The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), as the official partner of the Lindau Foundation and with funding from the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), nominates young scientists from South Africa annually to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. The meetings are a forum for young scientists from around the world to engage in-depth with Nobel Laureates on research and overall career management aspects.

Ms. Letsoalo is one of the eight young scientists from South Africa selected by ASSAF (Academy of Science of South Africa) and the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings to participate in the 73rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting dedicated to Physics, which will take place from 30 June to 5 July 2024. Ms. Modjadji Rebecca Letsoalo is a young woman, from Sebayeng Village around Ga-Dikgale in Polokwane. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physical Sciences in the year 2020 and Honours in Physics (cum laude) in the year 2021 from the University of Limpopo.

She enrolled for a Master of Science in Physics, at the University of Venda in 2022 focusing on Material sciences (Microsystems technology). She recently submitted her Master thesis and is currently waiting for the results. She is currently a Physics Comment magazine assistant for SAIP (South African Institute of Physics), and a Science communicator at Inkcubeko Youth and Science Center, Bridging the gap between the scientific community and the general public, and promoting a more informed and scientifically literate society.

In her research, Ms. Letsoalo was investigating on Hydrothermal synthesis of nano-scaled pure, Sn, and Zndoped Co3O4 structures and their gas-sensing applications under the supervision of Dr. Katekani Shingange from MINTEK and Prof. Eric Maluta from the University of Venda. The project aimed to develop nanoenabled Co3O4-based gas sensors for the detection of various gases in the agriculture and food industry space. The experimental development of the nanomaterials was coupled with theoretical studies through computational calculations for a better understanding of the interaction between target gas molecules and the nanomaterials. Ms. Letsoalo has won the South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA 2023) under the DSI Ndoni Mcunu Masters fellowship category and was 2nd winner for student/Post-doctoral presentation at the 9th South African Conference on Photonic Materials in 2023 at Skukuza Rest Camp in Mpumalanga for her masters work.

The FSEA is very proud of the student and her supervisor and the Department of Physics for preparing her in her science journey and we wish her all the best in her future career and we know we will hear more great achievements from her.

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University of Venda
Cell: 082 868 2218 or 082 868 1811

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