Bridging the gap by putting chemistry into action

By Menziwa Msibi and Phenyo Mokgothu

The Chemistry subject group at the North-West University's (NWU’s) Mahikeng Campus, under the leadership of Prof Lebo Katata-Seru and Prof Thebe Medupe, hosted its inaugural "Chemistry in Action" event on 3 October 2023, marking a significant step toward bridging the gap between academia and industry.

The event, coordinated by Dr Mduduzi Cele and his team, served as a platform for various companies to present and showcase their operations and industrial processes while informing students about the many opportunities available such as jobs and bursaries in the chemistry industry as well as collaborations and funding opportunities for academics.

Various companies participated in the event, including PETROSA, Umngeni-uThukela Water Laboratory Services, Shimadzu South Africa, Barbara Magabane, CHIETA, MINTEK, and PerKinElmer.

They shared presentations on the skills they need in the industry, their operations, student training opportunities, and the criteria for awarding bursaries to prospective employees.

One of the guest speakers, Dr Sihle Mngadi, a scientist specialising in inorganic chemistry at Umngeni-uThukela Water Laboratory Services, explained their focus on analysing drinking water, water from dams and rivers, and various types of sample testing.

In addition to informative presentations, the participating companies set up exhibition tables to display their activities, distribute flyers, and provide essential information for students.

“The Chemistry in Action event marked a significant step towards inspiring students to explore the exciting opportunities within the chemistry field, and we hope to host similar events on a yearly basis," says Prof Zimbili Mkhize, head of the Chemistry subject group.

These students are excited about the many opportunities chemistry has to offer.

Attending the event are staff members of the subject group chemistry and representatives from the visiting companies.

Submitted on Fri, 10/06/2023 - 14:22