UKZN Student on Exchange Programme in Brazil
School of Chemistry PhD candidate Mr Godfrey Keru spent three months in Brazil on a student exchange programme at the University of Campinas.
Keru is a member of the India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA) Nanotechnology and Energy initiative which enables students from the three countries who have common projects an opportunity to meet at one location to exchange ideas. Students on the programme can also visit any of the laboratories in any of the three countries for specialised equipment.
While in Brazil, Keru was hosted by the Institute of Chemistry under the guidance of Dr Ana Flavia Nogueira. He was able to use the transient absorption spectroscopy equipment housed at the Nanotechnology and Solar Cell laboratory.
The iniatative was co-ordinated by Professor Vincent Nyamori and Dr Patrick Ndungu of UKZN’s School of Chemistry and Physics.
Professor Neal Coville of Wits, who plays a pivotal role in co-ordinating such initiatives for the IBSA programme, said: ‘The IBSA programme has not only led to interactions between the three IBSA countries but has also led to the development of solar energy research programmes being developed on organic photovoltaics in Chemistry Departments in South Africa. Transfer of technology by Geoffrey from Brazil to South Africa will lead to the enhancement of research capabilities in solar device synthesis at UKZN.’
Said Keru: ‘The Nanotechnology and Solar laboratory housed impressive and expensive research equipment. The access to the equipment allowed me to collect valuable data for my dissertation. I was also able to interact with students from Uruguay, Turkey and the Royal College in the United Kingdom.
‘The Brazilian people were very hospitable. I am particularly grateful to all those people who made my stay at the University of Campinas a truly wonderful experience. Special thanks to Dr Nogueira for hosting me.’
Professor Vincent Nyamori said: ‘I am very grateful Mr Keru had an opportunity to visit one of the most advanced laboratories on solar energy research. This was under the auspices of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) collaboration in the area of nanotechnology which forms part of his PhD research. Mr Keru’s research involves the exploration of new energy innovations with special reference to solar photovoltaics. From this visit, he has not only advanced his knowledge but also brought back lots of new findings which makes his project even more interesting and should address the societal energy crisis.’