Sanja's training started at the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), South Africa in 1977 and she obtained a BSc degree majoring in Mathematics and Chemistry in 1979. She immediately started as a lecturer at the Vaal Triangle Technikon (now Vaal University of Technology, South Africa) and continued this career at the Witwatersrand Technikon (now University of Johannesburg, SA) teaching mostly Analytical Chemistry. After 12 years in this career she decided that she needed to study further and pursued a BSc (Hons) and MSc in Chemistry on a part time bases at RAU and graduated Cum Laude in both degrees in 1994 and 1996 respectively. In 2001 she accepted a lecturing position at Technikon Pretoria (now Tshwane University of Technology) and graduated with D Tech in Chemistry in 2002. After a postdoctoral period of 2 years at the University of Antwerp during 2003 and 2005 she was offered a position at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, SA in 2006 and was promoted to associate professor in 2007. In 2008 she moved to the UK and has been lecturing at Manchester Metropolitan University for the past few years. Sanja's research currently focuses on the application of micro Raman spectroscopic analysis combined with computer controlled SEM-EDX of micron sized environmental particles. Of recent the study of these particles are mostly directed toward their health impact using in-vitro studies.
Her relatively short research career culminated in 80 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 3 book chapters and attendance of numerous national and international conferences.
She is a member of the RSC and is currently president of the Northwest Analytical Division of the RSC.
Postions held since 1980 - 2009
Associate Professor: Environmental Analytical Chemstry, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Lecturer and Senior Lecturer: Analytical Chemistry, Tshwane University of Technology & University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Postdoctoral fellow & senior research fellow: Environmental Analytical Chemistry - air pollution, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Academic service: 1980 - current
Analytical Chemistry team leader
Materials Characterisation team leader
Coal chemistry research group team leader
Year tutor (2nd and 3rd year Forensic students)
Unit leader (various chemistry units)
Postgraduate programme leader - MSc Forensic & Analytical Science
English, Afrikaans, conversational Dutch, limited German
The importance of air quality and its link to early deaths has been in the UK news as recent as February 2016, when a report of the Royal College of Physicians released a figure of 40,000 early deaths in the UK that can currently be ascribed to air pollution. The extent and profile of the ecological footprint of anthropogenic pollution are continuously changing. For example, transport emissions are increasing due to urbanisation, and changing in composition, due to changes in fuel and combustion process. This causes a differential impact on the environment and humans, dictating continuous monitoring and investigation to assess new and emerging risks. It is for this very reason that my postgraduate training focusses on the impact of air pollution on human health. My group uses the chemistry of particulate matter to elucidate their fate when in-vitro studies are conducted. Specifically, in-depth training on single particle analysis using micro-Raman spectroscopy and computer controlled scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray detection as well as the hybrid InSEM-Raman will be provided. This will be complemented by experimental skills in various in-vitro approaches (simulated body fluids, COMET assay, chip technology) to determine occupational risks.
Postgraduate training focusses on single particle analyses of particles with environmental / industrial origin. Specifically, in-depth training on single particle analysis using micro-Raman spectroscopy and computer controlled scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray detection as well as the hybrid InSEM-Raman are provided. This will be complemented by experimental skills in various other anlaytical techniques, including ICP-OES/MS, HPLC, GFAAS and in-vitro approaches (simulated body fluids, COMET assay, chip technology).
Nicolle Bain (MSc): Bioaccessibility of Particulate Matter with Special Reference to Potential DNA Damage, Toxic and Carcinogenic Species.
Kate Irvin (MSc): The differentiation and determination of ochre pigments from Blombos Cave, South Africa; using micro-Raman spectroscopy.
Andrew Brown (PhD): Bioaccessibilty of the inhalable fractions of urban road dust.
Leonard Mbgeahuruike (PhD): STUDIES OF MULTI-METAL CONTAMINANTS IN SIMULATED SOILS AND THEIR POTENTIAL BENEFICIATION FOR METAL RECOVERY
Kate Irvin (PhD): The creation of a novel predictive model for compounded poly(vinyl chloride) formulations through various characterisation techniques and vibrational spectroscopic mapping.
Honorary Associate Professor, University of the Witwatersrand: 2008 – current Extraordinary Academic Staff, University of Antwerp: 2010 – current. External examiner, MSc Thesis (Applied Chemistry), University of Pretoria, South Africa
Individual particle analysis using computer controlled scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray detection and Raman spectroscopy Characterisation of environmental particles of respirable size and their bioaccessibility with reference to toxic and carcinogenic components
Environmental Analytical Chemistry
PM. Amaibi, JA. Entwistle, N. Kennedy, M. Cave, SJ. Kemp, et al. (2019). Mineralogy, solid-phase fractionation and chemical extraction to assess the mobility and availability of arsenic in an urban environment. Applied Geochemistry. 100, pp.244-257.
