Alumni Magazine #5_July 2020_single pages web

“I was driven by a passion to succeed in adding knowledge to the existing literature pertaining to my master’s project. I wasn’t doing it just to obtain another degree, but to make a statement; to introduce new knowledge into the field of material science.” The process allowed him to build a great relationship with his supervisors and essential manufacturing industries. “It took hard work, communication skills, a positive attitude, teamwork, project planning, passion – and of course, great supervision.” Through his master’s dissertation, he not only gained valuable knowledge on the topic of polymer-based nanocomposites, but also developed problem-

He progressed to the master’s level to obtain the knowledge it takes to come up with possible solutions for the future – particularly, for the sustainability of energy and the reduction of its environmental impact. “I have wanted to invent or develop a life-changing product ever since I can remember.” His PhD project looks to develop a radiation-resistant material with a high melting point, used in the construction of power plants to increase their efficiency while reducing their consumption and risk. Can the award open future doors for him? “It has already started opening doors for me!” enthuses Tebeta. “I’ll be featured in UJ Alumni Magazine – and not every UJ student is.” Five or ten years from now, Tebeta sees himself as a professor in the material science field specialising in the development and production of nuclear materials. He feels a need to share his knowledge with the coming generation and expand the boundaries of modern science. “My master’s project was based on the enhancement of high-density polyethylene’s elastic properties by reinforcing it with single-wall carbon nanotubes,” he explains. “The outputs of the project turned out to be remarkable and recognised as the prestigious award.” The project was exciting from the start, and he was privileged to have supervisors like Prof NA Ahmed, Prof AM Fattahi and Dr N Madushele by his side. His master’s degree is a further steppingstone towards his PhD, says Tebeta. “The knowledge obtained from this degree is essential for my advancement to become one of the greatest scientists in the world – and to develop advanced materials for electrical powerplant boiler construction.”

solving, project and time management skills as well as communication skills and teamworking abilities. Ronny says mechanical engineers such as himself can contribute to a better South Africa by inspiring, motivating and leading the current generation of the country by example. “Mechanical engineers and engineering need the opportunity to prove themselves as worthwhile and interesting fields to

pursue, need financial support for research development, facilities and go-ahead from the government. They should be recognised as potential leaders who can change this country. “This requires highly driven and well-educated young engineers who are willing to contribute to the standard of economy and technology in South Africa. We already have the resources, the only thing we are missing are the great and devoted leaders who are willing to contribute to the legacy of this country.”



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