Miss Sandile Mtetwa (2017)
A passionate and enthusiastic young scientist, I attained my BSc Honors in Chemistry degree at the University of Zimbabwe with a First Class Honors.My interest in science started in my early secondary school years when I wanted to find a cure for tuberculosis.However, my niche in science research changed as I grew older and I became interested in the area of renewable energy, particularly solar driven hydrogen evolution, where hydrogen can be used as a clean and renewable energy alternative. At the University of Cambridge I will be working on enhancing the properties of stability, performance and tactability of photo active materials used in the photocatalysis process of harnessing clean energy. These photoactive materials as nanoparticles will be used to create nanoparticle support based composites with MOF's. This composite will enhance the charge carrier lifetime of the photoactive nanomaterials thereby increasing power generation, this being highly relevant in the solar energy industry. This work will be my contribution towards the sustainable development goal of energy as well as industry and my goal is to power the world! Apart from the academics, I am also heavily involved in civic engagement. I am the Founder of a Trust in Zimbabwe (Simuka-Arise Initiative). The Trust's aim is to empower young women academically, socially and economically. By being a Gates Scholar, I hope to be an inspiration to young women especially those in Africa pursuing science related careers.