Professor Elsie Akosua Biraa Effah Kaufmann

PhD PE-GhIE DhPMP FBSE FGA

Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering/ Dean, School of Engineering Sciences, University of Ghana.

  • Profile


    Professor Elsie Akosua Biraa Effah Kaufmann completed University education at the University of Pennsylvania with a PhD in Bioengineering (under the supervision of Professors Paul Ducheyne, Dawn Bonnell and Irving Shapiro) in 1998. She then spent 3 years at Rutgers University, USA as a postdoctoral fellow and founding director of the Cell Biology Laboratory at the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials.

    Professor Kaufmann joined the University of Ghana in July 2001 as a Lecturer in the Department of Physics, where she taught General Physics, Practical Physics, Properties of Matter and Vibrational Motion, Solid State Physics and Physics of Materials.

    She also acted as Department Head on several occasions during her time as Lecturer in the Department of Physics. During the same period, she served on programme/curricula development committees for the University’s programmes in Radiography, Physiotherapy, Medical Physics and Audiology. Additionally, she taught Materials Science to Dental students and Biomechanics to the first few batches of Physiotherapy students. She was promoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer in 2005.

    Between 2001 and 2003 Professor Kaufmann was a member of the Planning Committee set up by the Academic Board of the University of Ghana to make proposals for establishing the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. As a member of this committee, her major contributions were the development of the 3rd and 4th year curricula for both the Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering programmes. she was also a member of the three-person Implementation Committee set up by the Vice Chancellor following the submission and adoption of the Planning Committee’s report. It is noteworthy that University of Ghana’s programme in Biomedical Engineering was the first in Ghana and most of sub-Saharan Africa.

    Professor Kaufmann was appointed as the first Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2006 and served as Head for several years (2006-2012, 2014-2016). As founding Head of Department, she was responsible for staff recruitment as well as administrative and academic leadership of the fledgling unit. The period between 2006 and 2010 was characterized by heavy teaching loads (up to 6 courses per semester of undergraduate teaching) as there were only 2 full-time staff members at post. Although I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and was rewarded with the University’s Best Teacher Award for the Sciences in 2009, the consistently burdensome responsibility had a toll on my research productivity as indicated by the long break in my publication record.

    By 2009 when the undergraduate students under her supervision had started completing research projects, it became possible to focus on publishing once again (especially during her sabbatical years in 2012 and 2013). To this end, she worked closely with undergraduate students whom she directed and mentored to produce work in Engineering Design (notably medical device development) of high enough quality for publication. Three such projects have gone through University of Ghana’s Invention Disclosure Processes, but none has yet been commercialized. Her other research interests in Engineering Education have been pursued in collaboration with researchers at the University of Michigan, while work in biomaterials is currently being carried out with graduate students under her supervision.

    Despite Prof’s heavy administrative and teaching responsibilities, she consistently developed and cultivated a reputation for service at the University and National levels as indicated by her service on numerous committees. In 2010 she was elected to represent non-professorial academic staff on the highest decision-making body of the University of Ghana, the University Council, a position she held for a couple of years.

    Nationally, she has served on the Management Board of the National Nuclear Research Institute; the pioneering Technical Advisory Committee on Medical Devices of the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana; and the Ghana Standards Authority’s Technical Committee on Metrology & Measurement (pioneering Subcommittee on Medical Devices). Currently she is serving on the Board of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission as well as the Councils of the Ghana Communication Technology University and the Ghana Institution of Engineering. She is also the immediate past President of the Ghana Society of Biomedical Engineers.

    Prof have been invited to several international fora as guest speaker in her discipline or as an advocate for Science Education. In 2011 she was a winner of the prestigious International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation Fellowship, which enabled her to obtain certificates in Leadership Development from the Executive Education Programs of the Harvard Business School and INSEAD, Singapore.

    In 2018 she received the National Society of Black Engineers’ 2018 Golden Torch Award for International Academic Leadership in recognition of her “excellence in support of academics on an international level and exhibition of commitment to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields”. Recently in 2021, she was recognised as one of the “many faces of physics” together with eleven other international personalities including Katherine G. Johnson in the Institute of Physics (IOP Publishing) Diversity and Inclusivity Campaign.

