Science made seriously sexy: Gcineka Mbambisa

2012-07-28 15:49

Mbambisa has a dream to change the world, one solar panel at a time.

Her PhD is aimed at developing highly efficient photovoltaic materials or hybrid solar cells at a low cost.

“This way we can spread the sun (energy) to poorer communities that really need electricity,” she says.

Mbambisa hails from Mthatha, and she says that from a young age she felt strongly drawn to chemistry.

“As a youngster I had this image of a nutty professor creating magical new stuff by mixing together compounds in a laboratory . . . and maybe blowing up some stuff,” she says.

“I was curious and I often irritated my mother with all my questions.”

She first went to Rhodes University, where she studied biochemistry, before leaving for the University of the Western Cape to pursue her studies in photovoltaic science.

“This is indeed the future and a very exciting area to be working in,” she says.

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