GC. Borillo, YS. Tadano, AFL. Godoi, T. Pauliquevis, H. Sarmiento, et al. (2018). Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitrated analogs associated to particulate matter emission from a Euro V-SCR engine fuelled with diesel/biodiesel blends. Science of the Total Environment. 644, pp.675-682.
AFL. Godoi, RHM. Godoi, AM. Grasel, SS. Potgieter-Vermaak, G. Polezer, et al. Human Exposure to hydrogen sulphide Concentrations Near Wastewater Treatment Plants. Science of the Total Environment. 610-611, pp.583-590.
QA. Naqvi, M. Ratova, R. Klaysri, P. Kelly, M. Edge, et al. (2018). Tuning the composition of porous resin-templated TiO2 macrobeads for optimized photocatalytic performance. Catalysis Today.
RHM. Godoi, G. Polezer, GC. Borillo, A. Brown, FB. Valebona, et al. (2016). Influence on the oxidative potential of a heavy-duty engine particle emission due to selective catalytic reduction system and biodiesel blend. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. 560-561, pp.179-185.
J. Romero-Pastor, A. García-Porras, R. Van Grieken, S. Potgieter-Vermaak, J. Coll-Conesa, et al. (2015). New insights in technology characterization of medieval Valencia glazes. X-Ray Spectrometry. 44(6), pp.426-435.
A. Brown, JES. Barrett, H. Robinson, S. Potgieter-Vermaak (2015). Risk assessment of exposure to particulate output of a demolition site. Environ Geochem Health. 37(4), pp.675-687.
GC. Borillo, YS. Tadano, AFL. Godoi, SSM. Santana, FM. Weronka, et al. (2015). Effectiveness of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems on reducing gaseous emissions from an engine using Diesel and Biodiesel Blends. Environmental Science and Technology. 49(5), pp.3246-3251.
AC. Dirtu, AJ. Buczyńska, AFL. Godoi, R. Favoreto, L. Bencs, et al. (2014). Methods, fluxes and sources of gas phase alkyl nitrates in the coastal air. Environ Monit Assess. 186(10), pp.6445-6457.
AJ. Buczyńska, A. Krata, R. Van Grieken, A. Brown, G. Polezer, et al. (2014). Composition of PM2.5 and PM1 on high and low pollution event days and its relation to indoor air quality in a home for the elderly. Sci Total Environ. 490, pp.134-143.
JH. Potgieter, P. Olubambi, SS. Potgieter-Vermaak (2014). The Corrosion Behaviour of WC-Co-Ru Alloys in Aggressive Chloride Media. International Journal of Electrochemistry. 2014, pp.1-11.
H. Hellar-Kihampa, S. Potgieter-Vermaak, K. De Wael, E. Lugwisha, P. Van Espen, et al. (2014). Concentration profiles of metal contaminants in fluvial sediments of a rural–urban drainage basin in Tanzania. International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry. 94(1), pp.77-98.
RHM. Godoi, AFL. Godoi, LC. de Quadros, G. Polezer, TOB. Silva, et al. (2013). Risk assessment and spatial chemical variability of PM collected at selected bus stations. Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health. 6(4), pp.725-735.
RHM. Godoi, AFL. Godoi, S. Gonzalves, SL. Paralova, SS. Potgieter-Vermaak (2013). Healthy environment — indoor air quality of Brazilian elementary schools nearby petrochemical industry. Science of the Total Environment. 463-464, pp.639-646.
(2013). Elemental and ionic components of atmospheric aerosols and associated gaseous pollutants in and near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Atmospheric Environment. 77, pp.51-61.
CN. Machio, DS. Konado, S. Potgieter-Vermaak, JH. Potgieter, J. Van der Merwe (2013). Corrosion of WC-VC-Co Hardmetal in Neutral Chloride Containing Media. ISRN Corrosion. 2013, pp.1-10.
RHM. Godoi, AFL. Godoi, LC. de Quadros, G. Polezer, TOB. Silva, et al. (2013). Risk assessment and spatial chemical variability of PM collected at selected bus stations. Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health. pp.1-11.