    Perhaps Prof’s most publicized national and international contribution is her role since 2006 as host (Quiz Mistress) of the highly acclaimed National Science and Maths Quiz Competition. In this role, she was responsible for advising the Producers of the televised competition on the format and content of the competition. She also chaired moderation meetings of the Subject Consultants to ensure the scientific and academic quality of the competition. Over the years the programme has seen significant improvements in both delivery and academic impact. The competition is widely recognized for its contribution to the learning of science in Ghana’s senior high schools and attracts both national and international audiences every year.
  • Publications (or Articles)


    Effah Kaufmann, E., Schachter, D., Brocchini, S., James, K., Tangpasuthadol, V. & Kohn, J. (2000), A combinatorial approach to biomaterials design, In: Critical Issues in the Characterization of Polymers for Medical Applications, prepared by Walter G. McDonough, Eric J. Amis (USA Department of Commerce, Technology Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology).

    James, K., Levene, H., Effah Kaufmann, E., Parsons, J.R. & Kohn, J. (2000) Small changes in chemical structure of a polymer can have a significant effect on the hard tissue response in vivo, In: Bone Engineering, edited by J.E. Davies, EM2, Inc., Toronto.

    Daniel Akwei Addo, Elsie Effah Kaufmann, Samuel Nii Tagoe, Augustine Kwame Kyere (2022), Characterization of GafChromic EBT2 film dose measurements using a tissue-equivalent water phantom for a Theratron® Equinox Cobalt-60 teletherapy machine, PloS one, 17(8), e0271000.

    Gaba, E.W., Asimeng, B.O., Effah Kaufmann, E., Foster, E.J. & Tiburu, E.K. (2021), The Influence of Pineapple Leaf Fiber Orientation and Volume Fraction on Methyl Methacrylate-Based Polymer Matrix for Prosthetic Socket Application, Polymers, 13(19), 3381.

    Gaba, E.W., Asimeng, B.O., Effah Kaufmann, E., Katu, S.K., Foster, E.J. & Tiburu, E.K. (2021), Mechanical and Structural Characterization of Pineapple Leaf Fiber, Fibers, 9(8), 51.

    Dery, S.K.K., Effah Kaufmann, E., Marzano, D., Deininger, M., Assem, C.K. & Sienko, K.H. (2019), Design and evaluation of a subcutaneous contraceptive implant training simulator,” International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 147, 36–42.

    Asimeng,B.O., Tiburu, E.K., Effah Kaufmann, E., Paemka, L., Hayford,C.F., Essien-Baidoo, S., Dzikunu, O.K. & Anani, P.A. (2019), Electrochemical evaluation of ion substituted-hydroxyapatite on HeLa cells plasma membrane potential, Cogent Engineering, 6(1), 1614756.

    Adams, L.A., Essien, E.R. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2019), Mechanical and Bioactivity Assessment of Wollastonite/PVA Composite Synthesized from Bentonite Clay, Cerâmica, 65(374), 246-251.

    Deininger, M., Daly, S., Sienko, K., Lee, J., & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2019). Investigating prototyping approaches of Ghanaian novice designers. Design Science, 5, E6. doi:10.1017/dsj.2019.5.

    Diabor, E., Funkenbusch, P. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2019), Characterization of Cassava Fiber of Different Genotypes as a Potential Reinforcement Biomaterial for Possible Tissue Engineering Composite Scaffold Application, Fibers and Polymers, 20(2), 217- 228.

    Kushigbor, S.D., Adem, B.E., Wadieh, S.O., Kwaku-Anim, G., Danso, M.F., Amenorpe, G. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2018), Characterization of Cassava Fibre for Potential Wound Dressing Application, Journal of Biomimetics, Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, 38, 47-58.

    Adams, L.A. Essien, E.R. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2018), A new route to sol-gel crystalline wollastonite bioceramic, Journal of Asian Ceramic Societies, 6:2, 132-138, DOI:10.1080/21870764.2018.1480685

    Asimeng, B.O., Fianko, J.R., Effah Kaufmann, E., Tiburu, E.K., Hayford, C.F., Anani, P.A. & Dzikunu, O.K. (2018), Preparation and characterization of hydroxyapatite from Achatina achatina snail shells: effect of carbonate substitution and trace elements on defluoridation of water, Journal of the Asian Ceramic Societies, 6(3), 205-212.

    Sienko, K.H.; Young, M.R., Effah Kaufmann, E., Obed, S., Danso, K.A., Opare-Addo, H.S., Odoi, A.T., Turpin, C.A., Konney, T., Abebe, Z., Mohedas, I., Huang-Saad, A. & Johnson T.R.B. (2018), Global health design: Clinical immersion, opportunity identification and definition, and design experiences, International Journal of Engineering Education, 34(2(B)): 780-800.

