Prof Elsie Effah Kaufmann, a Ghanaian academic and biomedical engineer, has been named as one of ‘The many faces of physics’ by IOP Publishing, a society-owned scientific publisher that provides impact, recognition and value for the scientific community.
Prof Effah Kaufmann was listed alongside eleven other world-renowned scientists including Gladys West, Katherine G. Johnson, Flossie Wong-Staal and Sylvester James Gates, Jr.
Mostly known for her role as the principal quiz mistress for the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ), Prof Elsie Effah Kaufmann is also an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Ghana; and a Visiting Scholar at the Orthotics and Prosthetics Department of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS).
Prof Kaufmann had her secondary education at the Aburi Girls Senior High School. She obtained her International Baccalaureate Diploma from United World College of the Atlantic in Wales in 1988. She later proceeded to the University of Pennsylvania for her Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE), a Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) and PhD in Biomedical Engineering.
Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann began her teaching career at the Physics Department of the University of Ghana in 2001, where she 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. She was appointed as the first Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2006.
Prof. Effah Kaufmann’s teaching and research focus on Tissue Engineering, Biomaterials and the Application of Biomedical Engineering concepts to the solution of problems in the Ghanaian context.
She was the recipient of the University of Ghana’s Best Teacher Award for the Sciences in 2009.
She received the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation Fellowship in 2011 and the 2017 Impact Africa Summit Laureate for Education in Ghana, for her exceptional and continuous contribution to science education in Ghana and for being a role model and inspiration to many young girls.
Prof Effah Kaufmann is also the first female recipient of the 2018 Golden Torch Award for International Academic Leadership by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) at the 44th Annual Conference held in the United States of America, 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.
She is a board member of the African Gifted Foundation Ghana (African Science Academy) and the current President of the Ghana Society of Biomedical Engineers.