By Samuel Ouma
Kenyan lecturer Prof Catherine Ngila is one of the five women recognized by L’Oréal-Unesco 2021.
The five were awarded for their contributions in mathematics, astrophysics, chemistry, and informatics globally during the International Day of Women and Girls in Science held on February 11.
Prof Ngila, the acting Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences, was recognized for introducing, developing, and applying nanotechnology-based analytical methods to monitor water pollutants.
Her innovation is essential for the development of water resource management without degrading the environment.
The other four women are Prof Kyojo Nozaki, a professor of Chemistry in Tokyo Japan, Professor Shafi Goldwasser, the Director of the Simons Institute for Theory of Computing and professor in electrical and computer science in MIT USA; Prof Franscoise Combes, chair of Galaxies and Cosmology in France, and Prof Alicia Dickenstein, a mathematics professor at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The former Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic and Student Affairs (DVC-AA) at Riara University holds a bachelor’s degree in Education. She also has Masters of Science in Chemistry from Kenyatta University and a Ph.D. in Analytical Environmental Chemistry from the University of South Wales, Australia.
According to Unesco Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences Shamila Nair Bedouelle, attracting women to a scientific or technological discipline is a big challenge.
“We must also know how to retain them, ensuring that their careers are not strewn with obstacles that their achievements are recognized and supported by the international scientific community,” she noted.
The awards are part of the 23rd international prize for women in science.