Gloria Amo-Duodu, a chemical engineer from Bunso in the Eastern region of Ghana; is currently the proud recipient of the prestigious Young Talents from Africa Award from Eni Awards 2023.
The 30-year-old alumna completed her master’s degree (Meng. Chemical Engineering) Cum Laude and was a student researcher of the Green Engineering Research Group in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Durban University of Technology (DUT). She also participated in the 2022 ERAMUS exchange programme at the University of Valladolid in Spain and is a recipient of the Master student of the year (Gold category) award at the DUT Research and Innovation Award 2021. She has 19 peer-reviewed journal papers (authored seven and co-authored 12), one book chapter and has presented in seven local and international conferences.
Upon hearing of her win, she was very excited and grateful for her accomplishment.
“I felt so wonderful to know my effort during my master’s studies has been recognised to even stand a chance to win such a prestigious award from ENI,” she remarked.
Amo-Duodu spoke about the prestigious Young Talents from Africa Award from Eni Awards 2023, saying that the Eni award takes place every year to recognise researchers from all over the world. The debut in research: young talent award was established as part of the Eni since 2017. The award recognises talents from Africa based on their research output and highly qualified candidature.
Speaking upon how she had heard of such a competition, she explained that a call for candidature is sent out every year and last year when her supervisor Prof Sudesh Rathilal got the mail, he sent it to her to apply.
For the category of her nomination, the criteria in the Debut in Research: Young Talent from Africa award category is for four Africans who are 30 years and below during the application period and have submitted their master’s thesis.
She indicated that the selection is based on one’s master thesis, motivation from school heads (HODs or Deans) and oneself in support of one’s candidature, recommendation from one’s supervisors, future research proposal, journal papers and outputs among others.
“Recipients of this award get a plaque during the award ceremony and a three-year PhD scholarship in a university in Italy. My master thesis was about the application of synthesised magnetic nanoparticle for biogas production using anaerobic. The proposed research is the feasibility and potential of harnessing biogas produced food waste as a breakthrough energy source in Ghana,” she said.
Amo-Duodu excitedly spoke of how DUT has helped her in her journey of enhancing her win. “DUT and my supervisors have been instrumental in my journey, my supervisor guidance through my studies was very helpful especially with my research output and thesis. DUT funding sustained me financially and the opportunities to writing retreats, workshops and conferences all attributed to the success of the journey for which I am very grateful,” she said.
Engaging in academic studies is sometimes daunting but with the right mentors the journey is made easier. For Amo-Duodu, during her masters her supervisors Prof Rathilal and Dr Chollom were her mentors, but her mother continues to be her role model in all aspects of life. Her mother’s resilience, patience, kindness, and constant support always inspire her to do better and not give up regardless. Her plan is to continue her PhD journey and then carry on with her career.
Her advice to other students who want to follow in her footsteps is to work hard. “Like I always say there is nothing one cannot achieve if they are determined, work hard and be consistent. I love these words from my teacher from high school who said ‘where determination exists, failure can never dismantle the root of success’. I carry with me these inspirational words and have fought through it all to get to this stage. I believe those who want to follow in my footprint might as well dwell on these words and find their path,” she stressed.
Amo-Duodu expressed her profound gratitude to her supervisors, the green engineering research group, chemical engineering, postgraduate students, her siblings, and friends for their guidance and support during her academic journey. “I also want to thank Eni for recognising my effort and bestowing on me this award,” said Amo-Duodu.
Pictured: Gloria Amo-Duodu with Ms Nomthandazo Sibiya at Awards 2021.