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Fulufhelo Nelwamondo


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Fulufhelo Nelwamondo

Fulufhelo Vincent Nelwamondo

Executive Director: CSIR Modelling & Digital Scien

Currently resides in: Gauteng, South Africa

Born in Lwamondo South Africa

Fulufhelo V. Nelwamondo is an electrical engineer by training, and holds a Bachelor of Science and a PhD in Electrical Engineering, in the area of Computational Intelligence, both from the University of the Witwatersrand, in South Africa. In 2017, the President of South Africa, bestowed the Order of Mapungubwe (highest honours that a country, through its President, bestows on its citizens) in Silver, to Professor Nelwamondo, in line with the powers vested in the President of the Republic, in terms of Section 84 of the Constitution of South Africa. Nelwamondo is a registered Professional Engineer, and is the Executive Director: CSIR Modelling and Digital Science. He is a senior member of the IEEE, and a visiting professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Johannesburg. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, of Harvard University. Nelwamondo has research and practical experience in software engineering and in computational intelligence in various applications. He is the youngest South African ever to receive the Harvard-South Africa fellowship and has been awarded many national and international research accolades, from organizations such as the IEEE, South African Institute of Electrical Engineers, amongst others. In 2009/10, he was awarded the National Science and Technology Forum award, for outstanding research, and in 2016, he was awarded the Operation Research Society of South Africa (ORSSA) Award for "outstanding contribution to the Science and Profession of Operation Research over a considerable period of time". He has interests in exciting and emerging areas of software and technology applications including Biometrics based system, data mining, data science, modelling of complex systems, machine learning and mechanism design. Nelwamondo has successfully supervised a number of Masters and PhD degrees in electrical engineering, and continues to do so.He has publised over 100 research papers in jounals, reviewed conferences and book chapters.

Fulufhelo Nelwamondo is a founding member of the South African Young Academy of Science and currently serves on the Department of Home Affairs ministerial advisory committee on modernisation. He has served on several committees including the Research Expert Forum of the National Department of Tourism, and currently serves on the board of the Metropolitan Trading Company SOC Ltd.

Contact details

O: (012) 841 2393

Business Address

CSIR North-Gate Visitors Reception, Pretoria, South Africa, 0184

Professional details

Current Position(s)

Executive Director | Modelling and Digital Science | CSIR
Pretoria, South Africa | April 2016 - present

Academia, Education and Training

Visiting Professor | University of Johannesburg
Johannesburg, South Africa | 2009 - present

Academia, Education and Training

Previous Position(s)

Acting Executive Director | Modelling and Digital Science | CSIR
Pretoria, South Africa | April 2014 - March 2016


Advisory Panel Member | International Federation of Automatic Control
Cape Town, South Africa | 2010 - 2013


Competency Area Manager: Information Security | Modelling and Digital Science | CSIR
Pretoria, South Africa | 2009 - March 2016

ICT and Telecommunications

Manage the CSIR Information Security Area of Competence, with focus of Identity Authentication of people (Biometrics, Smart Card technologies) as well as Network security and Data Mining/Science.

Post-Doctoral Fellow | Harvard University
Cambridge, USA | 2008 - 2009

Academia, Education and Training

Co-Chair and Co-Organizer for the 12th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernet | Artificial Intelligence for Modeling Missing Data
Orlando, Florida, USA | 2008 - 2008

ICT and Telecommunications

Director | DynamiData
Johannesburg, South Africa | 2007 - September 2009

ICT and Telecommunications

Sessional Lecturer | School of Electrical and Information Engineering | University of the Witwatersrand
Johannesburg | 2007 - 2008

Academia, Education and Training

Research Assistant | Computational Intelligence Research Unit
Wits | 2003 - 2005

Educational history


Mbilwi Senior Secondary


Gordan Institute of Business Science

Johannesburg, South Africa | August 2010 - August 2011

Programme for Management Develoment - Management


University of the Witwatersrand

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Harvard University

Cambridge | Completed 2009

Post Doctoral Fellow

University of the Witwatersrand

Completed 2008

Doctor of Philosophy



Best Paper Award | 2017

Increasing the Detection of Minority Class Instances in Financial Statement Fraud

ORSSA Award | 2016

Award for outstanding contribution to the Science and Profession of Operation Research over a considerable period of time

Best Special Session Organiser Award | 2015

Best Special Session Organiser Award for the session on “computational intelligence in the financial markets”, at the 7th International Conference on Computational Collective Intelligence Technologies and Applications (ICCCI 2015) in Madrid, Spain

CSIR Modelling and Digital Science: Team Dynamic and Effectiveness Award | 2012

CSIR Modelling and Digital Science: Publication Award | 2013

CSIR Modelling and Digital Science Leadership Excellence Award | 2013

CSIR Modelling and Digital Science Executive Director Award | 2013

Mail and Guardian Young South African | 2012

Fulufhelo Nelwamondo obtained his PhD in electrical engineering by 25, was made visiting professor at the University of Johannesburg a few months later, and is now a senior researcher at the CSIR, where he turns the far-fetched technologies of crime thrillers into everyday reality. A leading expert in fingerprint analysis, Nelwamondo has made discoveries any TV detective would die for, including an algorithm that increases the speed and accuracy with which partial fingerprints can be matched. He has also done award-winning work in artificial intelligence, most notably the development of techniques to make sense of online polls with corrupt or incomplete data. An extension enables effective computer modelling on the spread of HIV as well as evaluation of efforts to stop the disease. Nelwamondo has achieved many breakthroughs and published widely in books and journals, but his proudest achievement remains being South Africa’s youngest recipient of the Harvard- South Africa fellowship.

CSIR Modelling and Digital Science Established Researcher Award | 2011

Featured as one of Destiny Powerful men under 40 | 2011

Harvard-South Africa Fellowship | 2008

Nelwamondo remains the youngest South African to receive the Harvard-South Africa Fellowship

Premium: 2008 Best Paper Award | South African Institute of Electrical Engineers | 2008

Best Paper Presentation Awards | IEEE | 2006

Best Paper Award | International Institute of Informatics and Systemics | 2008

CSIR Modelling and Digital Science Executive Director Award winner | 2010

SAIEE Premium: Best Paper Award | SAIEE

NSTF Award winner | University of the Witwatersrand | 2010

National Science and Technology Forum Award Winner: Young Researcher Award (for outstanding contribution to Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation). T. W. Kambule-sponsored award

Microsoft Research Limited, Cambridge, Scholarship | Microsoft

Best Session Presenter Award | IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence

Top 200 Young South Africans | University of the Witwatersrand | 2010

Top 200 South Africans (Mail and Guardian), and Re-echoed by University of the Witwatersrand’s Exceptional Young South African Awards in recognition of outstanding leadership and achievements (University of the Witwatersrand, 2011)




Senior Member, November 2011 - present

In recognition of professional Standing

World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society

Member, 2006 - present

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers

Member, 2006 - present

Engineering Council of South Africa

Professional Engineer

Pacific Optimization Research Activity Group

Member, 2006 - present

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Member, 2007 - present

International Neural Network Society

Member, 2007 - present

International Institute of Informatics and Systemics

Member, 2008 - present

Association for Computing Machinery

Member, 2008 - present


COLT- Lwamondo

Award sponsor, 2010 - present

Sponsors tution fees to two best perforimn learners in mathematics and Science, in all schools in Lwamondo. This happens annually, after Matric results.

Pre-Univerisity Mentorship Program

Mentor, 2007 - present

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