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Prof Fulufhelo Nelwamondo

The Order of Mapungubwe in

Prof Fulufhelo Nelwamondo Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the field of science, particularly electrical engineering. He serves as an enormous inspiration to young people in South Africa.
Prof Fulufhelo Nelwamondo was born in 1982 in Limpopo. He started school at Belemu Primary School at Belemu Village, where he had to walk a long distance from the Lukau Village, where he lived, through two villages, before reaching the school, all within the greater Lwamondo Village.

He grew up like most villagers, tending goats and cattle,fetching fire wood and water from the local spring or river. All the village activities did not deter his interest in education, despite many of his peers dropping out of school for one reason or another. In 1995 he enrolled at Mbilwi Secondary school, where he later matriculated.

Determined to make a difference in his own country, he made up his mind to follow a career in engineering. Prof Nelwamondo was awarded a bursary by Eskom to study Electrical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand.

He became the first member of his family to attend university. Despite the mounting pressure to assist his parents financially, he had the urge to continue with his studies against all odds, until he completed his PhD. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Through his progression, Prof Nelwamondo became the first in many things, in his family. These included being the first to board a plane, travel overseas and graduate with a degree.

Prof Nelwamondo is now an electrical engineer, and holds a Bachelor of Science and PhD in Electrical Engineering degrees in the area of Computational Intelligence, both from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a registered Professional Engineer, and Executive Director of Modelling and Digital Science at the Council for Scientific and Industrial  Research.

He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a visiting professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Johannesburg. He has research and practical experience in software engineering and in computational intelligence in various  applications.

Prof Nelwamondo is one of the youngest South Africans ever to receive the Harvard South Africa Fellowship and has been awarded many national and international research accolades, from organisations such as the IEEE and South African Institute of Electrical Engineers, among others. He has been awarded several  accolades for best research and he has supervised a number of Masters and Doctoral students in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Prof Nelwamondo has published over 100 research papers in journals, reviewed conferences and book chapters. He Fulufhelo Nelwamondo is a founding member of the South African Young Academy of Science and served on the Department of Home Affairs ministerial advisory committee on modernisation.