Elsie Effah Kaufmann who was born September 7, 1969 is an Associate Professor, founding Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Ghana and the current host of the National Science and Maths Quiz.

In 1988, she graduated from United World College of the Atlantic in Wales with an International Baccalaureate Diploma. She went on to get her Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE), Master of Science in Engineering (MSE), and PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prof. Kaufmann worked as a Research Supervisor at Rutgers University’s Department of Chemistry in New Jersey, United States of America, from May 1998 to June 2001, after working as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Bioengineering.   She later became a Senior Lecturer and the first Head of the University of Ghana’s Department of Biomedical Engineering from (2006–2012, 2014–2016).

Prof. Kaufmann’s research includes Design of scaffolds for tissue engineering applications, Characterization of natural materials, Application of Biomedical Engineering concepts to addressing problems in the Ghanaian context:  e.g. Use of biomaterials in Ghana, Engineering Design.

Prof. Kauffman received the University of Ghana’s Best Teacher Award for the Sciences in 2009 and in 2011 was awarded the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation Fellowship. In 2017, she was also named the Ghanaian Impact Africa Summit Laureate for Education.

Elsie Effah Kaufmann, Achievements

Prof. Kauffman is the first female winner of the National Society of Black Engineers’ (NSBE) Golden Torch Award for International Academic Leadership, which she received at the 44th Annual Conference in the United States of America. She also received the 2018 Golden T.O.R.C.H. (Technical OutReach and Community Help) Award for International Academic Leadership from the National Society of Black Engineers in recognition of her excellence in supporting academics on an international level and demonstrating a commitment to STEM fields. Prof. Effah Kaufmann is a Board member of the African Gifted Foundation Ghana (African Science Academy) and the British International School-Ghana.  She is the current President of the Ghana Society of Biomedical Engineers.

Prof. Kaufmann is currently on a one-year sabbatical leave at the University of Allied Health Sciences, where she is working with other scholars to establish an orthotics and prosthetics department.

As someone who is passionate about education, Elsie Effah Kaufmann encourages students in an interview that it is ok to get a Zero “I remember I had never had a zero in my life. That was my first zero. I looked at that paper and I asked myself “How?”. After crying and agonizing, I decided to re-strategize so I said ‘Professor Plummer, you will not see my tears ever again’. That meant I had to study ahead, do assignments and go to every class prepared

“Sometimes, you have so many other assignments so make a strategic decision that you are going to get a zero on this one. Its fine but plan that you’re going to get a 100 the next time because you know your target”

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