Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann is a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana and the founding head of the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. While at Aburi Girl’s High School, she won a certificate to continue her studies at United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, where she obtained her International Baccalaureate Diploma. From there, she proceeded to University of Pennsylvania in the United States of America, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE), a Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) and a PhD in Bioengineering. She undertook her post-doctoral training at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, where she worked as a research supervisor at the Department of Chemistry before returning to Ghana in 2001 to join the University of Ghana.
Dr Kaufmann served on the planning and implementation tasked to present and execute proposals for the establishment of a Faculty of Engineering Sciences in the University. When the faculty was finally set up, she was appointed as its first head, serving from 2006 to 2012 and again from 2014 to 2016. Her teaching and research are focussed on tissue engineering, biomaterials and how biomedical concepts can be applied to the solution problems faced by Ghana. She has received several awards for her work including the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation Fellowship (2011), University of Ghana’s Best Teacher Award for the Sciences (2009) and National Society of Black Engineers Golden Torch Award for International Academic Leadership (2018).
She serves on the governing boards for African Gifted Foundation Ghana (African Science Academy) and the British International School-Ghana. She is also the President of the Ghana Society of Biomedical Engineers. Since 2006, she has hosted the National Science and Maths Quiz and has won a large following in the country.