Prof Jane Catherine Ngila

Deputy Director

Prof Ngila is the Deputy Director, Training, Academic & Linkages, at the Morendat Institute of Oil & Gas (MIOG), Kenya Pipeline Company. Before joining MIOG, she worked at the University of Johannesburg as a Full Professor of Analytical-Environmental Chemistry and as well as the Head of Applied Chemistry Department. She is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg and Masinde Muliro University of Science & Technology. She has also worked as a Lecturer / Senior Lecturer at other Universities, namely Kenyatta University, University of Botswana and University of Kwa Zulu Natal in Durban. She has held other positions as the Acting Director of the Water Node of the Nanotechnology Innovation Centre of Excellence, a project funded by the South Africa Department of Science & Technology (DST) through Mintek.

Prof Ngila is rated as a high-profile researcher by the South Africa National Research Foundation and she is the Winner of the 2016 South Africa Distinguished Women in Science (WISA) Awards in the Physical Sciences and Engineering category, awarded by the Minister of Science & Technology. She is also a Member of Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). On 24 January 2017, she was awarded the African Union Kwame Nkrumah East Africa Regional Women Scientific Awards under the Basic Science, Technology & Innovation category.

Prof Ngila has a Bachelor of Education in Science, BEd(Sci) and MSc in Chemistry from Kenyatta University, Kenya obtained in 1986 and 1992, respectively. In 1996, she obtained a PhD in Analytical-Environmental Chemistry from University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Prof Ngila has taught various courses at various levels from First Year General Chemistry to Masters in Chemistry in Analytical-, Environmental- and Industrial Chemistry. She has trained over 90 Postgraduate students (Honours, Masters & PhD) and Postdoctoral Research Fellows in analytical chemistry techniques; nanotechnology for water purification on fabrication of nanocomposite membranes and electrospun nanofiber adsorbents, for the removal of pollutants in contaminated drinking water and wastewater effluents; and chemical engineering in modelling–mass balance in wastewater treatment plants.

Prof Ngila’s Analytical/Environmental research work focuses on water quality /pollution monitoring, methods of water treatment based on nanotechnology, developing analytical methodologies for detecting metal pollutants and other chemical substances including their speciation analysis, in water.


Recent research activities in collaboration with colleagues within & outside the Africa region include:

  • Analytical instrumentation and method development: Atomic & Molecular Spectroscopy, Chromatography, Electrochemical, and Surface analysis techniques.
  • Environmental pollution monitoring; methods for detection of various substances in soil, water, oil & gas; Analytical Methods for Quality Assurance.
  • Nanotechnology- fabrication, and application of electrospun nanofibers from biopolymers (cellulose & its derivatives; chitosan and its derivatives; lignin and its derivatives) and Nanocomposite polymer membranes for removal and treatment of contaminated.
  • Constructed wetlands: monitoring the efficiency of pollutant removal in constructed wetlands (CWLs) during wastewater treatment
  • Fabrication of synthetic polymer resins for purification of water (removal of metal ions, inorganics and organics substances).
  • Surface modification of adsorbent materials for sample preparation and pre-concentration of metal ions and organics in freshwater systems. Analytical methods to improve detection limits of elements for ease of detection limits with low-cost instrumentation. For example pre-concentration of trace levels of metals for improved detection levels by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer compared to the highly sensitive inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrophotometer/mass spectrometer).
  • Fabrication of biosensors (mainly electrochemical and chemo-luminescence) for environmental analysis; chemically modified and polymer coated electrodes for determination of both inorganic and organic compounds.
  • Chemical speciation studies of heavy metals in drinking water and wastewater from industrial effluents, using electrochemical-(stripping voltammetry) and spectrometric & chromatographic methods.
  • Development of flow injection and chromatographic detection systems for determination of organic and pharmaceutical compounds by electrochemical and spectrometric hyphenated techniques
  • Method development for electrochemical detection of gases such as sulphur dioxide and other gases using metal-ligand complexes as the sensing layers.
  • Development of solid-state and chemically-modified electrodes, biosensors and gas sensors in flow injection & chromatographic analyses for environmental, biological and gas monitoring applications; adsorption studies using polymer membranes and biomass for removal of pollutants in contaminated water; studies of chemical speciation of heavy metals in water systems; method development for sampling and sample preparation to improve sensitivity of analytical techniques in trace level analysis of pollutants in freshwater bodies.


