Meet the Team

IP Management Team

Philip Hoekstra
Intellectual Property Manager

Philip joined RC&I in August 2013, having previously worked at Frost & Sullivan (a market research firm), Optimal Energy (a start-up company), Von Seidels Intellectual Property Attorneys, and SANS Fibres. Philip has worked with inventions and patents across a wide range of disciplines. He currently heads up the IP team of RC&I.

Philip holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Stellenbosch and has completed the South African Patent Examination Board's Group 1 patent examinations.

He is passionate about regional development and presented SARIMA short courses on IP, Technology Transfer and Traditional Knowledge Systems in SA and various SADC countries, including Malawi, Swaziland and Mozambique.

Philip is a past committee member of SARIMA and presently serves on the International Committee of the International Technology Transfer Network (ITTN) based in China. He is also a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP), which is an internationally recognized professional accreditation from the Association of Technology Transfer Professionals (ATTP).

Wasiu Afolabi
Principal Intellectual Property Officer

Wasiu Afolabi (“Afo”) joined the RC&I team in June 2018 with multidisciplinary training and experience. He started his career in the innovation and technology commercialisation sector as a beneficiary of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) / British Council (SA) funded CHUMA Programme. He was an intern at the CPUT technology transfer office and later joined Savant technology incubator as a commercialisation practitioner.

Thereafter, he was seconded to Brian Bacon Inc. IP firm. Afo spent time in the Venture Capital industry working for Knife Capital where he acquired valuable experience in the art of venture funding and scaling for IP enabled technology-based businesses with good market fit. He was also part of the candidates that attended the TIA/British Council Professional Development and Engagement Knowledge Exchange Program in Wales, United Kingdom in 2017.

Afo has a technical background in Chemistry with a Bachelors and Masters’ degree, and he has just completed a PhD degree in Natural Products and Synthetic Organic Chemistry. He complemented his skills with Advanced Certificate Courses in Intellectual Property administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), and he attended the 2016 WIPO/NIPMO Advanced Summer School in Intellectual Property Management in Cape Town. He is currently an MBA candidate at the University of the People, Pasadena, California, United States.

At RC&I he will be involved in the identification of new protectable IP emanating from the university’s research, IP portfolio maintenance, its management and some associated commercialisation aspects.

Tshepang Khahlu
Senior IP Officer

Tshepang (Tshepi) joined RC&I in August 2018 after leaving her position as CHUMA Commercialisation Intern at the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Prior to joining TIA, she had experience in research in biotechnology and is currently completing her MSc Biotechnology at the University of Pretoria. After she joined the TIA CHUMA programme in 2017, she was seconded to the Technology Transfer Office of the Vaal University of Technology. Her training at the TTO focused in IP marketing, IP due diligence and compiling reports for the TIA Seed Fund.

Thereafter she was seconded to the IP firm Spoor & Fisher, where she gained skills in patent searching, patent prosecution and vetting patent specifications for conformity to South African law. In 2017, Tshepi attended the TIA/British Council Professional Development and Engagement Knowledge Exchange Program in Wales. This program gave insight on the best practices of Technology Transfer of academic institutions and businesses in Wales.

Tshepi is enrolled for a LLB degree at the University of South Africa. Her role at RC&I will be IP identification & screening, case Management, IP commercialisation and promotion.

Naseema Haffejee
Database Officer

Naseema joined RC&I in September 2020 as the Database Officer responsible for maintaining our Intellectual Property management system "Inteum". She completed a 3-year national diploma and after graduation was employed for a year as an IT lecturer. Thereafter Naseema embarked on a learnership earning a certificate in IT and was employed at Standard Bank as a Consultant before pursuing another learnership and obtaining a Certificate in Business Administration. In the last few years at Standard Bank Naseema was employed in the Private Banking division.

She recently completed online courses with UCT and GetSmarter obtaining certificates in Business Analysis, Data Analysis and Project Management.