    Degbedzui, D.K., Tetteh, M., Effah Kaufmann, E. & Mills, G.A. (2018), Bluetooth-Based Wireless Digital Stethoscope with Mobile Integration, Biomedical Engineering: Applications, Basis and Communications. 30(3), 1850010.

    Arthur W. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2017), Uterine Tamponade Device to Control Atonic Primary Postpartum Haemorrhage in Resource-Poor Settings, Journal of Biomimetics, Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, 34, 29-36 (2017).

    Ploss, B., Douglas, T.S., Glucksberg, M., Effah Kaufmann E., Malkin, R.A., McGrath, J., Mkandawire, T., Oden, M., Osuntoki, A., Rollins, A. & Sienko, K. (2017), Part II: US-Sub-Saharan Africa Educational Partnerships for Medical Device Design, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2489–2493. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439- 017-1898-1.

    Degbedzui, D.K., Mills, G.A. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2016), Development of uterine contraction monitoring system for resource- limited settings. Biomedical Engineering: Applications, Basis and Communications. 28(6), 1650045. https://doi.org/10.4015/s1016237216500459.

    Asimeng, B.O., Kwakye-Awuah, B. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2015), Effect of Hydroxyapatite on Structure, Morphology and Tensile Properties of Polyethylene/Starch Blend, International Journal of Advanced Research in Science and Technology 4(8), 495-500.

    Mohedas, I., Effah Kaufmann, E., Daly, S.R. & Sienko, K.H. (2015), Ghanaian undergraduate biomedical engineering students’ perceptions of their discipline and career opportunities, Global Journal of Engineering Education 17(1), 34-41.

    Sienko, K.H., Effah Kaufmann, E., Musaazi, M., Sarvestani, A.S. & Obed, S. (2014), Obstetrics-Based Clinical Immersion of a Multinational Team of Biomedical Engineering Students in Ghana, International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 127(2), 218-220.

    Adams, C.F., Chirawurah, J.D., Agbekoh, P.E. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2013), Design of a Blood-Warming Device for Resource-Limited Settings, European Journal of Scientific Research, 103(1), 7-15.

    Amissah, R.Q., Atchurey, A.K., Appiah, L., Fiakumah, E.K., Gyapong-Korsah, E. Boadu, J., Tetteh, E., Offei, E. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2013), Biomedical Engineering in Ghana, European Scientific Journal, 9(9), 171-182.

    Sowah Boris Nii-Ako, Adams, C.F., Asimeng, B.O. & Effah Kaufmann, E (2013), Design of a Portable and Attachable Baby Cot, International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, 5(5), 1130-1136.

    Mills, G.A., Nketia, T.A., Oppong, I.A. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2012) Wireless Digital Stethoscope Using Bluetooth Technology, International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, 4(8), 3961-3969.

    Larbie, L., Hayford, C.F. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2012), Characterisation of Cassava Fibre for Use as a Biomaterial, International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, 4(7), 3537-3545 (2012).

    Tetteh, G. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2012), Design of an efficient sterilization system. European Journal of Scientific Research, 81(2), 277-284.

    Effah Kaufmann, E.A.B., Ducheyne, P., Radin, S., Bonnell, D.A. & Composto, R. (2000), Initial events at the bioactive glass surface in contact with protein-containing solutions. J. Biomed. Mater. Res., 52: 825-830. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097- 4636(20001215)52:4<825::AID-JBM28>3.0.CO;2-M

    Effah Kaufmann, E., Ducheyne, P. & Shapiro, I. (2000), Effect of varying physical properties of porous, surface modified bioactive glass 45S5 on osteoblast proliferation and maturation. J. Biomed. Mater. Res., 52: 783-796. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097- 4636(20001215)52:4<783::AID-JBM24>3.0.CO;2-JE.A.B.

    Effah Kaufmann, E.A.B., Ducheyne, P. & Shapiro, I.M. (2000), Evaluation of osteoblast response to porous bioactive glass (45S5) substrates by RT-PCR analysis, Tissue Engineering 6(1), 19-28. https://doi.org/10.1089/107632700320856

    Effah, E.A.B., Bianco, P.D. & Ducheyne, P. (1995), Crystal structure of the surface oxide layer on titanium and its changes arising from immersion. J. Biomed. Mater. Res., 29: 73-80. https://doi.org/10.1002/jbm.820290111

    Asiedu, D.P., Lee, K.J., Mills, G. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2014), A Review of Non-Invasive Methods of Monitoring Intracranial Pressure. Journal of Neurology Research 4(1), 1-6.

