Honours students 2012
Masters Students 2012
Coombes,MJ; D'Souza,N; Fayemi,OE;Gulamussen,NJ; Hodgson , IM
Ledwaba,MV;Makanjee, CA ; Malinga,NN; Modisha,PM; Mothibedi,K; Mdabuka,B;
Manyeruke,MH;Ngomane,N; Rafael,CCF; Rapulenyane,N; Sekgota,KC;
Sekhosana,KE; Sigauke ,LT; Singh,A; Taylor,JM; Tombe,SL; Ugirinema,V
PhD Students 2012
Adegoke,O; Awokoya,KN; Britton,J; Bromley,CL
Coates,MP; D'Souza,S; Fashina,A;Hassan,Y; Khoza,PB
Kleyi,PE; Magwa,NP; Majavu,A; Maringa,A; Mciteka,LP
Masilela,N; Moronkola,BA; Mthethwa,TP;Ngnie Tuemgnie,GT; Nyoni, S; Ogunlaja,AS;Ogbodu,RO
;Okewole,AI; Olalekan,ET;Ondigo,DA; Pule,BO;Sanusi,SO ;Siswana,M Tancu,Y; Veale,CGL; Zugle,R
Samson Khene - Japan Experiences
A visit to another country definitely provides one with an encounter and experience of many cultural differences. Visiting Japan was not only an opportunity to learn about other cultures, but it was also an intellectual and eye-opening experience. One aspect that I noticed immediately when I arrived in Japan, was a sense of random kindness that thrives among the Japanese people. For instance, a complete stranger would be more than willing to assist you with directions and ensure that you reach your destination safely. My research in Japan (Tohoku University) was focused on the synthesis, spectroscopy and molecular orbital calculation of subphthalocyanines and subporphyrins. It was an honour to be able to work in Prof Kobayashi’s lab, under the supervision of Dr Shimizu. The hard-working environment has definitely helped me acquire essential synthetic skills and self discipline. I am also grateful to have had the opportunity to travel out of Sendai, and take a break from my work to do a bit of sightseeing in Kyoto and Nara. The highlight of my trip to Kyoto was that I got to see and take a photo of the elusive Geisha. I would like to sincerely thank Prof Nyokong (my Supervisor) for giving me the opportunity to grow in the field of chemistry by learning from one of the top labs in the field of phthalocyanine chemistry.
Working in Norwich (UK), at the University of East Anglia, on the synthesis of metallophthalocyanines, under the supervision of Professor Mike Cook, was exciting and challenging. During my 3 month stay, I gained synthetic skills that have been of great use in expanding my research capabilities. Their laboratories have almost every type of research equipment required for synthesis and Prof Cook and his students were very helpful, hard working and a bit more relaxed than I had expected. The UK was extremely cold with snow throughout Easter. It is a lovely country with its rich culture and history, not to mention a great hub for shoppers (London). The whole experience made me a stronger person and more tolerant. Being away from home also made me appreciate South Africa and my loved ones more.I would like to thank my supervisor, Prof Nyokong, for the opportunity to travel. I have learnt a lot. Thanks to my colleagues (S22), friends and family for their support, e-mails and prayers. Thanks to Prof Mike Cook and his students for their help.
Our journey began early in the morning as us lucky postgrads, Annalene, Matshawe and I, sleepily climbed into the rental car and said goodbye to a still sleeping Grahamstown, for a long journey, via Heathrow, to join Mrs Sewry and Sunny and a jam-packed week in Bristol.
We were soon plunged into a hectic schedule of tours, talks, school visits and many retellings of ‘A Pollutants Tale,” interspersed with much fun and entertainment, Bristol Chemlabs is the outreach wing of the Bristol School of Chemistry and they run an intensive programme, as well as summer schools and competitions, that targets school children of all ages in the UK and further afield. They aim to make chemistry exciting and relevant and improve the standard of teaching, especially with regard to practical work at schools. We sat in on some of the talks and workshops at a summer school and also had various people talk to us about their experiences and contributions to the education and outreach programme at the university. We were also able to visit the Bristol School of Chemistry and see its facilities and instruments and talk to postgraduates whose research interests matched our own.
Although some of our facilities and instruments at Rhodes might not be as new or as fancy, the quality of our research, and the level at which we were able to engage with scientific material, are very comparable with UK standards. It was also encouraging to realize that problems in the UK education system with regard to science and mathematics are not too different from our science and mathematics education crisis in South Africa. The extent of the problem and its causes might differ, but the problems are similar and therefore the solutions could be similar too.
Without sponsorship from Afrox the trip could not have happened. Our hosts at Bristol organized our transport, accommodation and treated us to ice-hockey, many delicious dinners and impromptu tours of London, Bristol and Cardiff. We returned fired up for the local outreach schedule of October, when we hosted two postdoc students from Bristol and implemented what we had learned for the benefit of the Grahamstown and district community.
Wadzanai Chidawanyika carried out research in Japan in 2007 and writes the following about the Japanese way of doing things; “Konnichiwa! I was greeted with warmth, sincerity and much respect-a very large aspect of the Japanese culture. A single paragraph is not sufficient to detail the experience of being in a very foreign land with a wealth of history. It was truly “out of this world”. I was housed in the Chemistry building of the Graduate School of Science at Tohoku University in Sendai, a city in the north east of the island that is Japan. A very friendly but hard working environment-but every minute was worth it. Professor Kobayashi (my supervisor while in Japan) and his group are well renowned for their work on phthalocyanine synthesis and spectroscopy. Having the opportunity to study under his direct guidance was a truly invaluable experience, giving me new ideas and building on my synthetic skills-all of which will be of benefit to fellow members of my group here at Rhodes University. My sincere gratitude to Professor Nyokong for the opportunity and the NRF for funding the program. A special thank you to Professor Kobayashi for his mentorship-Arigato Gozaimas. Sayonara”
Fungasai Matemadombo was recently working in a research laboratory in Paris (France) as part of his PhD Chemistry programme. He writes; “Working and living in the Latin Quarter of Paris, famous for its educational institutions, was extraordinary. My work consisted of pharmaceutical and electrochemical studies. I lived in a place that was the old residence of one of the most important Western philosophers, René Descartes (1596-1650). Discovering more of Paris each day was fantastic. Paris is certainly a great city. I loved the gorgeous, witty sophistication of it all. Every good cliché is wonderfully true. For example the people: their smart dress codes, the way they are walking fast everywhere and rather quite intense in their almost every manner. And the Parisian architecture was incomparable: I’ve seen many buildings but I’ve yet to see one I didn’t like. I would like to sincerely thank Professor Nyokong (my principealsupervisor in South Africa), Dr Bedioui (my principal supervisor in France) CNRS, NRF and the French embassy for all their support.”