PhD Students Present Research at Symposium in Austria
UKZN Forestry PhD students, Ms Atsile Ocwelwang and Ms Vezekile Zungu, presented part of their PhD research findings at the 18th International Symposium on Wood, Fibre and Pulping Chemistry (ISWFPC) in Vienna, Austria.
The ISWFPC is a prestigious congress for scientists who work mainly on lignocellulose and biorefinery-based research.
Ocwelwang and Zungu, both registered in the Discipline of Chemical Engineering under the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES), are based at the CSIR Forestry and Forest Products (FFP) Research Centre.
These two budding research scientists work under the supervision of Professor Bruce Sithole, and co-supervision of Professor Deresh Ramjugernath. Their research projects are based on dissolving pulp, which is a raw material used in the production of high value cellulose derivatives such as viscose rayon, cellulose esters and cellulose ethers for the clothing, pharmaceutical and packaging industries.
‘Attending the Symposium was a humbling experience for us as young and developing researchers,’ said Zungu. ‘We met and made contacts with established researchers in the field and we’re now looking forward to doing collaborative research with them. One of the highlights of our trip was meeting and interacting with the people we always cite as we read and write scientific reports - they gave us positive feedback and comments for our presentations as well.’
The duo, due to complete their research by the end of next year, intend to do post-doctoral work. They acknowledged their supervisors and thanked the CAES, CSIR and the NRF for financial support.