Congratulations and Welcome on board …Dr Margaret Mkhosi, Director Centre for Nuclear Safety and Security (CNSS).
Dr Mkhosi, holds a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the Ohio State University (USA) and a MSc (Physics) degree from North-West University (SA), where she also worked as a Physics Lecturer before pursuing her studies at Ohio State University.
The newly appointed Dr Mkhosi will be based at the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at UP, which is the host institution for the NNR Centre for Nuclear Safety and Security (CNSS). Regarding her appointment, Johan Slabber, Professor at UP’s Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department, which will provide hosting facilities for the centre, said, “We are extremely pleased to extend a warm welcome to Dr Mkhosi on behalf of the University of Pretoria. We are going to make the CNSS Project a big success and I believe it will be on parity with the best in the world”. The Chief Executive Officer of the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) also remarked: “The appointment of Dr Mkhosi as Director of CNSS will strengthen the NNR’s capability to undertake independent nuclear regulatory research and to provide suitable training programmes for NNR staff, and will further enhance the country’s nuclear safety expertise”. Dr Mkhosi said, “I am delighted to be joining CNSS, and as Director I am looking forward to further developing and expanding university/industry research partnerships for CNSS.
Dr Mkhosi has served in different capacities in a number of organizations in the nuclear sector in South Africa. Before her current role she occupied the position of Senior Manager at South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA), where she provided strategic leadership and oversight on radioactive waste management. Prior to this she was General Manager: Special Projects at Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Her work at TIA involved managing technology innovation programmes aimed at assisting researchers and innovators at higher education institutions and small medium enterprises (SMMEs) to advance their research outputs and ideas to develop prototypes, proof of concept and business cases that could be brought into commercial operation or developed further. Before joining TIA she worked at NNR as a Senior Nuclear Engineering Specialist focusing on severe accident analysis and probabilistic safety assessment. Prior to joining NNR she worked for PBMR Pty Ltd as a Senior Nuclear Engineering Analyst, analysing fission product and dust transport in the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor confinement building. Previously, she was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Purdue University’s School of Nuclear Engineering, analysing the effect of void fraction and bounce on the deposition of aerosol particles in a randomly packed of pebbles in a pebble bed modular reactor.
Dr Mkhosi’s current leadership roles include serving as the Executive Board member for the Women in Nuclear Global (WiN-Global), a worldwide association of individuals focusing on women working professionally in various fields of nuclear energy and radiation applications. Amongst others, her responsibilities include the development and mentorship for women in the nuclear science and technology fields within the African continent. She is also a former Board Member and the President for the Women in Nuclear – South Africa (WiNSA). Dr Mkhosi is also an ambassador for Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E-SA), an initiative by the Department of Energy designed to empower young girls and women in the field of Clean Energy.
NNR Centre for Nuclear Safety and Security
The NNR Centre for Nuclear Safety and Security was launched in September 2016 by the Honourable Minister of the Department of Energy – Tina Joemat Pettersson. The aim of CNSS is to strengthen and capacitate the NNR in providing regulatory oversight over the country’s nuclear programmes by creating a pipeline of skills and human capital required to serve the needs of the NNR and the nuclear sector. It will serve as a national hub for the provision of nuclear safety education & training, undertaking of regulatory research & development, as well as provide nuclear safety expertise and technical support to the NNR and international markets. This centre, which is hosted at the University of Pretoria, will address challenges as diverse as nuclear plant life extension, severe accident issues resulting from the Fukushima nuclear accident, siting of new nuclear facilities, new nuclear build, safety evaluation of small and medium-sized reactors, decommissioning, and rehabilitation of contaminated sites, waste management and disposal. CNSS is committed to collaborative working within South Africa and internationally, enhanced through links with, amongst others, the National Nuclear Regulator, Eskom, Necsa, University of Pretoria, University of Witwatersrand, University of Stellenbosch, North-West University, University of Cape Town, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Michigan, North Carolina State University and CSIR-Centre for High-Performance Computing.
University of Pretoria: Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology.
The primary objective of the University of Pretoria is to expand its international profile through a focus on unique local opportunities and collaborative research by strengthening activities in the areas of immediate national need. In the past, for many years, the University of Pretoria has been involved in a substantial amount of research and development associated with nuclear projects. Specialists from most faculties have contributed extensively to the successes achieved at the uranium enrichment plant and other projects at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) as well as the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station. The technology development projects identified for improvement of the Pebble Bed Modular design also made extensive use of the specialist knowledge available in a number of departments at the University
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