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Funmi Adebesin - Awards Galore! The awards for Funmi Adebesin's work is streaming in. She recently received not only the CSIR Meraka Award as the Best Student for 2011, but is also the recipient of a Unisa Platinum Council Award

Funmi Adebesin

The awards for Funmi Adebesin's work is streaming in. She recently received not only the CSIR Meraka Award as the Best Student for 2011, but is also the recipient of a Unisa Platinum Council Award for the best dissertation by a master student in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. 

 

Funmi Award

 

Here is a copy of the article (written by Cat van Rooyen) that appeared on the CSIR Intraweb in this regard:

 

CSIR Meraka Institute’s Funmi Adebesin was recently awarded a Council Platinum Award from Unisa College of Science Engineering and Technology for her dissertation on the usability and accessibility of the Digital Doorway. The award is one of five awards presented annually to top Master’s degree students from each of the university’s colleges.

Digital Doorway is a robust CSIR computer system that provides computer access to underserviced areas. The dissertation that earned Adebesin the award investigates ways through which systems such as the Digital Doorway can be made even more accessible using savvy design and usability engineering. For example, using words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms, can make all the difference to the user-experience. “Technology must be intuitive,” says Adebesin, “many aspects that we as computer literates take for granted, do not come naturally to people who have never or seldom engaged with technology before”.

The nurse-turned-award-winning researcher insists her success is owed to the support she received from others. “I would not have been able to finish my Master’s without the support of my mentor, Paula Kotze,” says the Nigerian-born, “she has encouraged me through the highs and the lows, edging me on through those times that I thought I would just give up”.

Adebesin’s dissertation also resulted in an accredited journal paper and three peer-reviewed conference papers. One of the papers received the  ‘Best Paper by a Master’s Student Award' at the 2010 Southern African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists Conference. Adebesin’s remarkable achievements were also celebrated by her peers at Meraka when she received the MSc Student Award at the unit’s excellence awards this year.

Of this rising star Kotze, her mentor, says: “Funmi is a true inspiration for any young scientist. She has proven that, through hard work, dedication, passion and a true understanding of the possibilities in your field, you can successfully become a leading scientist. It is an absolute honour to be her mentor and supervisor for her postgraduate studies.”

Apart from accumulating knowledge, Adebesin also has a passion for sharing it and aspires to a career in higher education research one day. “I hope to share the wonder I see in research with others one day, impart some of the love I feel for it,” she remarks. But for now, her focus is on her research and she is currently studying towards a doctorate. Already her work involving the development of an e-health standards framework for South Africa has caught the attention of the Director-General of the Department of Health and resulted in a request to develop a normative standards framework for e-health systems deployed in the public sector in South.

 

 

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