S. Potgieter-Vermaak, G. Rotondo, V. Novakovic, S. Rollins, R. Van Grieken (2012). Component-specific toxic concerns of the inhalable fraction of urban road dust. Environ Geochem Health. 34(6), pp.689-696.
(2012). Degradation potential of airborne particulate matter at the Alhambra monument: A Raman spectroscopic and electron probe X-ray microanalysis study. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy. 43(11), pp.1570-1577.
L. Jacobs, A. Buczynska, C. Walgraeve, A. Delcloo, S. Potgieter-Vermaak, et al. (2012). Acute changes in pulse pressure in relation to constituents of particulate air pollution in elderly persons. Environmental Research. 117, pp.60-67.
RHM. Godoi, PY. Hirata, AVL. Bitterncourt, AFL. Godoi, M. Jafelicci, et al. (2012). Geochemical Assessment of a Subtropical Reservoir: A Case Study in Curitiba, Southern Brazil. Clean - Soil, Air, Water. 40(4), pp.364-372.
(2012). Elemental composition of bottom-sediments from Pangani river basin, Tanzania: Lithogenic and anthropogenic sources. Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry. 94(3), pp.525-544.
DJ. Delport, SS. Potgieter-Vermaak, RI. McCrindle, JH. Potgieter (2011). Potentiometric determination of free chloride in cement paste - An alternative method for low-budget laboratories. South African Journal of Chemistry. 64, pp.251-253.
(2011). Chloride-binding effect of blast furnace slag in cement pastes containing added chlorides. South African Journal of Chemistry. 64, pp.108-114.
(2011). Degradation of galvanised iron roofing material in Tanzania by atmospheric corrosion. Corrosion Engineering Science and Technology. 46(5), pp.642-650.
SS. Potgieter-Vermaak (2011). Influence of Ru additions on the corrosion behaviour of WC-Co cemented carbide alloys in sulphuric acid. International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials. 29(4), pp.478-487.
(2011). Air particulate emissions in developing countries: A case study in South Africa. Analytical Letters. 44(11), pp.1907-1924.
(2011). Investigation into the evolution of char structure using Raman spectroscopy in conjunction with coal petrography; Part 1. Fuel Processing Technology. 92(4), pp.750-756.
(2011). Raman spectroscopy for the analysis of coal: A review. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy. 42(2), pp.123-129.
(2010). Raman spectroscopy and petrographic analysis for the study of char structure. AIP Conference Proceedings. 1267, pp.459-460.
CN. Machio (2010). The corrosion behaviour of WC-VC-Co hardmetals in acidic media. Corrosion Science. 52(9), pp.3118-3125.
(2010). Textural property tuning of ordered mesoporous carbon obtained by glycerol conversion using SBA-15 silica as template. Carbon. 48(5), pp.1609-1618.
A. Brooker, L. Darchuk, E. Stefaniak, R. Van Grieken (2010). Interfaced SEM/EDX and micro-Raman Spectrometry for characterisation of heterogeneous environmental particles - Fundamental and practical challenges. Microchemical Journal. 94(1), pp.65-72.
(2009). Atmospheric nitrogen fluxes at the Belgian coast: 2004-2006. Atmospheric Environment. 43(24), pp.3786-3798.
(2009). Adsorptive removal of various phenols from water by South African coal fly ash. Water SA. 35(1), pp.89-96.
M. Stranger, S. Potgieter-Vermaak, P. Sacco, F. Quaglio, D. Pagani, et al. (2009). Analysis of indoor gaseous formic and acetic acid, using radial diffusive samplers. Environ Monit Assess. 149(1-4), pp.411-417.
(2009). Particulate matter and gaseous pollutants in residences in Antwerp, Belgium. Science of the Total Environment. 407(3), pp.1182-1192.
(2008). Characterization of indoor air quality in primary schools in Antwerp, Belgium. Indoor Air. 18(6), pp.454-463.
(2008). Assessment of aerosol particles within the Rubens' House Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. X-Ray Spectrometry. 37(4), pp.298-303.
D. Avigo, AFL. Godoi, PR. Janissek, Y. Makarovska, A. Krata, et al. (2008). Particulate matter analysis at elementary schools in Curitiba, Brazil. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 391(4), pp.1459-1468.
(2008). Volatile organic gaseous pollutants in various indoor environments. pp.1-49.
(2008). Evaluation and treatment of coal fly ash for adsorption application. Leonardo Electronic Journal of Practices and Technologies. 7(12), pp.37-48.
(2007). Assessment of heavy metals pollution in Sudanese harbours along the Red Sea Coast. Microchemical Journal. 87(2), pp.104-112.
