Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann
Prof Elsie Effah Kaufmann is an Associate Professor and Founding Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Ghana and now Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon. Since 2006 she has been a consultant and host (Quiz Mistress) of the highly acclaimed National Science and Maths Quiz Competition in Ghana, previously hosted by the Late Professor Marian Ewurama Addy, also a Fellow.
She holds a PhD, an MSE as well as a BSE (cum laude) all from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. She began her teaching career in 2001. She initially joined the Department of Physics where you taught undergraduate courses and also supported teaching in the Dental School and the then newly-formed Department of Physiotherapy. Incidentally, she was the first female to be appointed full-time to the Department of Physics.
During the period between 2001 and 2006, she was a member of the committees that prepared proposals for the establishment of the Departments of Physiotherapy, Radiography, Audiology and Medical Physics. In 2001 she was nominated to serve on the planning committee set up by the Academic Board of the University to make proposals for establishing the then Faculty of Engineering Sciences, now the School of Engineering Sciences. On this committee, her major responsibility was to develop the academic programme and curriculum for Biomedical Engineering (the first in Ghana and most of sub-Sahara Africa).
She is are currently a member of the team at University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) to introduce a Bachelor of Orthotics and Prosthetics programme to Ghana (another first for Ghana and most of sub-Saharan Africa) and Coordinator of the Graduate Programmes Development team at the School of Allied Health Sciences, UHAS.
Her current research is in the broad scope of Biomedical Engineering, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Engineering Design and Education. You have studied a wide range of materials (both natural and synthetic—metals, ceramics, polymers and composites), characterizing and developing them for use as biomaterials for implants and other applications. She has conducted design projects, developing medical devices and technologies to address challenges in resource-limited settings. Other research has been on engineering pedagogy to inform the teaching of engineering design.
She has received a number of prestigious local and international awards, including the University of Ghana’s Best Teacher Award for the Sciences in 2009; and the Winner of the prestigious International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation Fellowship in 2011. In 2017, she became the Impact Africa Summit Laureate for Education in Ghana, an award that recognizes your “exceptional and continuous contribution to science education in Ghana and for being a role model and inspiration to many young girls, activities which are vital to achieving Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5”. She is also the recipient of the National Society of Black Engineers’ 2018 Golden Torch Award for International Academic Leadership in recognition of her excellence in support of academics on an international level and exhibition of commitment to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. In March 2019 she received the Ghana Women of Excellence Award for Tertiary Education (Science and Mathematics), conferred under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. She has been featured in Who’s Who in Ghana Publication, 2019 and as an Inspirational Person in the Those Who Inspire Ghana Book, 2020.
On account of her scholarship, for her stellar contributions to Physics, Biomedical Engineering and popularization of science nationally and her international standing in the promotion of STEM education among the youth, she was elected into Fellowship of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on 16 June 2022.