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Change the world


Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Masters in Engineering student, Michelle Ngugi, recently won first prize for the best presentation of her paper at the African Laser Centre (ALC) Conference held in Stellenbosch. 

The Conference serves the purpose of providing a platform for postgraduate students sponsored by the ALC to meet up and discuss their projects and exchange ideas on how to improve them. This is primarily for those interested in working with lasers for various applications.

“Zooming in on my work, I am fortunate enough to be doing a research project in collaboration with the Centre for Broadband Communication on South Campus under the Department of Physics” says Michelle.

The Centre is run by Prof Gibbon and Dr Wassin who are also her co-supervisors. “Though their core research area has been the use of optical fibres in communication, we have recently begun working on projects that use fibres as sensors, which is where my work comes in. My project is on the design of a polarisation-based optical fibre sensor for monitoring the vibration profile of a wind turbine tower. It basically investigates whether we can use optical fibres to monitor the health of a wind turbine by looking at its vibration characteristics. This research project is truly collaborative as I, an  engineer who specialises in communication, am now doing research in sensors with physicists! 

As a department that seeks to be relevant and train up engineers to solve modern-day issues, a glimpse into how beneficial collaborative work can be will aid any student who may desire to pursue a postgraduate degree but might be confused as to which area.

Students are encouraged to visit the ALC website for opportunities -

Contact information
Yolokazi Mthi