​Dr Maya Jacob John: Developing materials from renewable and sustainable resources

Dr John is a senior researcher at the Polymers and Composites unit at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Port Elizabeth. She holds positions as a research associate at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and senior research fellow at Wits.

She obtained a PhD in Chemistry from Mahatma Gandhi University in India in 2006. Her PhD research involved the investigation of different chemical treatments on natural-fibre-reinforced natural rubber composites. Dr John’s current research focus is the development of materials from renewable and sustainable resources, and includes research on natural-fibre-reinforced composites, bio-based materials and agro-waste beneficiation.

Committed to human capital development, Dr John has supervised five master’s and one PhD student, and mentored one postdoctoral fellow. She is currently supervising three PhDs and four master’s students who have been recruited as part of DST and NRF-funded projects.

She has published 58 peer-reviewed international journal articles and book chapters, holds a patent and is the editor of a book published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Dr John’s research papers are frequently cited, with her articles being in the ScienceDirect list of Top 25 articles in journals. She has an h-index of 23 and a total of 3 372 citations. Her article, “Biofibres and Biocomposites”, has been cited 977 times. Dr John has made more than 30 national and international conferences presentations, one of which was a plenary lecture.

Dr John received a Y1 rating from the NRF in 2013, and a CSIR Award for Research Excellence in the young researcher category. She is an external peer reviewer for several international journals and a remote reviewer for European Research Council-funded research projects, and also serves on NRF adjudication panels.

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