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Prof. Noble Banadda wins the NEF Award 2015.

Makerere University don Prof. Noble Banadda has won the Next Einstein Fellowship (NEF) Award 2015. Prof. Banadda is the Chair, Department of Agricultural and Biosytems engineering under the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). 

The Professor received the award letter dated 28th February, 2015 from the Executive Curator, NEF Dr. Nkem Khumbah on the results of NEF Fellows Program Applications. On behalf of the NEF Scientific Program Committee (SPC), Dr. Nkem congratulated Prof. Banadda upon his selection as Next Einstein Fellow for the class of 2015.

Prof. Noble Banadda reading out the list of graduands during the recent Makerere 65th Graduation ceremony


“The SPC was particularly impressed with your scientific achievements and your potential for leadership — both strongly supported by your referees. In these critical times, as Africa and the world seek to catalyze its development through scientific advancement, we look forward to the NEF Fellowship strengthening your ability to play a leadership role in that process”. Part of the statement from Dr. Nkem read.

Dr. Nkem also said he was waiting for the response from Prof. Banadda not later than 7th March, 2015. As per application criteria, accepting the NEF Fellowship award includes consent for NEF to use ones name and material in its promotions, and to be featured as a NEF ambassador. 

“Once again, my congratulations on receiving this prestigious award. We very much hope you will accept this NEF Fellowship and join us on our long journey to propel the best of science in Africa onto the global scientific stage”. He stated. 

In an exclusive interview, Prof. Banadda said he had already written to the NEF committee accepting the award, “I have already written to them and accepted the award. They requested me to write a one page statement about my scientific achievements, my history and background like which school I went t to and what impressed me to become a scientist”, The don said.

Prof. Noble Banadda during the interview at his office

Prof. Banadda merited honour because of his scientific record and potential in leadership. Prior to the 

NEF award he had been recognised with several awards for his outstanding performance. 

“I was recognised in the university I went to which is KatholiekeUniversiteit Leuven (Belgium) one of the oldest universities in the world established in 1425. So in that history I was the first black African to get a PhD in chemical engineering after 600 years of that university’s existence which is a big achievement. But also to them, it showed acceptance that they can now accept blacks to do a doctorate in Chemical engineering not exclusive to whites only”, the Professor recalled.

The other achievement that also merited attention for the scientific committee according to Prof. Bannada was the number of scientific publications he has had. “By the end of my doctorate I had nine (9) journal papers in peer reviewed scientific papers and as I talk now, I have 65 scientific papers. Another thing that probably merits attention was that I was promoted to the rank of professor at the age of 37 probably the first of its kind in Makerere University”, he said. 

The NEF Award was not only for Africa. It was open to the whole world but specifically for Africa and people in the Diaspora who have done commendable scientific achievements. In that respect, the other important achievement that merited the honor of Prof. Banadda was the number of citations and ranking in his field in Africa and the world by Google scholar.

“Just go to google scholar and type in my surname Banadda, you will see I have 616 citations. In my field, I was ranked number 35 in the world. In Africa, I was number two (2) so I think with the number of universities we have in the world, this is commendable” .The professor added.


Prof. Noble Banadda dispalys a certificate he got from the Global Young Academy 2013

Prof. Banadda attributes his success to self discipline, hard work, luck and building networks. He advises the academia, students and whoever aspires to be successful to keep those attributes in mind.


“The number one thing is self discipline, if you are not disciplined, however intelligent or privileged you are, you cannot make it. The second thing is, no matter how disciplined you are, if you don’t work hard and if you don’t study you will not go far but there is also an element of luck which you cannot also ignore”. Prof. Banadda advised.

Prof. Banadda expounds on his advise and emphasises that knowing the right people, building networks, managing oneself and time management are very important.


“There so many intelligent people in the world, so you need to know the people who matter at the right time and make an effort to work with people. I have been able to build up some networks in the scientific community”. he went ahead to advise that: “The other thing which is also important is time management for example you are working with a team say, agree to develop a proposal within a prescribed time, schedule a skype meeting, and then you are not ready and not available for the skype meeting, people get disappointed. You can not manage others when you cannot mange yourself”.

As a NEF fellow, Prof. Banadda will promote science among young people and scientific community. The fellowship will give him access to scientific networks. It is estimated that 100 million scientists across the world will have to listen to what Prof. Banadda says and his works will be published by the fellowship to reach people across the world.

