UKZN PhD candidate Mr Sphumelele Ndlovu has been selected by the Department of Science and Technology along with six other young scientists to represent his country at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Young Scientists’ Conclave in Bangalore, India in September.
The programme was endorsed by BRICS leaders at the Seventh BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia, in 2015, and is co-ordinated by India. The Conclave will bring together bright young scientists from each partner country, providing a platform for intense scientific exploration, exploration of avenues to transform societal problems, and the opportunity to investigate technological innovations.
Ndlovu, who began his academic career in UKZN’s Science Foundation Programme (SFP), works at the National Research Foundation’s (NRF) Space Geodesy Programme at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO). At HartRAO, Ndlovu has worked on a project unique to both the African continent and the southern hemisphere concerning the measurement of Earth-Moon distance. He has been involved in developing a mathematical tool to optimise efficiency and estimate the signal path parameter of a Lunar Laser Ranger (LLR) system at HartRAO.
Speaking of the Conclave, Ndlovu said, ‘As a young scientist, I am hoping to meet participants who are willing to exchange knowledge and ideas, and to collaborate on global scientific challenges.’
‘I hope to gain more knowledge I can bring back and share with the South African research community,’ said Ndlovu. ‘I am looking forward to learning about different cultures and disciplines from the other BRICS countries, as well as the Science and Technology challenges facing BRICS countries; hopefully I can be part of the solution.’
According to organisers, the Conclave will also harness solutions to, and ideas about, country-specific problems and common challenges faced by BRICS nations; the BRICS Young Innovation Prize for Innovative Ideas will encourage participants to develop unique designs on Computational Intelligence, Energy Solutions and Affordable Healthcare. The main objective of the Conclave is to create a BRICS leadership pool of creative youth in Science and Technology, who can accelerate change both individually and collectively (BRICS Youth Alumni).