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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.

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 honours many during autumn diploma and graduation ceremony

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The University of the Free State (UFS) will award 594 diplomas and 2 524 degrees from 22-25 April 2008 during this year’s autumn diploma and graduation ceremony. Students from the Main Campus and Vista Campus will take part in the ceremony.

Altogether 50 doctorates, one honorary doctorate and one shield of honour will be awarded. The honorary doctorate will be awarded to Prof. Daneel Ferreira and the shield of honour to Mr Ludo Helsen. This is the first time since 2004 that a shield of honour will be awarded.

On 23 April 2008 Prof. Ferreira will receive the degree Doctor Scientiae (honoris causa) for his for exceptional service, not only to the Southern African scientific community but also globally. By awarding him an honorary doctorate, the UFS recognises his significant contributions to the field of organic chemistry over the years. Prof. Ferreira, a former professor in organic chemistry at the UFS, is professor and chair of Pharmacognosy in the School of Pharmacology at the University of Mississippi, United States of America, as well as research chair of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at that university.

Mr Helsen will be honoured on 25 April 2008 for his involvement in a diversity of projects on the relationship between language and culture and the consolidation of a dynamic democratic dispensation. Among these is the Multilingual Information Development Programme (the MIDP), which is aimed at institutionalising a multilingual dispensation within the Free State Provincial Government. Mr Helsen is a member of the provincial council of Antwerp, Belgium.

On 22 April 2008 from 08:30 altogether 228 diplomas will be awarded to students from all the faculties. At 14:30 on the same day 366 diplomas will be awarded in the teacher upgrading programmes of the School of Education in the Faculty of the Humanities, namely A.C.E, N.P.D.E. and C.E.

On 23 April 2008 from 08:30 altogether 298 degrees and nine doctorates will be awarded in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law and Theology. At 14:30 on the same day 656 degrees and 23 doctorates will be awarded in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

On 24 April 2008 from 08:30 altogether 453 degrees and 11 doctorates will be awarded to students in the Faculty of the Humanities, excluding the School of Education. At 14:30 on the same day 375 degrees and six doctorates will be awarded to students from the School of Education.

On 25 April 2008 from 08:30 altogether 441 degrees will be awarded in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. This excludes students in B.Acc., B.Admin., B.Pub., related honours degrees and all masters and doctoral degrees.

It will be continued at 14:30 when 251 degrees and one doctoral degree will be awarded to students from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. This includes students in B.Acc., B.Admin., B.Pub., related honours degrees and all masters and doctors degrees.

Both the diploma and degree ceremonies will be held in the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
18 April 2008


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