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Physics postgrads excel at SAIP

- By Wits University

Ten postgraduate students in the School of Physics were awarded prizes at the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) annual conference recently held in Port Elizabeth.

Hosted jointly this year by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and Rhodes University, the 2015 SAIP conference had a strong student focus and attracted some 500 delegates from the physics community across the country.

Professor John Carter, Head of the Wits School of Physics, congratulated Wits students, saying they had excelled at this year’s conference.

He also praised Dr Angela Dudley from the CSIR National Laser Centre (NLC) who received the SAIP Silver Jubilee Medal in recognition of a recipient’s early career achievements. Dudley recently joined the School of Physics as a Visiting Lecturer.

She is associated with the School’s new Structured Light Laboratory that is being set up by Professor Andrew Forbes, who joined Wits recently as part of its Distinguished Scholars Programme, together with his postdoctoral student, Dr Melanie McClaren, and visiting Associate Professor Stef Roux from the NLC. Two of the lab’s postgraduate students won awards in the Photonics section.

The winners are:

Nuclear, Particle and Radiation

  • Stefan von Buddenbrock and Mitchell Cox (MSc oral, SA-CERN programme) | Titled: Dark matter production in association with Higgs bosons through heavy scalar resonance at the LHC
  • Mitchell Cox (MSc oral, SA-CERN programme) | Titled: Online energy reconstruction on ARM for the ATLAS TileCal sROD co-processing unit
  • Daniel Ohene-Kwofie (PhD poster, SA-CERN programme) | Titled: Efficient processing of physics quantities for the Processing Unit for the upgrade of the Tile Calorimeter of ATLAS
  • Lindsay Donaldson (PhD oral) | Titled: A study of the Isovector Giant Dipole Resonance across the neodymium and samarium isotope chains

Condensed Matter

  • Chad Pelwan (MSc poster, SA-CERN programme) | Titled: A density functional theory and magnetic resonance studies of radiation damage in plastic scintillators

Applied Physics

  • Maxwell Vhareta (PhD Oral) | Titled: X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy based residual stress measurements for assessment of fatigue in leached polycrystalline diamond tool bits


  • Sashin Moonsamy (PhD oral) | Titled: Beyond Mixing-Length Theory: an advanced approach to treating convective energy transfer in stars


  • Bienvenu Ndagano (MSc poster) | Titled: Communication through fibres using cylindrical vector vortex modes
  • Benjamin Perez-Garcia (PhD poster) | Titled: Implementing the Deutsch Algorithm with classical light

Theoretical and Computational Physics

  • Teflon Rabambi (MSc oral) | Titled: Non-Fermi Liquid Fixed Point in a Wilsonian Theory of Quantum Critical Metals