Sandile is a PhD candidate in the Chemistry Department at the University of Cambridge. She is also a Gates-Cambridge Scholar and NanoDTC associate. Her research project is on charge carrying metal-organic frameworks and their potential applications in catalysis and sensing. Her motivation in STEM is towards climate change mitigation through researching and implementing clean and renewable energy systems. She is passionate about knowledge and skill set transfer between the diaspora and Africa in areas of social enterprise hence her involvement with Africans in STEM.
Cynthia is a Pharmacology PhD student and Gates Cambridge scholar from Nigeria. Her PhD project aims to design protein therapeutics that harness the natural degradation machinery in cells to target disease-implicated proteins for destruction. She has been actively involved in the Africans in STEM team since its early days and is looking forward to another vibrant and impactful year on the team!
Aisha completed her Bachelors degree in Biomedicine at The Karolinska Institute, Stockholm in 2019. She is currently a Gates Cambridge scholar and a PhD student at the Medical Research Council - Cancer unit. Aisha is passionate about Cancer research as well as medicine and hopes to combine both specialties in the future. She aspires to become a medical oncologist who can bridge the gap between scientific research and medicine to contribute to the global efforts of improving clinical outcomes of cancer patients. She is also enthusiastic about representation/accessibility in academic institutions. Aisha started a YouTube channel called "practice makes pipette" where she vlogs her PhD journey in Cambridge. By documenting her journey, she hopes to contribute to improving access to Cambridge university and that others (like or not like her) can be inspired to pursue their dreams.
Kagiso is a second year PhD student in Materials Science from Botswana. Kagiso's PhD focuses on using electron beam techniques to understand the light produced by electronic devices such as LEDs and transistors. This light gives valuable information about the properties of the device which informs us about ways in which we can improve the device. Kagiso hopes to build a career in academia and have a meaningful impact especially as a person of African descent.
Chukwuma Ogbonnaya is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, UK. Over the past years, Chukwuma has been working on the methodologies for integrating photovoltaics and fuel cells for clean energy generation towards the decarbonisation of energy infrastructure. From his PhD work, he has published 9 articles in reputable journals, presented 2 conference papers and 2 seminars. His research interest is in renewable energy technologies, Thermodynamics of power generation, manufacturing systems, and system optimisations. He is a Fellow, Advanced Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Member of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET) and Nigerian Society of Engineers (MNSE). For his research outputs, see Google Scholar. UoM PURE.
Fathia is a Nigerian and a third year computer science student at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She is interested in creating a gender balance in STEM which enthused her role as the Vice President of the Computer Science department at her institution 2019/2020 and also her involvement with Africans in STEM.
Seun obtained her integrated master’s degree in Biochemistry from King’s College London. She is currently an AstraZeneca funded PhD student at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. Her project aims to understand how stem cells make decision during development. Alongside her research, she is also passionate about increasing the visibility of women of colour working in science. She shares her experience as a #blackgirlinscience on Instagram and Youtube (@seuninscience).
How it began
Africans in STEM was started in 2019 by four African scientists at University of Cambridge who wanted to create a space for Africans in the UK conducting research in STEM disciplines to network, connect, showcase their work and discuss issues regarding STEM in the context of the African continent and the diaspora. The inaugural symposium was held on Friday 28 June 2019 and had invited speakers and talks spanning academia, industry and science communication.
L-R: Cynthia Okoye (PhD Candidate, Pharmacology), Sabastine Arthur (PhD Candidate, Pathology), Dr. Prince Bawuah (Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology), Sandile Mtetwa (PhD Candidate, Chemistry). Cynthia, Sabastine, Prince and Sandile are standing at the entrance of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. Photo Credit: Dr. Amit Bhasin