    Deininger, M., Daly, S., Sienko, K., Lee, J., Obed, S., & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2017), Does Prototype Format Influence Stakeholder Design Input? In DS 87-4 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 4: Design Methods and Tools, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08. 2017, pp. 553-562.

    Atike, J. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2010), Design of a Size-Adjustable Surgical Shoe: Promoting Optimal Asepsis Comfortably, Proc. 4th International Conference on Appropriate Technology, November 2010, Accra—Ghana, pp. 153-158.

    Andam, A.B., Amponsah, P.E. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2005), Women in Physics in Ghana: Improvement on the Horizon, American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings 795, 125.

    Effah Kaufmann, E., Ducheyne, P., Radin, S., Bonnell, D.A. & Composto, R. (1999), Serum Proteins Affect the Surface Reaction Layer on Bioactive Glass,” Bioceramics-12, 379-382.

    Adugbiire A.N.M. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2002), Biopotentials in the sciatic nerve of the West African Savanna Frog, Proceedings of the 12th Faculty of Science Colloquium, University of Ghana, May.

    Effah Kaufmann, E., Toworfe, G.K. & Gepi-Attee, S. (2002), Biomaterials: Relevance in the Ghanaian clinical situation, Proceedings of the 12th Faculty of Science Colloquium, University of Ghana, May.

    Osae, S.D., Akiti, T., Nyarko, B.K., Asiedu, D.K., Effah Kaufmann, E., Achel, D., Nyarko, S., Denutsui, D., Obeng, N. & Vitvar, T. (2012), Stable Isotope Application for the Study of the Hydrological Processes of the Densu Delta Wetland, Ghana. Report submitted to IAEA.

    Malmborg, J., Scarf, C., Dawuni, M. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2006), Republic of Ghana Health Sector 2002-2006 Capital Investment Programme Review. Report submitted to Ministry of Health, Ghana.

    Effah Kaufmann, E. (2005), Evaluation of proposals for the construction of an incinerator. Report submitted to the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine, Ghana.

    Effah Kaufmann, E. (2020), Building and sustaining NSMQ momentum. Daily Graphic Editorial, Thursday, October 15, pp 7.

    Effah, G.V. & Effah Kaufmann, E. (2007) “How is your maths, how is your science?” Feature Article in Daily Graphic, Thursday, November 15, 2007, pp 23, 30

  • Qualifications (Education)


    DATE DEGREE/QUALIFICATION INSTITUTION
    1993-1998 Ph.D. in Bioengineering University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
    1992-1993 M.S.E. (MSc. in Engineering) in Bioengineering University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
    1988-1992 B.S.E. (BSc in Engineering, Cum Laude) in Bioengineering University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
    1986-1988 International Baccalaureate Diploma United World College of the Atlantic, Wales, UK
    1981-1986 GCE O’Level Aburi Girls’ Secondary School, Aburi, Ghana
    1976-1981 Common Entrance Examination Nana Kwaku Boateng Experimental School, Koforidua, Ghana
    1974-1976 ATTC Demonstration School, Winneba, Ghana
  • Research Areas


  • Honours & Awards


    Humanitarian Awards Global Female Most Exceptional Change Maker (Education), 2022

    Wear Ghana Do Ghana Good Hero, 2022

    Fellow, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2022

    Distinguished Fellow, Institute of Project Management Professionals (IPMP Ghana), 2022

    Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Africa Science Week Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Science, 2022

    Ghana Digital Innovation Week recognition as an Innovation Ecosystem Game Changer for the Advancement of STEM, 2021

    Women’s Choice Awards STEM Personality of the Year, 2021

    Executive Women Network Recognition for Impactful Role in the Education of the Youth in Ghana, 2021

    Instinct Wave Exceptional Woman in Academia Award, 2021

    Recognition as one of twelve global “Many Faces of Physics” in Institute of Physics Publishing Diversity and Inclusivity Campaign, 2021

    Fellow, International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (IUSBSE), 2020

    Guest Editor, Daily Graphic, October 14, 2020

    Institute of Physics (IOP) Trusted Reviewer Recognition, 2020

    Feminine Ghana Achievement Award for Education (General), 2020

    Obaa Mbo citation from TV Africa, 2020

    Featured as Inspirational Person in Those Who Inspire Ghana Book, 2020 (https://www.thosewhoinspire.com/meet-the-ip/elsie-effah- kaufmann/)

    Featured in Who’s Who in Ghana Publication, 2019 https://whoswhoghana.app/power-ladies/dr-elsie-effah-kaufmann

