- Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry (Host: AAU)
Duration (in semesters): 8 semesters (48 Months)
Study credits/hours (per semester):3 credit hrs (7 ECTS) per semester for the 1st 2 years besides PhD thesis work
Instructional Medium: English
- To provide highly qualified graduates in chemistry for the needs of the country
- To assist young colleges of the in-country, and Africa in their staff development programmes and research in chemistry undertaking
- To strengthen the cooperation with industries & production (using catalysis) centers, so that the candidate would work in the sub-Saharan Africa region’s chemical problems
Structure and content:
In the 1st two years, students need to take courses and seminars. Students start Ph.D. Thesis research during the 2nd year of Ph.D. The Ph.D. courses include Advanced Inorganic Chemistry III, Special Topic in Inorganic Chemistry I & II, Seminar II, III, IV & V. Doctoral dissertation shall constitute individual effort in academic pursuits to find a genuine solution to problems. The thesis should be performed independently. The conclusion arrived at and/or the methodology employed shall be such a standard to have been judged as the original.
Students will be assessed through preparing seminars and oral presentations. The Ph.D. thesis will be examined by external and internal examiners and the students are expected to do oral presentations publicly.
- Effectively use their knowledge in all areas and sectors involving chemicals and other related problems
- Gain the requisite knowledge to teach, design & undertake independent research in order to solve chemical problems, advance frontiers of knowledge & enrich research capacity in chemical sciences.
- Influence society positively on issues related to the effects of the catalytic material in industry and enhancement of sustainable development in Africa.
- PhD in Materials Electrochemistry & Energy Technologies (Host: Witwatersrand University )
Duration (in semesters 8 semesters )
Study credits/hours (per semester): research-only PhD programme
Instructional Medium: English
The Wits Ph.D. program in Materials Electrochemistry and Energy Technologies (MEET) has been designed to develop the next-generation, world-class, African research leaders, skilled to meet the two national priorities: (i) value-addition to huge solid mineral resources, and (ii) energy security. The program is multi-disciplinary electrochemistry-related research interests spanning synthetic inorganic chemistry to electrocatalysis, renewable energy, materials science, and engineering. Three key research areas are (i) Energy storage (modern batteries such as lithium- and sodium-ion batteries, electrochemical capacitors); (ii) Energy conversion (fuel cell technologies), and (iii) Electrochemical Sensors (chemical and immunosensors, gas sensors, focusing on poverty-related diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, and drugs of abuse). The Wits Ph.D. program is a highly multi-disciplinary research program that involves both basic and applied sciences and engineering. Research students are enrolled at different schools/departments, including Chemistry, Physics, Biomedical, and Chemical Engineering. The program strongly aligns with the STEM thematic field.
Structure and content:
The Wits Ph.D. Program is structured as RESEARCH-ONLY that allows the students to apply prior knowledge of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) during their undergraduate years and 1-year BSc (Hons) class in Chemistry, Physics or Engineering. Candidates from other universities may be encouraged by their supervisors to attend the 15-hour “Energy Storage and Conversion” course offered at the 1-year BSc (Hons) Chemistry class.
The research activities comprise various topics/subjects in the following three research clusters:
- Electrochemical energy storage systems: to include lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, metal-air batteries, supercapacitors, lithium-ion capacitors;
- Electrochemical energy conversion systems: These include proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC); direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFC); electrolysers (water-splitting); and various electrochemical processes that allow the development of energy storage and conversions such as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), oxygen evolution reaction (OER), hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR), hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), and alcohol oxidation reaction (AOR).
- Electrochemical sensors: These include sensing systems suitable for poverty-related diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, alcohol and drugs of abuse.
For the Ph.D. degree, the following are required: (i) the Ph.D. topic must be original/novel work; (ii) the work must be published in peer-reviewed and accredited journals by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET); (iii) the PhD student is given up to six (6) months to develop and submit a research proposal to the University for approval through the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee (FGSC); and (iv) PhD duration is 2 years (minimum) and 4 years (maximum)
At the end of the programme, Ph.D. students would be able to (i) independently carry out synthesis of at least two electrode materials; (ii) characterize materials with advanced scientific research techniques used in materials science (notably, x-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)); (iii) independently run at least XRD and SEM; (iv) carry out various electrochemical techniques, including cyclic voltammetry (CV), linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), square wave voltammetry (SWV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS); and (v) explain the principles that underlie each of these techniques, and (vi) to present research, poster or oral, at a conference.
