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Elsie Effah Kaufmann, PhD | Ghana | Pioneering Engineer

Dean, School of Engineering Sciences | Associate Professor at University of Ghana

Founder, Elsie Effah Kaufmann Foundation


Elsie Akosua Biraa Effah Kaufmann, PhD, is not just a name; she's a force in the realms of academia, engineering, and leadership. Fondly known as Prof. Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann, she is a Ghanaian academic, biomedical engineer, and the esteemed Quiz Mistress for the National Science and Maths Quiz. Beyond her professional accolades, Elsie is a trailblazer, an advocate for STEM education, and a beacon of inspiration for women and girls in Ghana and beyond. Elsie's journey unfolds as a story of resilience and dedication. She embarked on her academic odyssey at ATTC Demonstration School and Nana Kwaku Boateng Experimental School before leaving an indelible mark at Aburi Girls’ Secondary School. Her pursuit of excellence led her to the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, where she earned an International Baccalaureate Diploma in 1988.


Her academic prowess further unfolded at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE), Master of Science in Engineering (MSE), and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering. Elsie's postdoctoral journey took her to Rutgers University, where she also served as the founding Director of the Cell Biology Laboratory at the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials.


Elsie's academic trajectory is adorned with achievements, including being a research supervisor at Rutgers University, a Senior Lecturer and the first Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Ghana, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Health and Allied Sciences. Elsie's impact extends beyond the classroom. She played pivotal roles in the establishment of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at the University of Ghana. A true trailblazer, Elsie shattered the glass ceiling in 2022, becoming the first female Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Ghana.


In addition to her role as Dean, Elsie is the Chair of the Ghana Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee for Health Promotion, a Member of the Board of Trustees for Education Sub Saharan Africa, and a Council Member of the Ghana Communication Technology University. She is also the Founder of the Elsie Effah Kaufmann Foundation, a testament to her commitment to community engagement and educational advancement. Elsie's journey is studded with accolades, affirming her commitment to excellence. Noteworthy among these is the Impact Africa Summit Laureate for Education in Ghana, the Golden Torch Award for International Academic Leadership, and the prestigious Woman of the Year at the 2022 Exclusive Men of the Year Africa Awards. Her global recognition includes being elected a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.


In 2023, Elsie Effah Kaufmann added further feathers to her cap by receiving certifications from the Ghana Institution of Engineering, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Institute of Project Management Professionals, International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering, and INSEAD Executive Education. Elsie is not just an academic but a multifaceted personality. She has been the captivating Quiz Mistress of the National Science and Maths Quiz since 2006, captivating audiences and inspiring countless young minds. Her commitment to STEM education and empowerment earned her the title of STEM Personality of the Year at the Women’s Choice Awards 2021.


As a wife, mother, mentor, and community leader, Elsie Effah Kaufmann embodies the spirit of a true changemaker. Her story is not just about breaking barriers but about leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of education, science, and leadership. In a world where stories of resilience and brilliance matter, Prof. Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann's narrative stands tall—a beacon of inspiration, a pioneer in her field, and a woman whose journey continues to inspire generations.


Social Media Handles:

LinkedIn: Elsie Effah Kaufmann, PhD

Twitter: @elsie_effah

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