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Scifest Africa 2018

- Wits University

Catch these Wits researchers at South Africa’s National Science Festival that kicks off in Grahamstown today.

South Africa’s National Science Festival, Scifest Africa, will be celebrating its 22nd anniversary event from 7 to 13 March 2018.

Themed: Innovation 4.0, Scifest is focusing on the Fourth Industrial Revolution this year; from artificial intelligence to 3D printing, nanotechnology, digital, quantum computing and the unlimited possibilities of emerging technology breakthroughs.

If you are at Scifest this year, be sure to catch these two lectures presented by Wits scientists:

Professor Lesley Cornish

Thursday, 8 March 2018: Why Should I be interested in Materials?, presented by Professor Lesley Cornish from the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials in the Wits School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering.

Cornish holds a BSc (Metallurgy and Materials), MSc (Computer Science) and PhD (Metallurgy and Materials) from the University of Birmingham, UK. She is a Physical Metallurgist and has been working on alloy development almost continually since her PhD, at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, University of the Witwatersrand and Mintek. Her research has focused mainly on platinum-based alloys, cermets, as well as the derivation of phase diagrams. Cornish is currently supervising or co-supervising 12 postgraduate students, mainly at Wits University, with 30 MSc and 20 PhD students already graduated.

Dr Tiisetso Lephoto

Friday, 9 March 2018: Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Biological control agents to aid South African Agricultural industries, presented by Dr Tiisetso Lephoto, one of the youngest PhD graduates in the field of cell and molecular biology.

She is a multi-award winning, trailblazer scientist and has published papers in international journals. She obtained her PhD at the age of 26 in Nematology, Genomics and Biotechnology with an emphasis in Bioinformatics at the University of Witwatersrand. She is one of SA’s brightest young researchers who is passionate about science, agriculture and innovation. One of her aims is to further annotate and analyse whole genomes of the nematodes and its endosymbiotic bacteria she isolated in her study. She is currently a postdoctoral research scientist at Wits University and is supervising five masters students and three honours students with Professor Vincent Gray in the School of Molecular and Cell Biology.