Postgraduate Research &
Innovation Symposium (PRIS)


Our history

The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) is committed to the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s vision of becoming the Premier University of African Scholarship. The College comprises of the following Schools:

  1. School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES),
  2. School of Chemistry and Physics (SCP),
  3. School of Engineering (SE),
  4. School of Life Sciences (SLS) and
  5. School Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (SMSCS)

CAES strives to play a transformational role in the development of South Africa and the continent while providing a meaningful contribution to global knowledge production through the research undertaken.

The Postgraduate Research and Innovation Symposium (PRIS) is one of the College’s debut postgraduate initiatives whereby CAES gives these students an opportunity to showcase their research work. Students at masters and doctoral levels present their research findings (either oral or poster), giving members of both the university and the public an opportunity to learn more about the College and its research endeavours.

The College awards the best presenters according to the scientific content, its applicability and impact on society. In addition, the industry partners are able to exhibit their services (products, scholarships, bursaries) to our students. PRIS also gives industry and research institutions a platform to participate as judges.

CAES hosted the first PRIS in 2012 which was held at John Bews Lecture Complex on the Pietermaritzburg campus. There were 36 oral presentations and 31 poster presentations with an overall attendance of over 100 attendees. Over the years the event has grown in popularity and in 2019, there were 60 oral presentations and 190 poster presentations with an overall attendance of 800 attendees.

In 2020, CAES hosted the first successful online PRIS event which culminated over 2 days (10 and 11 December). There were 60 oral presentations, 135 flash presentations with an overall 1009 registered attendees. The PRIS 2021 online event attracted 60 oral presenters, 91 flash presenters and 1109 registered attendees. 

In 2022, a third online PRIS event, also held over two days saw a total of 55 oral presentations, and 102 flash presentations, with more than 800 people joining to hear an important plenary presentation on climate change and the student presentations over the two days. As part of the proceedings, 19 organisations, research institutes, and companies presented to and took questions from UKZN students on scholarships, bursaries, internships, research collaborations, and job opportunities in a virtual industry session.

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Meet the committee

Prof Neil Koorbanally

Professor Neil Koorbanally is the Dean of Research in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.  Prior to this appointment, he was the Academic Leader of Research in the School of Chemistry and Physics, and served as the Director of the Access Programme in the College for a number of years. 

Prof Koorbanally has been employed as an academic at the University since 2001, and was a student at the same institution since 1992.  He was a former Colenso Scholar at St. John’s College in Cambridge University in 2005.

Mr Asok Rajh
Mr Bheki Mthembu
Ms Christine Cuénod 
Prof Brenda Moodley
Ms Leena Rajpal
Dr Sally Frost
Ms Sinenhlanhla Mnculwana
Mr Siphesihle Shezi
Mr Siyabonga Mthembu
Mr Xolisani Jamjam

Support Teams

Moodle Comittee

  • Mr Luke Vorster
  • Dr Hloniphile Mthethwa
  • Dr Thishana Singh
  • Mrs Rosanne Els
  • Mr Siziwe Zamisi
  • Dr Mandlenkosi Gwetu

ICS Support

  • Preia Mudaly
  • Heena Jivan
  • Mpume Khumalo
  • Ray Mahadeo




  • Prof Trevor Hill
  • Ms Ntombifuthi Nzimande
  • Dr Hloniphile Mthethwa
  • Prof Seifu Gurmessa
  • Dr Lauren Hoyer
  • Dr Karen Caister
  • Dr Raesetse Baloyi
  • Dr Zikhona Theodora Rani



  • Prof Mathew Moodley
  • Prof Parvesh Singh
  • Dr Thishana Singh
  • Dr Ajay Bissessur
  • Dr Mashawe Tukulula
  • Dr Vino Paideya
  • Dr Precious Mahlambi
  • Dr Siphamandla Sithebe
  • Prof Ilya Sinayskiy
  • Dr Yaseera Ismail
  • Dr Aniekan Ukpong
  • Dr Colani Masina
  • Dr Mervlyn Moodley
  • Prof Thomas Konrad



  • Dr Kuveneshan Moodley
  • Prof Nishani Harinarain
  • Mrs Rosanne Els
  • Prof Wayne Nelson
  • Dr Malusi Mkhize
  • Prof Tilahun Seyoum
  • Mr Siqiniseko  Richmond
  • Prof Pradeep Kumar
  • Prof Anne Stark



  • Dr Tshoanelo  Miya
  • Prof Moses Okpeku
  • Mr Sizwe Zamisa
  • Dr Dalene Vosloo
  • Dr Nontuthuko E Maningi
  • Ms Buyisile Makhubo
  • Dr Shakira Shaik
  • Prof Matthew Adeleke



  • Prof Rituparno Goswami
  • Dr Sergey Shindin
  • Dr Mandlenkosi Gwetu
  • Dr Retius Chifurira
  • Dr Knowledge Chinhamu
  • Dr Simo Sisize Mthwethwa
  • Prof Oluwatosin Tope Mewomo
  • Dr Jean Vincent Fonou-Dombeu
  • Prof Jules-Raymond Tapamo
  • Prof Paul Kogeda


  • Dr Iona Basdew
  • Mr Simon Hodgson


  • Dr Ntsapokazi Deppa

  • Dr Thrineshen Moodley


  • Dr Parisa Doubra
  • Dr Rasoul Hassanalizadeh


  • Ms Nolwazi Nduli
  •  Dr Patrick Sekoai 


  • Dr Andre Zikzke