    Glitz Africa Honouree for Excellence in Education, 2019

    Ghana Women of Excellence Award for Tertiary Education (Science and Mathematics), 2019

    National Society of Black Engineers’ 2018 Golden Torch Award for International Academic Leadership

    Fellow, Institute of Project Management Professionals (IPMP Ghana), 2018

    Global Women Economic & Social Empowerment Summit (GWESES) Leading Women Achievers Award, 2018

    Impact Africa Summit: Ghana Laureate for Education, 2017

    Citation for Outstanding Contribution to the Formation of the Ghana Biomedical Convention, 2017

    Citation for Contribution to Education and Activities of the Assin Students’ Union, 2015

    Fellow, International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation, 2011- 2012

    University of Ghana Award for the Best Teacher in the Sciences, 2009

    Quiz Mistress/ Host/ Consultant, Ghana National Science & Math Quiz TV Programme, 2006-present

    Quiz Mistress/ Host/ Consultant, West African Science & Math Quiz TV Programme, 2007

    American Society for Biomaterials Travel Award (outstanding student research) to 6th International Congress, 2000

    University of Pennsylvania Research Fellowship, 1993-1997

    University of Pennsylvania Minority Programs Award for Academic Excellence, 1992

    American National Science Foundation Summer Fellowship for Research in Materials Science and Bioengineering, 1989, 1990 and 1991

    Member, Pi Mu Epsilon American National Mathematics Honor Society

    Representative of Ghana, United World College of the Atlantic, Wales, UK, 1986-1988

  • Appointments/Affiliations


    DATE POSITION INSTITUTION
    Feb 1, 2018 - Present Associate Professor Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Ghana
    Jul 1, 2006 – Jan 31, 2018 Senior Lecturer Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Ghana
    Aug 2, 2005 - June 30, 2006 Senior Lecturer Department of Physics, University of Ghana
    July 1, 2001 – August 1 2005 Lecturer Department of Physics, University of Ghana
    January 1, 2021- December 31, 2021 Visiting Scholar Department of Orthotics and Prosthetics, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana
    September - November, 2013 Visiting Scholar Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    October - November, 2012 Visiting Scholar Department of Biomedical Engineering (Biomaterials and Interface Tissue Engineering Lab.) Columbia University, New York, USA
    August 1, 2016 - Present Affiliate Centre for Ageing Studies, University of Ghana
    May, 1998 – June, 2001 Founding Director, Cell Biology Facility [Responsible for setting up and running the Center’s first Cell Biology Laboratory. Reported to the Center Director] New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, Piscataway, NJ, USA
    August 1, 2022- Present Dean School of Engineering Sciences, University of Ghana
    June 6, 2021- July 7, 2021 and September 27- October 3, 2021 Acting Dean School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Health and Allied Sciences
    June 6, 2021- July 7, 2021 and September 27- October 3, 2021 Acting Dean School of Sports and Exercise Medicine, University of Health and Allied Sciences
    December 7-21, 2014 Acting Dean School of Engineering Sciences, University of Ghana
    January - December 2021 Founding Head of Department Department of Orthotics and Prosthetics, University of Health and Allied Sciences
    June 6 - December 2021 Acting Head of Department Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, University of Health and Allied Sciences
    August 2014- July 2016 Head of Department Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Ghana
    July 2006-July 2012 Founding Head of Department Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Ghana
    August 2004- June 2006 Departmental Representative [Role of Department Head, prior to substantive appointment] Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Ghana
    June-July 2003, May-August 2004 and June- August 2005 Acting Head of Department Department of Physics, University of Ghana
    January 2021- Present Faculty Advisor/ Patron, Ghana Society of Biomedical Engineers (GSBE, University of Ghana Chapter) University of Ghana
    September 2011- January 2021 Tutor Dr. Hilla Limann Hall, University of Ghana
    September 2001- May 2012, September 2014- Present Faculty Advisor/ Patron, National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE, University of Ghana Chapter) University of Ghana
    September, 2002- July 31, 2012; September, 2014-December, 2020, January, 2021-Present Academic Advisor (various Levels: 100-Graduate Students) Departments of Physics/ Biomedical Engineering, University of Ghana
    September 2005- May 2012 Founding Faculty Advisor/ Patron, Engineering Students of University of Ghana (ESUG) Faculty/School of Engineering Sciences, University of Ghana
    September 2002- June 2006 Faculty Advisor/ Patron, Physics Students Association of Ghana (PHYSAG, Legon Branch) University of Ghana