building and what the project promises for the future of the faculty and the UFS. It is important that the UFS continues to expand and improve,” he said.

The building, which will primarily be used for the training of Mathematics and Science teachers in the foundational phase, will amongst others boast three classrooms with seating for 100 students each, an auditorium that can seat 225 students and an office block. The auditorium will also be used as a classroom in the traditional African context of open-air teaching. The building has been designed to save water and power efficiently and will be completed by the end of 2011.

Other building projects that have been rolled out on the Main Campus this year include a building consisting of lecturing halls as well as offices for the Faculty of Health Sciences, a new skills laboratory, new laboratories, etc., at the Biotechnology Building, the renovation of the Stef Coetzee Building, die upgrading of various lecturing halls, the upgrading of service workers’ quarters, as well as the installation of computer rooms in virtually all the hostels.

Various other projects are in the pipeline, for example, extensions to the building in which the Department of Architecture is housed. At the Qwaqwa Campus, a new building for the Faculty of Education is under construction, laboratories are being renovated and new hostels for 200 students are being built. 

Media Release:
Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za 
26 July 2010



 

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