Young scientist from NWU invited to prestigious Nobel gathering

Marelize Santana -- Tue, 04/18/2017 - 09:05

Young scientist from NWU invited to prestigious Nobel gathering

A doctoral student from the North-West University (NWU) is one of five hand-picked young scientists in South Africa who were nominated by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) to rub shoulders with various Novel Prize winners.

Retha Peach will participate in the 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany in the company of 400 other young scientists from 76 countries.  

She is a doctoral student in the research focus area: Chemical Resource Beneficiation on the NWU’s campus in Potchefstroom and received awards as the best master’s degree student at the faculty and the research focus area in 2014 and 2015.

Retha says that her BSc studies and exposure to the chemical disciplines opened an entirely new world of research possibilities to her. “I was determined to continue and realised that research is my passion, a way to contribute and be part of the solution to a world that needs change.”

According to ASSAf the successful participants are outstanding under- and postgraduate as well as post-doctoral students younger than 35 years whose research focuses on chemistry.

The young scientists who were selected will follow a six-day programme with many lectures and panel discussions from 25 to 30 June. A total of 31 Nobel Prize winners will participate in this meeting.

“It is a special honour to represent South Africa as a chemist, but it carries a great responsibility. I am very excited to share my research experiences and ideas with other young researchers from across the world and the Nobel Prize winners.”

As female scientist she says that the times have changed considerably and women have more confidence to grab opportunities and drive themselves to greater heights because they are passionate about their research.
Retha is a born Free Stater from Bethlehem, and moved to Klerksdorp with her parents 15 years ago. “My two teachers, Theresa Buys (mathematics) and Annelise Ferreira (science) at Klerksdorp High School laid the foundation on which I could build further at university.”

Retha Peach.