At the Catalysis and Synthesis research group, we have four research leaders:


Prof Andrew Swarts (Group Leader)

Position: Associate Professor

Telephone: +27 18 299 2356
Email: Andrew.Swarts@nwu.ac.za
Physical address: Building G8, room G11, Potchefstroom Campus
Expertise: Inorganic chemistry - Synthesis; Organometallic chemistry; Kinetics/reaction mechanisms; Catalysis

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Andrew Swarts obtained his Ph.D. in 2013 from Stellenbosch University, working with Prof Selwyn Mapolie in the area of homogeneous catalysis. He moved to North-West University (NWU) in 2014, where he is currently employed as Associate Professor (since 2020). Since his move to NWU, he has established a research niche within the Catalysis and Synthesis Research Group focused on benign catalytic transformations. A NRF Y-rated researcher, Andrew’s research interests are focussed on the development of efficient catalytic processes for oxidation and hydrogenation reactions with applications in synthetic methodology and energy. Key goals include operating at low temperatures and at ambient pressures, employing earth-abundant metals as catalysts or catalyst precursors. He served as national committee member of the Catalysis Society of South Africa (2018-2019) and Group Leader of the Catalysis and Synthesis Research Group (since 2018).


Prof Manie Vosloo

Position: Professor

Telephone: +27 18 299 1669
Email: Manie.Vosloo@nwu.ac.za
Physical address: Building G9, room G11, Potchefstroom Campus
Expertise: Analytical chemistry; Computational chemistry; Catalysis; Organic chemistry - Synthesis; Petrochemicals; Industrial chemistry; Homogeneous catalysis; Organometallic synthesis; Polymer chemistry

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Manie Vosloo completed a PhD in 1991, focussed on the metal-catalyzed polymerisation of alkynes at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (currently NWU). Following a brief stint as a teacher he returned to his alma mater, where he progressed through the ranks and was appointed full Professor. Currently he serves as director of the Research Focus Area: Chemical Resource Beneficiation at the Potchefstroom campus of the North-West University and manager of the RSA Olefins programme of c*change. As a NRF C-rated researcher, Manie has diverse research interests. Areas of specialisation include metathesis and related chemistries, molecular modelling of homogeneous catalytic systems, polymer synthesis and characterization, and surfactant chemistry.


Dr Johan Jordaan

Position: Chief Subject Specialist

Telephone: +27 18 299 2349
Email: Johan.Jordaan@nwu.ac.za
Physical address: LAS: Building G6, room G05, Potchefstroom Campus
Expertise: Analytical chemistry; Computational chemistry; Catalysis; Organic chemistry - Synthesis; Petrochemicals; Industrial chemistry; Homogeneous catalysis; Organometallic synthesis; Polymer chemistry

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Johan Jordaan completed his PhD in 2005 at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (currently NWU) which focussed on the synthesis of tetracyclic amino acids. Thereafter he shifted his focus to analytical technique development, underpinned by the completion of a number of international training worskhops on instrumentation and method development. He currently serves as Head of the Laboratory for Analytical Services (LAS). His areas of specialisation include metathesis and analytical method development.


Dr Danie Otto 

Position: Senior Subject Specialist

Telephone: +27 18 299 2361
Email: Daniel.Otto@nwu.ac.za
Physical address: Building G6, room G06, Potchefstroom Campus
Expertise: Analytical chemistry; NMR; surfactants and colloids; drug delivery

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Danie Otto attained his PhD in 2008 at the North-West University. It focused on copolymerization of vinyl monomers and their application as drug delivery systems. Thereafter he completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Johannes Gutenberg University at Mainz and lastly at the NWU in Potchefstroom. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry and returned to NWU in 2017. As a C-rated researcher, Danie focuses his research on surfactants and colloids and their applications. He applies his specialised training on high-end equipment such as NMR spectrometers to study colloids. He provides NMR spectrometry services at the Laboratory for Analytical Services at the CRB. He also offers support on various other analytical instruments.