In addition, the PhD candidate is trained to possess broad knowledge on electrochemistry, but a deep knowledge in a specific research area. The whole essence of the PhD training is to develop critical thinking skills.
There are several soft skills that are available for the PhD training for their total development: good scientific conduct & ethics in research, project management, collaboration and teamwork spirit, public speaking & conference presentations, business development & entrepreneurship.
- PhD in Materials Science/Solar Energy Physics (Host: University of Nigeria)
Duration (in semesters): Minimum of 3 Academic Years and Maximum of 4 Academic Years
Study credits/hours (per semester):12 credit units in first semester and 18 credit units in second semester (including 12 credit units for Thesis) for Doctoral Degree.
Instructional Medium: English
The doctorates in Materials Science/Solar Energy Physics of University of Nigeria has the following main objectives:
- To produce Research-oriented, interdisciplinary science education with focus on Materials Science and solar energy physics which is required to meet the national and international demand in the sectors of materials development solar energy, electronic industry, and quality and standards testing centers, in the construction industry
- To produce highly qualified & capable graduates, who can initiate, pursue career in industry, undertake and supervise research projects that address problems pertinent to the Africa, such as mineral, water and solar energy resources as well as environmental problems.
- To impart sound knowledge in key areas of research and ultimately lead to the production of high level man power in these areas of Physics.
Structure and content:
The PhD in Materials Science/Solar energy programme is a four-year course and research-based programme.
The 1st 8 months of PhD involves course/seminar works while the thesis is examinable by external examiner. Courses include:
- Synopsis and Grant Writing
- Experimental study of the operations and performance of the Selected
- solar Photovoltaic Utilities,
- solar Photothermal Utilities,
- solar Energy Storage Utilities and
- Advanced Experimental Study of Solar Energy or Advanced Experimental study of materials
- Group seminar.
Students’ performance will be assessed through exam, assignments, laboratory experiments and oral presentation of the final thesis, subjected to be examined by external examiner.
NB: For a thesis to be approved for oral examination for doctoral degree, it shall embody the original research of the candidate, display critical judgement and contain materials publishable as definite contribution to knowledge. This must be demonstrated by at least an acceptance letter / galley proof version of accepted article from any impact factor indexed journal approved by the University (JCR, SNIP, SJR).
Upon completion of their PhD degree in Materials Science/Solar Energy Physics, students will be able to:
- Identify and resolve complex scientific and practical problems in the field of Materials Science and solar energy physics.
- Design strategies and conduct Materials, solar energy research projects, and transferring findings to real-world scenarios.
- Cooperate with stakeholders and specialists from other disciplines and energy industries so as to arrive at a common identification, analysis and solution of the issue involved in Materials & energy.
- Acquire the requisite knowledge to teach Materials Science & solar energy at the tertiary educational institutions.
Their training also prepares them for careers in Government Departments, e.g. National Standard Organization; in Industrial research Establishments like National Radio Astronomy Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan,European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere,Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Projects Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu, National Space Research and Development Agency, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, National Atomic Energy Agency, Sheda Science And Technology Complex Abuja; In oil, steel and other industries; and in commercial and technical firms needs the services of physicists.