A. Worobiec, EA. Stefaniak, S. Kiro, M. Oprya, A. Bekshaev, et al. (2007). Comprehensive microanalytical study of welding aerosols with x-ray and Raman based methods. X-Ray Spectrometry. 36(5), pp.328-335.
(2007). Characterisation of concentrates of heavy mineral sands by micro-Raman spectrometry and CC-SEM/EDX with HCA. Applied Geochemistry. 22(9), pp.2078-2085.
(2007). A further method for chloride analysis of cement and cementitious materials - ICP-OES. Cement and Concrete Research. 37(8), pp.1172-1175.
(2007). Fingerprinting of South African ordinary Portland cements, cement blends and mortars for identification purposes - Discrimination with starplots and PCA. Cement and Concrete Research. 37(6), pp.834-843.
(2007). Comparative overview of indoor air quality in Antwerp, Belgium. Environment International. 33(6), pp.789-797.
R. Van Grieken (2007). Characterization of individual soot aggregates from different sources using image analysis. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry. 56(3), pp.211-223.
(2006). Metakaolin as an extender in South African cement. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering. 18(4), pp.619-623.
S. Török, R. Van Grieken (2006). Molecular and elemental characterisation of mineral particles by means of parallel micro-Raman spectrometry and Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis. Spectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy. 61(7), pp.824-830.
(2006). The application of Raman spectrometry to the investigation of cement: Part II: A micro-Raman study of OPC, slag and fly ash. Cement and Concrete Research. 36(4), pp.663-670.
(2006). The application of Raman spectrometry to investigate and characterize cement, Part I: A review. Cement and Concrete Research. 36(4), pp.656-662.
J. De Hoog, R. Kaegi, R. Van Grieken (2006). Substrate selection for optimum qualitative and quantitative single atmospheric particles analysis using nano-manipulation, sequential thin-window electron probe X-ray microanalysis and micro-Raman spectrometry. Spectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy. 61(4), pp.375-388.
(2006). Preliminary evaluation of micro-Raman spectrometry for the characterization of individual aerosol particles. Applied Spectroscopy. 60(1), pp.39-47.
(2006). Heavy metals removal from solution by palygorskite clay. Minerals Engineering. 19(5), pp.463-470.
(2006). An investigation into the feasibility of recovering valuable metals from solid oxide compounds by gas phase extraction in a fluidised bed. Minerals Engineering. 19(2), pp.140-146.
(2006). Comparison of limestone, dolomite and fly ash as pre-treatment agents for acid mine drainage. Minerals Engineering. 19(5), pp.454-462.
(2005). A characterisation of the surface properties of an ultra fine fly ash (UFFA) used in the polymer industry. Fuel. 84(18), pp.2295-2300.
SS. Potgieter-Vermaak, RHM. Godoi, RV. Grieken, JH. Potgieter, M. Oujja, et al. (2005). Micro-structural characterization of black crust and laser cleaning of building stones by micro-Raman and SEM techniques. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 61(11-12), pp.2460-2467.
J. Modise, N. Basson (2005). Removal of iron and manganese from water with a high organic carbon loading. Part II: The effect of various adsorbents and nanofiltration membranes. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. 162(1-4), pp.61-70.
(2004). A comparison of the performance of various synthetic gypsums in plant trials during the manufacturing of OPC clinker. Cement and Concrete Research. 34(12), pp.2245-2250.
A. Teodorovic (2004). Small-scale recovery of noble metals from jewellery wastes. Journal of The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. 104(10), pp.563-571.
(2004). Investigation into methods of chloride analysis of South African cement and cement-related materials with low chloride concentrations. Materials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions. 37(267), pp.155-160.
(2003). The influence of various common ions on the slaking of some South African limes. Water SA. 29(4), pp.433-436.
(2003). Determination of hexavalent chromium in South African cements and cement-related materials with electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Cement and Concrete Research. 33(10), pp.1589-1593.
JH. Potgieter, SS. Potgieter, RI. McCrindle, CA. Strydom (2003). An investigation into the effect of various chemical and physical treatments of a South African phosphogypsum to render it suitable as a set retarder for cement. Cement and Concrete Research. 33(8), pp.1223-1227.
J. Abonyi, FD. Tamas, S. Potgieter, H. Potgieter (2003). Analysis of trace elements in South African clinkers using latent variable model and clustering. SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY-SUID-AFRIKAANSE TYDSKRIF VIR CHEMIE. 56, pp.15-20.
