The BESSY@HZB User Meeting welcomes 17 scientists from Kenya. They come from six different universities. One of them is Robert Ngure; he is a Master’s student in material science at Egerton university. He tells us more about his fascination for science and what he expects from his visit to Adlershof.
Robert Ngure graduated in June 2019 and enrolled a few months later for a Master’s degree in science. In most universities in Kenya, you study for one year before you choose a specialisation. Robert’s decision was relatively straightforward: “I am convinced that material science is very relevant for my country. From the beginning, my goal is to drive forward the energy conversion.”
Robert works in Tabitha’s material science group (read more) at Egerton university, Kenya, and thanks to this connection, he also got in contact with Lucy Ombaka (read more). Finally, he met “Dr. Antje when she came to Egerton in November 2022” (read more). “She spoke with such enthusiasm of BESSY II; discovering my research topic at HZB was fascinating. Some of my teams work on organic solar cells. This is extremely interesting, and I am keen on developing novel nanocomposites of solar cells,” says the student. Even at this early stage in his career, the scientist is passionate about material science. He calls his discovery of BESSY II light source an “eye-opener.”
Solar Energy Made in Adlershof
In spring 2023, he attended the HZB-Photon School in Adlershof with Nancy (see Blog post here). During two weeks, a group of students had lectures and could do some hands-on experiments at BESSY II. “My research work is on the synthesis and characterisation of nanocomposites. The idea here is to synthesize nanocomposites using graphene and, in my case, silver-based nanoparticles.
Robert adds: “During the photon school, I learnt a lot about data analysis. I also had the privilege to see the PV competence center in Adlershof, a very inspiring place. They showed different ways of implementing photovoltaics.”
Expectations and Dreams
Robert is very excited to meet other experts in his field end of June at the BESSYII@HZB User Meeting: “I would like to talk about better materials and learn new advanced methods.”
The scientist has a big vision: “My dream is that every household in Kenya should have a renewable energy source. To my mind, access to affordable solar cells for everybody is urgent! There is some hydroelectric; however, this does not reach all people. Right now, some people use kerosene for lighting. I really recommend the mass production of organic solar cells – there is so much sun over here, solar energy is basically free!”
This blogpost is part of a series on our cooperation with scientists from Kenya. You can find further articles here.
And here, you can find the website of Tabitha’s material science group.