- PhD in Physical Chemistry (Host: AASTU)
Duration (in semesters): Minimum of six semesters Years and Maximum of 8 Academic Semesters (2 semesters/yr)
Study credits/hours (per semester):A total of 18 credit hour courses (for seven coursework) and a PhD dissertation thesis-based research demanding a minimum of two publication in a peer reviewed scopes indexed journal
Instructional Medium: English
The PhD program in Physical chemistry is one of the programs in Industrial chemistry department where students from all over the country or abroad can apply to the program. The program has faculty members specialized in different areas such as electrochemistry, photoelectronic devices and catalysis, energy storage devices such as (batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells), spectroscopy chemical thermodynamics, quantum chemistry and computational chemistry. So the PhD program is aimed to produce graduates who are able to plan and carry out original independent research in physical chemistry to gear the industry and to acquire the required theoretical and practical knowledge of the type of research conducted in industry and of the constraints (both practical and philosophical) under which such research is conducted. The PhD chemistry program will be focused in developing novel materials for industries that include plastics, ceramics, catalysis, electronics, fuel formulation, batteries, surfactants and colloids, and personal care products, with most of them working as material scientists or chemists. It also aims to offer the students state of the art knowledge and hands-on techniques in the area of their study. Upon graduation, students are capable to meet the skills and merits to pursue their career in industry or academia. The strive to produce clean energy such as hydrogen, solar, biomass and getting appropriate affordable, sustainable and environmentally friendly storage devices is among the set goals for Ethiopia and other countries African ambition to invest in diversified energy resources. All the themes outlined above fit STEM and the ICT mobility objectives.
Structure and content:
For joining the PhD program in physical chemistry, candidates should full fill the minimum requirements during their MSc studies. Then there is an entrance exam where the candidate is required to present his/her research concept note in the presence of department graduate committee. Then an acceptance letter is awarded to the candidate to officially register as a PhD student. A main supervisor with a minimum of Associate professor position and a co-supervisor with a minimum of assistant professor is assigned to the candidate ( a student can also choose supervisors by himself based on their specialization). To earn the PhD degree, the students have to fulfil two requirements: (i) To pass 18 credit hours of course work(a total of 6 courses, each of 2 or 3credit hours, and two PhD review seminars open to any university facility or interested students. The two seminars are offered and presented in different semesters of the first two years each semester). (ii) To submit a written thesis (Dissertation) : A PhD candidate is expected to present a progress report of his ongoing research and get feedbacks and comments from the teams in the physical chemistry steam. The candidate is expected to publish at least two articles of his research to qualify for his thesis examination. The research thesis on the other hand will undergo two evaluations. One is the internal evaluation by the selected professors from the department to recommend the thesis for external examination. After the internal examination the thesis is subjected to two external examiners (one from home country and one from Abroad). PhD students are always encouraged to attend and present their research in national and international conferences. Degree requirements may be completed in a minimum of three and a maximum of five academic years. Thesis supervisor have to submit at the end of each academic year a detailed technical report to the graduate committee for the progress of the student. A thesis defense is not allowed until the student passes a total of 8 courses with merit and presents the two published paper in a peer reviewed Journal.In the context of this African mobility program, students enrolled in AASTU program will be expected to pursue their research in electrocatalysis or energy storage using advanced materials besides passing the required course work. Materials chemistry is one of the major courses in the program to train students how to prepare tailor designed new/advanced materials to modify conventional electrode surfaces. Different modern techniques of characterization of the structure/composition of the materials such as electrochemical and photoelectrochemical, optical, electron microscopic, spectroscopy, proble techniques and hybrid techniques will be employed to test the performance of the surfaces and interfaces of devices for energy conversion, storage and catalytic activities.
Physical Chemistry streams PhD graduates have broad training, and can work in a variety of scientific and technological careers. The graduates can conduct applied and basic research for product development applications in Industry. They can work in areas that involve analyzing materials, developing methods to test and characterize the properties of materials, developing theories about these properties, and discovering the potential use of the materials. They are also capable of working in the emerging fields of materials science and molecular modeling where their skills in analyzing and predicting the behavior of chemical and physical properties of new and exciting materials and their applications. The contribution of chemists in the development of sustainable and renewable energy sources where there is a need of chemical and physical knowledge of materials is very high. So up on completion of their PhD degree, students will be able to: (i) engage in research and development on their area of expertise in universities , Industry and research institutes (ii) contribute in the broader context of their field of study in terms of research and development, (iii) write, present and communicate scientific reports to the level of full research, (iv) secure successful career in academia or industry, (v) show leadership and provide mentoring to junior scientists, (vi) participate effectively in team work environment to reach set goals of concerted projects and (vii) share achieving national and regional goals set for development and prosperity of their countries.