CAES staff congratulate Prof. Banadda upon this prestigious award
The Principal CAES Prof. Bernard Bashaasha and staff across units congratulated Prof. Banadda upon this achievement describing it as a pride to the Department, School, College and the University at large. 

“Dear Noble. Thank you for this great achievement. With continued mentoring, CAES will excel. Bravo! Assoc. Prof. John Bosco Okullo from the School of Forestry posted.

Dr. Tumwine Fredrick Head Department of Geography, Geo Informatics and Climatic Sciences wrote, “Prof, Congs for winning the award. You indeed deserve it. The award also is a sign of the dynamism of CAES”. 

“Dear Noble, Congratulations!!! This is an achievement truely worth celebrating”, Assoc. Prof. Margaret Mangheni from the School of Agricultural Sciences also posted. 

Close members from the same Department and School with Prof. Banadda expressed their happiness. 
“Dear Prof. Noble, Congratulations upon this prestigious award. 'Enkumbi terimba'. It also gives our Department of ABE-CAES in particular/University a global presence. I wish you many more awards”, said Dr. Joshua Wanyama. 'Enkumbi terimba’ literally means a hoe does not lie/deceive.

Head Department of Food Technology and Human Nutrition Prof. Archileo Kaaya wrote, “Dear Noble, Congratulations for this well-deserved award. Indeed Makerere should be proud of you. Keep up”.

Prof. Banadda Speaking to his guest. He says networking is an important aspect

According to the letter, NEF Fellowship will provide Prof. Banadda with support and a platform to attend and be featured at the prestigious, invitation-only NEF Global Gathering in March 2016 alongside Nobel Prize winners, Heads of State and representatives from leading global corporations. 

He will be supported to increase his global visibility among scientists, leading thinkers, policymakers, industry and civil society leaders. He will also be supported to be featured, interviewed and showcased widely to a global audience with an expected 100 million media impressions. 

In addition, support will be provided to the professor to take advantage of the opportunity to mentor and inspire other young, exceptional scientific talent from Africa and to help him interact with, receive mentoring from, and partner with leading scientists, policy-makers, industry representatives and civil-society leaders, as well as other exceptional young African scientists. Other forms of support will be provided to contribute to the establishment of a positive global view of science in Africa. 

Due to the highly selective nature of the NEF Fellowship, only 7 of an expected class of 15 were selected during this round. These first 7 Selected Fellows will be announced during the African Higher Education Summit to be held in Dakar, Senegal, from 10-12 March 2016. A second call for applications for the NEF Fellowship will be announced in the coming months to select another 8 NEF Fellows for a full 2015 class of 15. 

It is expected that all 15 NEF Fellows will work closely with the NEF secretariat in planning for the NEF Global Gathering in March 2016. 

About Prof. Noble Banadda
Prof. Banadda grew up in Kabale, South-western, Uganda. He did all his primary and secondary education in Uganda. He did his primary school at Kigezi High School Primary, Kabale. Then moved to Bugema Adventist College for lower secondary school and Kyambogo College School for Higher school. He earned a B.Sc. Food Science and Technology at Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania) and M.Sc. Processing Engineering and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering of KatholiekeUniversiteit Leuven (Belgium). His area of research is bioprocessing engineering specifically mathematic modeling of biological systems and interactions. 

Discoveries and dreams
Together with his co-authors, they have researched and published scientific works where they mapped bioresources potential of Uganda and the role of energy recovery in meeting energy demands and creating jobs especially for the youth. His works are cited by peers especially in environmental modeling thus forming the scientific base for many arguments for and against theories and practices in waste management domain. 

Publications, awards and public engagement.
Prof. Banadda is the youngest fellow of Uganda National Academy of Sciences (2013) and the only person to qualify to be in both the young and senior academy in Uganda. He is also a fellow of the Global Young Academy (2013). In 2007, he won the Cochran Fellowship to do Postdoctoral professional studies in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). In September 2014, he was honoured as Young Scientist at the Annual meeting of New Champions, World Economic Forum, Tianjin, Peoples’ Republic of China. Currently, he is the interim president of Uganda Young Academy Chapter. He has supervised 6 Ph.D. theses, 17M.Sc. theses and has thus authored 65 peer reviewed scientific papers in reputable international journals with a citation H-Index of 13, i10-Index of 21 and 616 citations as of 4th March, 2015. In waste management research, he is ranked 35th and 2nd globally and in Africa, respectively according to Google Scholar rankings. He has worked on projects raining from capacity building in Engineering in Africa, solid waste management in slums, and optimization of bioresources recovery and use.

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