(2003). Mining backfill formulations from various cementitious and waste materials. Indian Concrete Journal. 77(5), pp.1071-1075.
(2003). Hexavalent chromium speciation in a cement matrix. American Laboratory. 35(4), pp.26-28.
(2003). The effect of ultrasonic energy on lime slaking. Minerals Engineering. 16(8), pp.767-770.
(2003). Fingerprinting of South African cement clinkers and gypsum as a tool for cement identification purposes. Advances in Cement Research. 15(2), pp.45-50.
(2003). An empirical study of factors influencing lime slaking Part II: Lime constituents and water composition. Water SA. 29(2), pp.157-160.
(2002). An evaluation of the incorporation of a titanium dioxide producer's waste material in Portland cement clinker. Materials Letters. 57(1), pp.157-163.
(2002). Stabilisation of a ferro-industry waste in various solid matrices. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology. 77(3), pp.311-314.
(2002). The influence of chloride and sulphate ions on the slaking rate of lime derived from different limestone deposits in South Africa. Water SA. 28(1), pp.45-48.
(2002). An empirical study of factors influencing lime slaking. Part I: Production and storage conditions. Minerals Engineering. 15(3), pp.201-203.
(2002). The standard reactivity test as a measure of lime's quality. Journal of The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. 102(1), pp.67-69.
AFL. Godoi, AM. Grasel, G. Polezer, A. Brown, SS. Potgieter, et al. Human exposure to hydrogen sulphide concentrations near wastewater treatment plants. Science of the Total Environment. 610, pp.583-590.
MA. Legodi, D. de Waal, JH. Potgieter, SS. Potgieter (2001). Rapid determination of CaCO3 in mixtures utilising FT—IR spectroscopy. Minerals Engineering. 14(9), pp.1107-1111.
(2001). Technical note rapid determination of CaCo
(2001). A plant investigation into the use of treated phosphogypsum as a set-retarder in OPC and an OPC/FLY ash blend. Minerals Engineering. 14(7), pp.791-795.
(2001). Proposed modifications to the method for the determination of available lime. Minerals Engineering. 14(5), pp.515-523.
M. Yacoby, S. Howell, S. Mubenga (1998). Scale reduction and scale modification effects induced by Zn and other metal species in physical water treatment. Water SA. 24(1), pp.77-84.
(1996). The role of zinc in magnetic and other physical water treatment methods for the prevention of scale. Water SA. 22(4), pp.319-326.
PP. Coetzee, K. Gouws, S. Pluddemann, M. Yacoby, S. Howell, et al. (1995). Evaluation of sequential extraction procedures for metal speciation in model sediments. Water SA. 21(1),
R. Van-Grieken (2013). Science and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. In: Science and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. CRC Press, pp.45-49.
(2012). Integrated analytical techniques for analysing individual environmental particles. pp.123-140.
(2010). Integrated analytical techniques for the characterisation of environmental particles. pp.12-16.
(2016). Organic and inorganic characterisation of different coals by single particle analysis. In: 33rd Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference: Coal - Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, PCC 2016.
(2016). The use of microwave energy to desulphurize S.A coal. In: 33rd Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference: Coal - Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, PCC 2016.
S. Potgieter-Vermaak, JH. Potgieter, R. Van Grieken (2010). Is the micro-Raman-SEM-EDX combination the answer to surface analysis? A case study of atmospheric corrosion. In: AIP Conference Proceedings. pp.521-522.
(2010). Behavior of semi-volatile particles under a laser and electron beam - Influence on the quality of analytical results. In: AIP Conference Proceedings. pp.523-524.
Reviewer for: Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry; X-Ray Spectrometry; Spectro Chimica Acta B; ICCC (International chemistry of cement conference) 2007, refereed proceedings; International
Journal for Coal Geology; Journal of Raman Spectroscopy; Building and Environment; Water, Air and Soil Pollution; Journal of Environmental Monitoring; Fuel; Atmospheric Environment; Desalination & Water Treatment; Corrosion Science; Journal of Chromotography; Water SA; Analytica Chimica Acta; Industrial
and Engineering Chemistry Research; Environmental Science and Pollution Research; Environmental
Engineering and Management Journal; Environmental Earth Sciences; Science of the Total Environment Journal; International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry; Environmental pollution; Journal
of Aerosol Science; Environment, Atmospheric Chemistry, Environment International
2012 PhD studentship (0.5*fees for 3 years) £1900 / a
2016 NRF IRG - UK / South Africa Researcher Links Grants for Travel: £1500