Professor Azwinndini Muronga is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This year marks his third year as Judging Chair in the Mathematics & Physics category at The Undergraduate Awards (UA), and we are delighted to have Nelson Mandela University as a UA Affiliate institution.
Professor Muronga is a theoretical physicist, who started his tertiary education at the University of Venda, Limpopo, South Africa, where he obtained with a BSc degree in Mathematics and Physics and a University Education Diploma. He then studied at the University of Cape Town where he obtained Honours in Physics and MSc in Physics. After completing his studies at the University of Cape Town hesubsequently went on to study at the University of Minnesota where he obtained his PhD in Physics.
Azwinndini then did his postdoctoral training at the University of Frankfurt and at GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany.
In 2005 he took up a position of Senior Lecturer in the Physics Department of the University of Cape Town. In October 2010 he joined the University of Johannesburg as an Associate Professor of Physics and concurrently as the Director of Soweto Science Centre – before moving to Nelson Mandela University as the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science.
Professor Muronga's own research field lies in the intersection of nuclear physics, particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, studying the nature and properties of hot and dense matter in heavy ion collisions and astrophysics.
Apart from his own research interests, Prof Muronga is also an outstanding and recognised science educator and communicator, with a strong passion for, and interest in, public engagement with science , particularly the rural and disadvantaged communities.