The following techniques are regularly employed to implement the above activities:

  1. Surface and structural characterization of materials namely clay & soils; synthetic polymers: and biomass (e.g nanomaterials; soda ash, plant ash, fly coal, clay & solids, etc) using XRD, SEM/ FEGSEM, TEM, AFM, NMR ATR-FTIR; DSC-TGA; Elemental Analyzer;
  2. Metal Analysis using FAAS, GFAAS, ICP-OES; ICP-MS; XRF

iii. Inorganic anions (fluorides, phosphates, sulphates, chlorides, nitrates, etc.) using Ion Chromatography and UV-Vis Spectrophotometry.

  1. Persistent organic pollutants analysis: HPLC-detectors, GC-detectors; LC-MS, GC-MS, etc.


Prof Ngila has a total of over 300 publications comprising of 150 journal articles, 12 book chapters and 24 Invited Lectures, 15 proceedings and 140 conference abstracts. Research gate Score of 36.55; Google Scholar h-Index of 17 (Scopus h-Index 15) and total citation of 958 (

  1. KM Dimpe, L Nyaba, C Magoda, JC Ngila, PN Nomngongo (2017). Synthesis, modification, characterization and application of AC@ Fe2O3@ MnO2 composite for ultrasound assisted dispersive solid phase microextraction of refractory metals in environmental samples.

Chemical Engineering Journal 308, 169-176, 2017.

  1. L Nyaba, NR Biata, JC Ngila, PN Nomngongo (2017). Ultrasound assisted-ionic liquid-dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction for preconcentration of inorganic tellurium in environmental water samples prior to inductively coupled plasma–Optical emission spectrometry detection. Journal of Molecular Liquids 231, 154-159, 2017.
  2. LC Mahlalela, JC Ngila, LN Dlamini (2017). Characterization and stability of TiO2 nanoparticles in industrial dye stuff effluent. Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology 38 (4), 584-593, 2017.
  3. N Kumar, BPA George, H Abrahamse, V Parashar, JC Ngila (2017). Sustainable one-step synthesis of hierarchical microspheres of PEGylated MoS 2 nanosheets and MoO 3 nanorods: Their cytotoxicity towards lung and breast cancer cells. Applied Surface Science 396, 8-18, 2017.
  4. EH Umukoro, MG Peleyeju, JC Ngila, OA Arotiba (2017). Towards Wastewater Treatment: Photo-assisted Electrochemical Degradation of Nitrophenol and Orange II dye at a Tungsten Trioxide-Exfoliated Graphite Composite Electrode. Chemical Engineering Journal, 2017.
  5. MI Ikhile, TG Barnard, JC Ngila (2017). Potential application of synthesized ferrocenylimines compounds for the elimination of bacteria in water. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 2017 (
  6. EFC Chaúque, AA Adelodun, LN Dlamini, CJ Greyling, SC Ray, JC Ngila (2017). Synthesis and photocatalytic application of TiO2 nanoparticles immobilized on polyacrylonitrile nanofibers using EDTA chelating agents. Materials Chemistry and Physics, 192, 108–124, 2017.
  7. HK Okoro, BO Orimolade, GB Adebayo, BA Akande, BJ Ximba, JC Ngila (2017). An Assessment of Heavy Metals Contents in the Soil around a Cement Factory in Ewekoro, Nigeria Using Pollution Indices. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 26 (1), 2017.
  8. N Mketo, PN Nomngongo, JC Ngila (2017). An overview on analytical methods for quantitative determination of multi-element in coal samples. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry 85, 107-116, 2016.
  9. EFC Chaúque, LN Dlamini, AA Adelodun, CJ Greyling, JC Ngila (2016). Electrospun polyacrylonitrile nanofibers functionalized with EDTA for adsorption of ionic dyes

Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 2016. (In Press)

  1. M Onditi, AA Adelodun, EO Changamu, JC Ngila (2016). Removal of Pb2+ and Cd2+ from drinking water using polysaccharide extract isolated from cactus pads (Opuntia ficus indica)

Journal of Applied Polymer Science 133 (38), 2016.

  1. RM Nthumbi, JC Ngila (2016). Electrospun and functionalized PVDF/PAN nanocatalyst-loaded composite for dechlorination and photodegradation of pesticides in contaminated water. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 23 (20), 20214-20231, 2016.
  2. GO Bosire, BV Kgarebe, JC Ngila (2016). Experimental and Theoretical Characterization of Metal Complexation with Humic Acid. Analytical Letters 49 (14), 2365-2376, 2016.